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Print Buying Scam - Don't get tricked!

Posted Wednesday, November 19, 2014 by Jules VanSant.

alt textI received a call today from a member who said the phone calls and emails sounded fishy, but maybe they were Phishy! It’s time to remind all who run a company in print or other manufactured and shipped products to listen, read and do your research before trusting a NEW potential buyer. Most of course are legit, but with the age of the web and ability to check out vendors and customers, don’t let the excitement of a new sale blur your common sense…

Here’s the email chain that was received after an initial phone call:

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As Summarized by Digital Marketing1

Print Quotation Scam - How The Printing Scam Works

  1. You receive an e-mail job quotation request.

  2. You respond with a quotation or seek more information - contact is established - some artwork is supplied. (see sample to the left)

  3. Your quote will be accepted. Notice in our case below, no quote was provided, but the job was awarded anyway.

  4. Contact details including a US city, local address, phone numbers and credit card details for your use when the order is completed will be provided.

  5. Having established a, “relationship” with you, a request follows for you to transfer freight costs for job delivery in Africa via a currency transfer service and to include this cost with your invoice on completion. The request may be justified in many innovative ways designed to convince you that it is warranted. The freight costs, etc., will be quoted around $10,000.

  6. (If) you pay - the scam is complete.

Don’t Get How it Works?

alt textThe scammer is going to place an order, send you a check (or credit card) to pay for the product plus the shipping charges. If they use a credit card for payment, they will tell you to charge additional monies to cover the “shipping costs” for their shipper.

Basically, they are going to pay you in full, then have you pay their shipper for them.

If it is paid with a check, it will be from a legitimate company, account, etc., as this is often where stolen identity ends up. If they use a credit card, the card number will be valid. They often test stolen credit cards with very small charges to see if the account is active - frequently in the $.50 - $5.00 range believing the actually owner may not notice charges.

Once you receive the (fraudulent) payment from the scammer for the (fraudulent) order, plus shipping, you will then be requested to send money immediately via Western Union, (or other wire transfer) to “their” very trusted shipper for the “shipping charges”. Again, they are paying you in full, then you are supposed to take the shipping portion of the funds and wire it to their shipper for them - the shipper is actually them!

This will be explained, such that, they need to arrange to get the product picked up, but their shipper requires money up front because it’s international shipping. They will INSIST you use their shipping company. (Of course they would, they are the fake shipper)

Let’s give an example - The scammer pays you with a check (or credit card) for the invoice price of the product, plus shipping.

Lets say it’s a $25,000 print job. The shipping portion, they have now negotiated with their “Very Trusted” shipper, is $5,000.00. So the check they send you is for $30,000 (product + shipping) They will then say, please pay our shipper immediately the $5,000 from these funds to pay their “Very Trusted” shipper. This, of course, will need to be paid via Western Union immediately (before the check clears) to arrange the shipper on their end comes and picks up the product at your plant.

So, our innocent vendor here deposits the check, (or runs the credit card) then quickly sends $5,000 to the “Very Trusted” shipper via Western Union in hopes he will soon come and get the product off his dock.

Note: You will be very heavily pressured not to wait for funds to clear if a check is sent.Of course, if they paid by check, the check will most likely bounce. (or be contested when the checking accounts owner discovers the fraudulent charge) If they used a credit card, the charges will be disputed by the account owner upon discovery, and the charges will be charged back to you!

You will then get hit with the initial costs, plus bank fees, etc., meanwhile, the “real money” you sent via Western Union from your account to their “very trusted shipper” is now gone.

Note: You will never recover the Western Union money you sent, because sending it is the same as sending cash. Unfortunately, you are also out whatever you spent in producing the fraudulent order.

The scam is now complete. You have a pile of merchandise sitting on your dock that will never be picked up, and the scammer has pocketed whatever you sent via Western Union for shipping costs.(You can read the following Craigslist example, as a computer guy plays with a scammer, leading the scammer to become very insistent and even angry. Craigslist Computer Services Scam. It’s the same scam in a different form.)

I’ve Been Ripped Off…What Should I Do Now?

Who Do I Contact?

alt textIf you want to report an internet scam, or are a victim of an internet scam, we suggest you contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) to report the incident. “The IC3 was established as a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) to serve as a means to receive Internet related criminal complaints, and to further research, develop, and refer the criminal complaints to federal, state, local, or international law enforcement and/or regulatory agencies for any investigation they deem to be appropriate.” - About IC3

That will give you a place to begin, as local police are not likely to be of much help with scams that originate overseas.

How to Report Internet Crime & Fraud

  • FBI - Internet Fraud

  • Report Cyber Scams & Incidents

  • Contact Your Local Field Office

  • Contact the Nearest Overseas Office

Unfortunately, it is very unlikely that you are ever going to see any monies recovered from this scam. If you were a victim, the printed materials are simply trash or recycling at this point. However, before you destroy the materials, you may want to check with an attorney or the proper authorities if you are pursuing any type of legal action, since this may be considered evidence.

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2014 Naomi Berber Memorial Award Honors Laura Lawton-Forsyth

Posted Wednesday, November 12, 2014 by Jules VanSant.

PPI Association along with The Printing Industries of America is pleased to announce that Laura Lawton-Forsyth, President of Lawton Printing Inc and File-Ez Folder Inc., and past Chair of the Board of Directors, Printing Industries of America, is the recipient of the 2014 Naomi Berber Memorial Award. This award honors outstanding women in the graphic communications industry for their exceptional record of accomplishments, unusual contributions toward the development of the graphic communications industry, and for having furthered the interests of the industry.

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Laura represents the fourth generation to join the family business, Lawton Printing Inc., in Spokane, WA, working full-time beginning in January 1991 and becoming President in October 2001.

A graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, with a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Communication and concentration in Print Management, Laura has a long history of industry involvement, including her local affiliate organization—PPI Association—serving on its Board of Directors since 2002 and as its Chair of the Board in 2008.

She has contributed to the success of Printing Industries of America, serving on the Board of Directors since 2001 and serving as Chair of the Board in 2012. She has served on the Executive Committee since 2004 and on numerous committees, including Research and Development, Finance, Marketing, and Government Affairs.

Additional accomplishments in Laura’s career include serving as Chair, Young Print Professionals Group, 2004–present; Chair, Education Committee and Executive Committee member 2006–present; and Finance Committee Member, 2008–present. She has also been a Kodak Commercial Printing Advisory Group Member, serving from 2004 to 2007.

Laura’s award will be presented at the 2014 Printing Industries of America Fall Administrative Meeting, November 14–16, in Pittsburgh, PA. For more information on Printing Industries of America’s Awards Programs, visit or contact Kristina Iorio at

About Printing Industries of America

PIA, with local affiliated associations, delivers services and products that enhance the knowledge, growth, and profitability of members through advocacy, research, education, and networking.

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Washington State Election Results 2014

Posted Wednesday, November 5, 2014 by Bill Stauffacher.

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Here’s a brief election night summary with more details to follow. Just a reminder that state law allows the counting of ballots that are postmarked on or before Election Day. That means the election results will not firm up until the weekend.

State Legislature:

SENATE: The majority Senate GOP won every race up for grabs in which they thought they could win. The 26-23 Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC) stays in place as Democrat Tim Sheldon will continue caucusing with the GOP. The Republicans will have 25 seats, a one-seat GOP majority, plus Sheldon.

HOUSE: The majority House Democrats lost at least one seat, likely two seats, dropping to a 53-45 majority. But three Democrat-held seats are too close to call. If the Democrats lose all three races, then the House could become a one-seat 50-48 Democrat majority.

The Governor’s race was not on the ballot this year.

Federal Congressional Races:In the WA 4th, mainstream Republican challenger Dan Newhouse is winning 51+% against GOP Tea Party challenger Clint Didier for the seat held by retiring GOP Rep. Doc Hastings. It’s too close to call for Newhouse, but he should win.

All House congressional incumbents won easily.

No U.S. Senate races in the state this year.

A Good Night For:

  • Senate GOP/Majority Coalition Caucus: The best night of all. They ran the table, plain and simple.
  • House GOP: Unexpected gains makes this minority caucus a relevant voice in budget and policy debates.
  • GOP Sen. Pam Roach: The outrageously independent GOP senator won another term, surviving a GOP challenge in the top-two general election.

A Bad Night For:

  • House Democrats: They expected a loss of one or two seats, but not up to five.Revenue: Additional tax revenue for the state budget will becomes more difficult to obtain during the 2015 legislature.
  • Teachers’ union: The WEA–backed classroom-size reduction initiative is failing, but it’s still too close to call.
  • Senate Democrats: They had the ability to pick up one or two seats, but weak match-ups against a strong slate of Senate GOP incumbents provided a significant GOP advantage.
  • Governor Jay Inslee and Tom Steyer, the independent expenditure funder of NextGen Climate Action: Any major climate change legislation gets much tougher to pass in the Democratic House.
  • NRA: Two firearms-related initiatives on the ballot are going against the NRA.


  • All incumbent GOP/MCC members are winning solid – Senators Doug Ericksen, Andy Hill, Steve O’Ban, Jan Angel, Tim Sheldon and Michael Baumgartner.
  • D challenger Rep. Cyrus Habib is winning retiring MCC Sen. Rodney Tom’s open Senate seat
  • R challenger Mark Milsocia is winning retiring Democrat Tracey Eide’s seat over D challenger Shari Song.
  • D Sen. Steve Hobbs is defeating against GOP challenger Jim Kellett.
  • R Sen. Pam Roach is beating R challenger Rep. Cathy Dahlquist 52.5%-47.5%.


  • D Rep. Dawn Morrell is losing 53-47% to GOP challenger Melanie Stambaugh.
  • D Rep. Monica Stonier is losing 52-48% to GOP challenger Lynda Wilson. Still too close to call, but a GOP pick-up is likely.
  • Appointed R Rep. Jesse Young is beating D challenger Nathan Schlicher.
  • R open seat (Hope): R challenger Mark Harmsworth is beating D challenger Mike Wilson.
  • Too close to call: - D Rep. Larry Seaquist is losing to GOP challenger Michelle Caldier. - D Rep. Kathy Haigh has a slight lead against GOP challenger Dan Griffey. - D open seat (Green): GOP challenger Paul Wagemann has a slight lead over D challenge Christine Kilduff.

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Bill Stauffacher

PPI Contract Lobbyist

Stauffacher Communications

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Oregon Election 2014 Bucks National Trend, Democrats Gain Seats in House and Senate

Posted Wednesday, November 5, 2014 by Jules VanSant.

alt textAn Update From Associated Oregon Industries - A PPI Association Partner

See more about what AOI does to support Oregon Industry HERE

While most of the nation was trending Republican last night, Oregon took a different path. Despite recent negative publicity surrounding his fiancé, Governor John Kitzhaber retained his seat by a slim majority - 49% to challenger Dennis Richardson’s 43%. Oregon House Democrats increased their majority by one seat, bringing them to 35 (out of 60). Senate Democrats appear to have increased their majority by one seat as well, giving them 17 members (out of 30). These gains put Democrats in both houses within one vote of the 3/5 super majority required for any tax increase.

Oregon Senate Update:

Analysis: Democrats started Election Day with a 16-14 advantage in the Senate. As of now, Democrats will pick up at least one - and perhaps two - seats in the Oregon State Senate.

Senate District 3: Alan Bates (D) vs. Dave Dotterrer (R): This seat was decided by less than 300 votes in 2010, and is a rematch with Dotterrer once again challenging Bates. Bates, a physician, has been the State Senator representing the district since 2004. Prior to that, he served the area as a State Representative. Dotterrer is a retired Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. He has served over the last couple of years as an advisor to House and Senate Republicans on budget related issues since 2011.

Results: Bates leads by 3,800 votes, 51% to 44%. Democrat hold.

Senate District 8: Betsy Close (R) vs. Sara Gelser (D): Betsy Close was appointed to replace Republican Senator Frank Morse in 2012. Prior to that, Betsy served in the House of Representatives for six years. Sara Gelser was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives where she has served since 2005. She is challenging Close for her Senate seat. This race features two incumbents from different legislative chambers. Close is better known in Linn County, and Gelser is better known in Benton County.

Results: Gelser leads by 5,800 votes, 56% to 44%. Democrat pickup.

Senate District 11: Senate President Peter Courtney (D) vs. Patti Milne (R): Peter Courtney is a fixture in Salem. He is the most veteran member of the Legislature and is now serving a record setting sixth term as the Senate President. Courtney faces his toughest challenge in a district that traditionally favors Democratic candidates. Patti Milne has been on the ballot in Marion County before. She served three terms in the Oregon House of Representatives, and has spent the last 15 years working as a Marion County Commissioner. This race features two elected officials that are well known in the district.

Results: Courtney leads by 1,600 votes, 54% to 46%. Democrat hold.

Senate District 15: Bruce Starr (R) vs. Chuck Riley (D): Bruce Starr has been representing Forest Grove and Hillsboro in the Legislature since 1999 when he was first elected as a State Representative, and later as State Senator. He faces Chuck Riley, who also served as a State Representative from 2005 to 2009. Riley left his seat in the House to challenge Starr in 2010. This is a rematch of that race where Starr handily defeated Riley.

Results: Starr leads by 123 votes. It should be noted that the Libertarian in this race has, at this time, pulled over 2,500 votes. Too close to call.

Senate District 20: Alan Olsen (R) vs. Jamie Damon (D): Alan Olsen is serving his first term in the State Senate. Since he first ran, voter registration changed with redistricting making this an even better district for Republicans based on voter registration. Jamie Damon is challenging Olsen. She was appointed to serve on the Clackamas County Commission in 2011. She served on the Commission until 2013 and is now challenging Olsen for his seat in Senate District 20.

Results: Olsen leads by 2,100 votes, 52% to 47%. Republican hold.

Senate District 26: Chuck Thomsen (R) vs. Robert Bruce (D): Chuck Thomsen is a local Hood River orchardist who first won election to the State Senate in 2010. Prior to that, Thomsen served Hood River County as a Commissioner. Robert Bruce is challenging him for his State Senate seat. Bruce is a political newcomer who hasn’t held public office. This district was targeted due to the Democratic voter registration advantage and considered by many as a potential pick-up seat.

Results: Thomsen leads by 4,700 votes, 57% to 43%. Republican hold.

Oregon House Update:

Analysis: Democrats started Election Day with a 34-26 advantage in the House. As of now, it appears that Democrats will add one seat to their majority in the Oregon House of Representatives.

House District 20: Kathy Goss (R) vs. Paul Evans (D): Democrats took a real run at picking up this traditional Republican seat in this Salem-based seat. Both Goss and Evans are fixtures in the local community, but Evans ran a much more aggressive and organized campaign and just appeared to want it more.

Results: Evans currently leads by 700 votes, 52% to 48%. Democrat pickup.

House District 22: Betty Komp (D) vs. Matt Geiger (R): Republicans thought they had an opportunity in this Woodburn-based seat with their hard-working candidate, local football coach and insurance agent Matt Geiger. But Betty Komp has proven formidable in this district time and time again. She’s moderate, very likeable, and respected in her district with a long history as a school principal.

Results: Komp is leading by 600 votes, 51% to 45%. Democrat hold.

House District 29: Susan McLain (D) vs. Mark Richman (R): This Washington County district is competitive turf for both parties with Republicans sensing an edge in an off-presidential election. Republicans won the seat in 2010. Democrats won in 2012. This was thought to be a highly competitive race, and it was. Susan McLain had a history in the district as its former representative on the Metro Regional Board. Mark Richman is an Assistant Washington County District Attorney.

Results: McLain is leading by 900 votes, 53% to 47%. Democrat hold.

House District 30: Joe Gallegos (D) vs. Dan Mason (R): Representative Joe Gallegos has proven formidable in what was once considered a swing district. Republicans had high hopes for Dan Mason, but the race for this Hillsboro-based seat wasn’t competitive. The inclusion of a Libertarian candidate which pulled almost 9% of the vote sealed the district for Representative Gallegos.

Results: Gallegos leads by 1,400 votes, 50% to 41%. Democrat hold.

House District 40: Brent Barton (D) vs. Steve Newgard (R): Republicans were eager to take a second crack at this district as Brent Barton defeated Steve Newgard in 2012 by less than 400 votes in a strong Democratic year. The rematch for this Oregon City-based seat was not nearly as close.

Results: Barton leads by 1,800 votes, 55% to 45%. Democrat hold.

House District 51: Shemia Fagan (D) vs. Jodi Bailey (R): Another district that Democrats won back from Republicans in 2012, this Clackamas-based seat was largely ignored by typical Republican supporters while Democrats went full throttle to keep the seat for Representative Fagan.

Results: Fagan leads by 650 votes, 52% to 48%. Democrat hold.

House District 52: Mark Johnson (R) vs. Stephanie Nystrom (D): After winning this seat convincingly from the Democrat incumbent in 2010, Representative Johnson won a very close race in 2012 in this Hood River-based seat. It was presumed that Johnson would win this swing seat handily in 2014 where his seat was not particularly targeted by Democrats, but the race was much closer than many expected.

Results: Johnson leads by 1,500 votes, 53% to 46%. Republican hold.

House District 54: Knute Buehler (R) vs. Craig Wilhelm (D): This was probably the brightest spot for House Republicans on election night. This Bend-based seat was vacated by outgoing Representative Jason Conger (R) and had a 7-pt Democratic registration edge. Both Buehler and Wilhelm were considered quality candidates. The district was targeted by both parties.

Results: Buehler leads by 4,400 votes, 58% to 41%. Republican hold.

Oregon Ballot Measure Update:

Measure 88: This measure would allow Oregon residents a ’driver card’ without requiring proof of a legal presence in the U.S.

Results: The opposition leads by over 400,000 votes, 67% to 33%. Measure fails.

Measure 90: This measure would establish a top-two primary system in Oregon, allowing all voters, instead of only party voters, to choose the general election candidates.

Results: The opposition leads, 68% to 32%. Measure fails.

Measure 91: This measure would allow Oregonians over 21 to manufacture, sell, and possess marijuana, and would establish a regulatory system to tax and license its use.

Results: The proponents lead by more than 120,000 votes, 55% to 45%. Measure passes.

Measure 92: This measure would require foods containing or produced with GMO’s to be labeled (though meat and dairy products would be excluded). Campaign spending for both sides made this the costliest ballot measure in Oregon’s history.

Results: With 89% of precincts reporting, the opposition is leading by 23,000 votes. However, Multnomah County, which is favoring the bill 60% to 40%, accounts for the majority of the remaining uncounted votes. Too close to call.

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Oregon voters approve recreational marijuana; are OR / WA employers prepared?

Posted Wednesday, November 5, 2014 by Karen Davis.

SOURCE: Vigilant Counsel for Employers, A PPI Association Partner

AUTHOR: Karen Davis, Employment Law Attorney, Counseling Employers Only

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Alert: Oregon voters approve recreational marijuana; are employers prepared?

The November 4, 2014, ballot results of Measure 91 are clear: Oregon voters have joined their Washington neighbors in approving recreational marijuana for individuals who are 21 or older. Employers in these states, as well as neighboring states where employees may cross the border to buy pot, should consider what to do next. The Oregon measure takes effect on July 1, 2015. The Washington measure has been in effect since December 6, 2012. Here are some thoughts that employers should consider:

Communicate your position on the marijuana measure to employees. You still have the right to enforce your drug policy, so if employees could be disciplined or fired for testing positive for marijuana or bringing it to work, you should let them know right away so that there’s no confusion. At the end of this Alert is a sample letter for this purpose.

Employees in neighboring states may believe they can pop across the border to pick up marijuana to use back home. Transporting marijuana across state lines is illegal, but if you have worksites in western Idaho, northern California, or northern Nevada, you may want to present a similar letter to your employees in those locations.

We expect the rate of positive drug tests to increase in Oregon when Measure 91 takes effect. As we previously reported, an analysis from national testing firm Quest Diagnostics found that the rate of positive drug tests in Washington increased 23 percent between 2012 and 2013, after recreational marijuana was legalized. If you have safety-sensitive jobs, or jobs where mental concentration is critical, you may want to implement or expand random drug testing. Your Vigilant employment attorney can help with drafting or updating your policy.

If you have workers covered by federal drug testing regulations (such as commercial motor vehicle drivers regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation), you must continue to enforce those regulations in the workplace.

If you have federal contracts or grants of $100,000 or more, you are likely covered by the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act. The U.S. Department of Labor has a webpage explaining the requirements of this law. Although the Act doesn’t require drug testing, employers must still make employees aware of the dangers of drug use, and use good faith efforts to maintain a drug-free workplace.

Neither the Oregon nor Washington measures permit the use of marijuana in public places, so employers in those states should be able to continue their existing enforcement of state laws on maintaining a smokefree workplace.

If you would like help evaluating your existing drug policy in light of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington and Oregon, please contact your Vigilant employment attorney. Below is a sample letter you can use to communicate with your employees, if you intend to continue to enforce your drug policy. You may also want to refer employees to news outlets for the details of the Oregon law; Oregon Public Broadcasting and The Oregonian both offer helpful Q&As.

Sample letter to employees

We would like to clarify our Drug and Alcohol Policy in light of the recent approval of recreational marijuana in Oregon, similar to that already in effect in Washington.

The primary focus of our Drug and Alcohol Policy is to keep our facility a safe and drug free workplace. Therefore, we do not plan to make any changes to our current policy. A positive test for drugs, including marijuana or alcohol, will still be subject to disciplinary action according to our policy. Possession of drugs at work will also result in disciplinary action. No marijuana-infused products of any kind will be permitted on company property.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Also, even though marijuana is legal under state law, keep in mind that alcohol is also legal but we don’t permit employees to come to work with alcohol in their system. Our expectation remains that employees will report to work in a suitable mental and physical condition to perform their job in a safe and efficient manner, with no detectible level of drugs or alcohol in their system.

Please feel free to speak with HR should you have any questions regarding drugs or alcohol in the workplace.


This alert is a publication of Vigilant®, 6825 S.W. Sandburg St., Tigard, OR 97223, telephone 503-620-1710. © 2014 Vigilant. This publication presents general information in nontechnical language. Before applying this information to specific management decisions, consult legal counsel.

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