Even though more and more print magazines are converting to digital publications, print-magazine sales continue to generate millions in revenue for the industry. As with any revenue source, scammers seek methods to exploit consumers with unsolicited and often fraudulent magazine sales for unjust financial gain at the cost of consumers.
The scam usually begins with either an unwanted telephone offering to renew your magazine subscription or with a knock at the door from a “student” claiming they are raising money for their education, a school function, or other reasonably good cause, all in an attempt to steal personal identifying information and more likely your money.
What does the scammer do?
- A fast talking sales rep attempts to trick consumers who have already have a magazine subscription into believing the scam caller has an affiliation with the consumers existing magazine company.
- Using a carefully scripted process, the scammer convinces the consumer that they are simply calling to lower their monthly subscription with the intent to simply get the consumers personal financial information, including their credit card number.
- Once the credit card information has been obtained, the scammer then further attempted to trick the consumer into thinking they are in a long-term, expensive contract. The scammer typically uses a "collection" company to collect on a false debt, often creating fake invoices, generating excessive late fees, and even threats of jail if the false debt is not paid.
The good news is the Colorado Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) provides certain protections against unsolicited magazine sales and subscriptions within Colorado. The statute states that the sender of a magazine or other periodical shall cancel a subscription if any invoice is returned by the recipient marked ‘cancel’.
Cancellation shall also occur when the recipient gives written notice of cancellation to the sender at the sender's address or at the address of the subscription department printed in the periodical, or, if no such department is listed, at the general business address of the periodical. Within sixty days after notice of cancellation for prepaid subscriptions, the sender shall refund to the recipient any amount paid for the subscription less the amount owed by the recipient for any periodicals, together with the postage thereon, if postage has been charged separately, received before the effective date of the notice of cancellation.
If you believe you have been victimized by a magazine scam or wish to report suspicious activity, please file a report here.