Beware of nationwide subscription scam

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I’ve received two mailings like the one shown above over the past month, and I understand that they’re being sent out nationwide. This is just a quick post to tell you that if you receive anything like this, throw it away. Or even better, let your state attorney general and Better Business Bureau know about it.

The warning already has been spread widely in the Phoenix area, as you’ll see from this coverage at azcentral.com. But if you don’t live here, share this with your friends.

I sensed immediately that this was a bogus offer. I pay for my newspaper subscription with a monthly charge to a credit card, so there was no reason to receive this mailing. In doing the math, I saw that the $469.95 was considerably more than I actually pay.

The language on the back of the offer gives Publishers Payment some cover, I suppose. It says the organization is “an independent subscription agent” that “does not necessarily have a direct relationship with the publishers or publications that we offer.” It also notes that the recipient is under no obligation to either buy a magazine or renew at this time.

Two clues as to how shoddy an operation this is:

  • I went to the website and indicated that I wanted to subscribe to “Faur Weekly,” which I can assure you doesn’t exist. I also put in a control number of 123456. I was immediately sent to the next screen to record and send my credit card information. I didn’t, of course.
  •  I also called the number on the bill – 707.266.6673. I got the usual spiel about how the call may be recorded for quality purposes. The thing is, once I got passed off to the smarmy, on-hold music, no one ever came back. After 20 minutes, I hung up.

If you have friends or relatives who might fall for this, warn them. I imagine that once these organizations get their hooks into you, it can be hard to disengage.

Let me know if you’re aware of this or other scams.

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