The Department of Consumer Protection has become aware that fraudulent door to door magazine companies may be resurfacing this summer, in particular in the New London area.
The difference between this scam and many others is that members of these magazine sales crews are often victims of the scam themselves. Almost all crew members end up indebted to whatever company they are working for, even though the company usually makes a large profit.
Former crew members have described these companies as pyramid schemes, with sellers earning a certain percentage of sales, “Junior Managers” earning a larger portion of sales, and the “bosses” pocketing all additional revenue.
Here are some signs it’s a scam:
- Members of these magazine selling “crews” only accept cash or check, making it very hard to trace financial transactions.
- Door to door sales people use a story that tugs at your heartstrings and pressure tactics to get you to act quickly.
- The company has a name you haven’t heard of before. These companies often changes their names and will usually try to make it seem like the new company name has no connection to the old company name by using addresses in different states, different phone numbers, and different email addresses.
- If you call to check on a subscription that was purchased, the magazine selling crew has probably already cashed any checks they received and moved on to another city or state.
Tips and what you can do:
- If someone tries to sell you a magazine subscription, think twice before spending your money. Research prices on-line or by calling the magazine itself before handing over cash or a check for a subscription.
- Even though it might feel like you are making a charitable donation to the cause of whoever is selling you a subscription, keep in mind that your money is actually going to a business with a much more complicated structure than you or the sales person may be aware of.
- If a pitch from someone coming to your door seems suspect, you may report it to DCP at 8607136100 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or to your local police department.