Home Letter To The Editor The Great Magazine Subscription Scam – At It Again

The Great Magazine Subscription Scam – At It Again



Some young men claiming to be students from our local high school came to our front door recently, working steadily through the neighborhood after dark and with a well rehearsed pitch:

Buy subscriptions to magazines and the magazines will be sent to hospitals or to military personnel serving overseas. Our “salesmen” said our “donation” would be tax deductible and that they get “credits” towards a trip to London. 

As you have pointed out many times over the years, none of their story was true and after some time standing at our front door we were able to show that this was nothing more than a common scam and that it was time for them to leave as we were calling the police.  

The “students” of course are not from the local high school. They grew anxious and pretended not to hear us when we mentioned several names of students and faculty they should have known but they were in their early twenties to begin with and obviously not connected to our school. The money they were after was for a standard magazine subscription which we pointed out couldn’t be tax deductible and they were unable to explain how that worked when we pressed.

The “magazine company” the “students” work for had two names – both sounding really patriotic – on its sales form. It looked like they were based in Georgia. We’re still not clear how they make their money though we have heard they keep payments for subscriptions and don’t send magazines to anyone – soldiers or otherwise.

We would recommend that our neighbors read the fine print if contacted by these groups, carefully scan the documents and ID they offer, and ask a lot of questions about how they operate.

And then call the police.


Jennifer Feddimont/Pleasant Hill  


  1. This is a very old scam. Please keep in mind you don’t have to answer the door. Yes, a lot of us grew up in a time where answering the door to strangers was safe. Times have changed. Regardless of how safe and low crime your neighborhood is, answering the door to total strangers (except young children) should be against your better judgment. Day or night.

    A lot of these “salespeople” have criminal records. The “salespeople” are sometimes runaways. They respond to ads recruiting the “salesforce.” Getting scammed financially is the lesser of two evils. These people can be dangerous, and until society wises up and refuses to buy from them, their scam will continue.

    It’s your money, but for your own safety – please quit being naïve. It will only stop when people stop buying.

    • In agreement with Danielle here. There’s a lot of illuminating information available about this scam… and there’s a movie called “American Honey” we thought captured the whole scene pretty well. Anyway, learn what’s going on or say goodbye to your hard-earned money!

  2. They come through every spring. Extremely annoying and pushy. You can see the vans they use to move around in parked around the neighborhood and they lie like crazy about who they are and what they are doing.

  3. We have had a couple of them square off and face us when we turned them down calling us names and things. Our neighbors called police on them and it was a bad decision on their part because it turned out they had warrants out for them and the handcuffs went on. Extremely disreputable enterprise.

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