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Magazine Sales Scams

Download the PDF Scrutinize the Sales Pitch

There are certain types of phony magazine sales pitches to be on the lookout for:

  • Telemarketing: Some fraudulent companies offer new subscriptions or renewals at deeply discounted rates. They may also tell callers they have been chosen for a special offer or that they have won a prize. Once they have your credit card information, they’ll charge you inflated subscription prices without delivering the magazine or the prize.

  • Door-to-Door Sales: It may be a student who shows up at your door asking you to help them win a prize or earn money for camp. Or it might be someone claiming to be raising money for a good and charitable cause. The reality is that the kids involved in these magazine sales or often being taken for as big a ride as the people who fall for the sales pitch.

  • Direct Mail: If you have received an invoice for a magazine you do not remember ordering, take a closer look at the bill. Hidden in the fine print could be a notice that the invoice is actually a subscription offer.

The most common complaint in scams like these is not receiving the magazine. The fraudulent company simply takes your money and runs.

Check it Out Before You Buy

Not all magazine sales offers are scams. If you have been contacted about a magazine subscription or renewal, check out the company first to be sure they are reputable:

File a Complaint

If you have been involved in a magazine subscription scam, file a complaint with the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs.

Sign Up for the Do Not Call Registry

You can sign up to avoid receiving some of the sales calls at home. Find details about the National Do Not Call Registry and Tennessee’s Do Not Call Program on their websites.

For More Information

The Federal Trade Commission and the Magazine Publishers of America have written a guide for telemarketing professionals who sell magazine subscriptions. You can find more details on the FTC’s website.