Magazine Selling Scam

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

Buyers Beware… that's the message from an eastern Kentucky police chief who says some people in the Coal Run community of Pike County are trying to sell magazines for various causes.

So far, all of the organizations they claim to work for say they don't have anyone selling magazines door to door.

Police are now working to make sure no one else becomes a victim.

Coal Run Police Chief Todd Akers says he's received dozens of phone calls saying someone came to their door and sold them a magazine subscription, but he worries it is not real, but instead, a scam.

“Some of the sales pitches used have actually raised an eyebrow and drawn questions,” Chief Akers said.

He says the sales pitches range from raising money for tuition at Pikeville College, to trying to win a National Communications Award, to raising money for families of soldiers killed in Iraq.

“One of the most distasteful that they're selling,” Chief Akers said.

Whatever the pitch, Akers says dozens of people are biting, buying, and spending anywhere between 40 to 130 dollars.

“Be very cautious and leery of these individuals,” Chief Akers said.

Akers says right now he can't prove if this is actually a scam or a legit sale, but he says none of the sales pitches check out.

Pikeville College representatives told us they do not have any students selling magazines and are not using magazine sales for tuition costs.

“At this point, it's kind of a waiting game to see if the magazines show up. If the 120 days pass and there's no magazines, we'll follow-up with filing charges,” Chief Akers said.

He says the sellers range from men to women, to older to younger.

He says none have hurt or threatened anyone, but he warns people to still be careful.

“Because you never know what somebody is capable of doing in this day and age,” Chief Akers said.

He says call police if you don't like them knocking on your door.

Police say if you really want to buy something from a salesman at your door, ask what company they work for and ask them to come back tomorrow then research the company on the internet before buying to find out if the company is real.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Eric Location: Naples, FL on Dec 16, 2009 at 08:46 AM
    I used to live in Manassas, VA and a young man came to my door. He showed me a very official looking laminated name card with photo ID. He had a laminated paper with magazine titles and corrected me when I said donation and said it is for points. He doesn't need money, he needs points for college tuition. I felt like helping him and bought a few subscriptions. That was 2 years ago and I never received my magazines. Now I live in Naples, FL and a young (probably 20) girl came to my door with the same routine - this time to win a trip to London. Same ID card and also selling magazines. This is not a local scam, it is much bigger - in many states. When we are approached by these young people we need to speak with confidence, "I KNOW this is a scam and other people do too. You don't think we know, but we do." Don't just tell them you don't have any money or they will just continue to scam others. Get bold.
  • by Anonymous Location: Huntington WV on Jun 17, 2009 at 11:47 AM
    This week, June 17 2009, I have had 2 different men come to my door selling magazines and saying it's for points to help with college tuition, although neither of the men looked like they were in school or about to be. Also, when I asked if they could come back and let me check out the information they said that they couldn't and it was now or never. Which is a sure sign THEY ARE SCAMMING. Beware!
  • by Dee Location: Raccoon on Apr 1, 2008 at 09:17 AM
    I had two young men come to my home last Wednesday, March 26th, and they said they were selling magazines for school. I asked them what school and they said PCC. The paper they had was folded and laminated and it had magazines listed, but no prices. One guy was white and one was black, he did all the talking, was very persistent but extremely friendly and polite. I did not need any magazines and therefore didn't buy any. I hope nobody else did either.
  • by Anonymous Location: Paintsville, KY on Mar 31, 2008 at 06:57 PM
    THIS IS A SCAM!!! About 2 years 2 men came to our door selling magazines to raise money to pay college tuition, My mother paid them 25.00 for a subscription. That was a subscription that she NEVER recieved!!!

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