Crimes of Persuasion

Schemes, scams, frauds.

Fraudulent Door To Door Magazine Subscription Sales Scams

Some telemarketers falsely represent that they are calling on behalf of the publisher to renew the subscription of a magazine you currently receive and then never deliver the magazines or misrepresent the total cost by emphasizing "only pennies per day".

You may end up with multi-year subscriptions totaling hundreds of dollars. If contacted, ask for a written copy of the contract to peruse so that you can calculate out whether it's a good deal or not.

It's Probably Lost In The Mail

Publishers Services repeatedly collected money for magazine subscriptions it failed to deliver or had no authority to sell.

Busted, the telemarketer must now either provide the magazines or give refunds to approximately 48,000 consumers nationwide who purchased subscriptions over a two year period. The restitution the company will provide is estimated at between $500,000 and $1 million. Civil penalties, attorney fees and costs will be considered in a separate proceeding.

As It's Hard to Write While Laughing

You get a postcard from the National Scholastic Society, Inc., doing business as University Society Publishers Periodicals urging you to call a toll-free number to be entered into a $25,000 cash sweepstakes.

When you call, you are told you will be entered just for calling. They then pitch magazine subscriptions and say you will receive an expensive-sounding gift if you agree to purchase a subscription.

Through a variety of ruses you are tricked into revealing your credit card numbers and are then billed for hundreds of dollars even though you did not agree to subscribe.

One trick is to tell you that "you will win bonus prizes if certain numbers appear on your credit card, all you have to do is "read it out slowly"." Once they have your credit card numbers, they can charge you any unauthorized sum they want. Your losses are added to the millions of dollars they have collected.

Elderly Victims Won Right to be Scammed

05/07 - (Atlanta-Journal Constitution) - Eleven people have pleaded guilty to racketeering charges for their part in a DeKalb-based telemarketing scheme which defrauded elderly victims.

Authorities said the defendants worked for Capricorn Marketing LLC. The company's employees from 2001 to 2004 called more than 10,000 elderly people and falsely told them they had won or were a finalist for a $50,000 giveaway, according to a statement from District Attorney Gwen Keyes Fleming's office.

The victims were asked for bank information so the "prize" could be deposited. Instead, the company then called the victims a second time and "confirmed" they had ordered expensive magazine subscriptions, which the telemarketers then deducted from the victim's bank accounts.

The Georgia Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs raided the company in February 2004. All the defendants pleaded guilty by the scheduled start of their trial Monday. DeKalb Superior Court Judge Daniel Coursey sentenced five to prison.

The longest sentence of 10 years was given to company owner Gary Richardson.

Minor Loss Telemarketing Fraud Section