Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Don't Get Scammed by Teen Magazine Sellers!
Four days ago, two teens came to the door and continued pressing the doorbell, driving my wife up the wall as she implored me to answer it. I didn't want to but the buzzing persisted as if they believed someone was home and weren't about to leave. So I opened it, to be greeted by two fresh-faced teen girls, chatty and smiling. After lots of babble and small talk, I cut to the chase and asked what they wanted.
They became somewhat evasive and began babbling some more about collecting "points" for some objective or other, and the way they did this was by selling assorted magazines. The main talker then produced a list of all the ones I could buy to help her gain points. I regarded her with narrowing eyes, now fully aware of the hucksterism, and said I don't buy magazines from door to door salespeople, whoever they are. Also, I was scammed out of a magazine purchase three years ago!
The chatty one then asked me to elaborate and I did, recounting how a pretty 18 year old who claimed she was "bound for college" needed some extra money, and she would get it if she earned enough points. All she needed was for me to purchase one magazine from her list. The only one I saw of any remote interest to me was the political left journal Mother Jones so selected that, and paid her with a check for $19.99. I asked how soon the subscription would start and she became rather ambiguous saying "it could be from a month to six weeks".
I took her at her word, but one month passed, then two, then three and then a whole year and nothing. Nada. I went to the Better Business Bureau but they said they could do nothing without her full name. (The only name she gave was 'Penny' and that may not have been real). I then called 'Mother Jones' and they assured me they'd never ever use door to door sellers. Well, you live and you learn!
Only later, after some research, did I discover that the teen magazine selling racket was just that, and run by assorted nefarious groups who exploited down on their luck teens (mainly females) desperate for work, and money for college. They took them into brief selling seminars, then turned them loose in neighborhoods to ply their wares, usually magazines.
Most turned out to be scams, and no magazines ever arrived.
Readers can read more about these operations here:
See also this warning from the BBB:
So, as I told the current ones at my door - no way, no how, and not ever. Having once been bitten, I am not about to risk it again. So, hasta la vista!
They then packed their folders under their arms and ambled down the street.
Again, why cop to their money grubbing fraud and scam if I wouldn't even do it for a brother? I hate, detest all such scams and all money grubbing. People who are taken then become easy marks for the next round on others (elderly people) who may not be able to parry their amiable bullshit.
So people, wherever you are, be wary of these young teens walking door to door and their assorted "magazines for points" pleas.
Best option? Don't even open the damned door!