Reader Gets Scammed For $1000’s in Bogus Magazine Subscriptions

Anya responded to a telemarketer’s call 2 years ago and bought some magazine subscriptions. She thought she was going to pay “somewhere between 14 and 44 dollars a month,” and paid with her debit card.

“Soon after I received many more calls “confirming” my information,” says Anya.

Sometime later she checked her checking account. Over $200 a month she had no idea about was being withdrawn. Multiple companies kept calling her up saying she owed numbers between $800 and $8,000 a month for magazines.

Anya closed her bank accounts and “settled” with the smallest one for $600.

Today, the same company called her and says she owes over $270 but will “settle” for $150. She wants to know if we have any ideas for getting rid of them when they call. Sure we do, inside…

1) Tell them fuck off.
2) Report the calls to the police as harassing.
3) Check out our posts (1 and 2) about dealing with bad collectors.
4) Get a lawyer to send them a cease and desist letter.
5) Change your phone number.

Anya… please don’t buy anything from a telemarketer. You were completely scammed. All those “confirmation” calls were somebody or somebodies recording you as they tricked you into saying “yes” and handing over your billing info. They then went and signed you up for bogus magazine subscriptions. We’re sorry that this happened to you but now you need to buck up and stand up for yourself.

Her full letter below.

Hi, I have signed up for this company one unlucky day as I answered the call of a telemarketer. Soon after I received many more calls “confirming” my information. They had all my info except my debit card. The amount I agreed to (I don’t exactly remember now) was somewhere between 14 and 44 dollars a month.

When I finally checked my bank statement – I had close to 200 dollars a month being withdrawn from my account. I closed my accounts and began receiving phone calls from what ended up being like 10 different companies each stating that I have a balance with them between 800 and 8000 dollars! For Magazines?!!!!!

Finally I decided that I am not answering any more phone calls. The only one I agreed to pay out was the above named company which also had the “smallest” amount of supposed debt. I was shocked to find out that I owe them supposedly over 700 dollars!!! It was a very tough time for me and I did not have the time to think through all that was going on. It was easier just to pay the “settlement of $600 even though I had to put that on credit card. That was about 2 years ago.

Today I was once again contacted by the same company saying that I owe them over $270 but they will settle for $150. This is getting ridiculous. I wonder if there will be any way of getting rid of them. If you have any suggestions – please help. Your advice will be greatly appreciated. (I don’t know what to do. I destroyed all records after getting married because I have not heard from them in about 2 years and I thought this nightmare was over!)”


Edit Your Comment

  1. AndyAndy719 says:

    Did you actually receive the magazines?

    I would just go on a disputing spree. Screw them. Prove the debt. Get names and addresses for each “creditor” and send them formal letters disputing the debt in accordance to credit laws.

    Are they reporting bad credit? Dispute that too.

    I wouldnt give my information to anyone over the telephone. Ever. I dont care if he’s selling me 400 tons of gold UPS’s daily to my house, never ever ever ever ever give out bank, personal, or public information. Period.

    I’d dispute it and make them prove you received goods and/or services. Chances are they’ll go away. It sounds like a numbers game, call X amount of people, 1% will respond. Out of the 1%, so many will pay/not notice the crazy charges, etc, the ones that dont, threaten with collecction crap.

    Its crap. Anyone with a laser printer and some blank check stock can make deposits into their account using their information, and put “authorized by phone” on the check.

    I would really really tell these people to stuff it. and for future reference, never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever give out your information.

  2. AndyAndy719 says:

    Correction – anyone with a laser printer and some blank check stock can make deposits into their account using YOUR information.

  3. bambino says:

    “They had all my info except my debit card.”


  4. Mr. Gunn says:

    “a balance with them between 800 and 8000 dollars”

    WTF? Are people really this stupid? Your balance with anyone is an exact number in dollars and cents. You don’t owe anyone anything if they can’t tell you exactly how much.

  5. gonzaga707 says:

    Same thing happened to be, days after turning 18 (2003) i got a call from International Magazine Service of Arizona , It sounded a good deal, 14 dollars a month. They took almost 70 each month and i could not cancel, So i stopped paying and they charged me 800 for magainzes i had not yet received. So they called and called and this guy named russou or something, said that if i didnt payed they were gona refer my case to the D.A office, stupidly i gave em 400… .. Stupid teen… :(