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Breaking News 2009

March 26, 2009: Wisconsin Passes 'Malinda's Act'

On March 24, 2009 Malinda's Traveling Sales Crew Protection Act (SB-4)
was passed by the Wisconsin Senate (27-6)
and by the Wisconsin House of Representatives (68-30)
On March 26, 2009 Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle signed the bill into law.

For more information please contact Wisconsin State Senator Jon Erpenbach

Web Site: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/senate/sen27/news
Senator Jon Erpenbach
8 South, State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707-7882
(608)266-6670 or toll-free (888) 549-0027
Fax: (608) 266-2508
E-mail: Sen.Erpenbach@legis.wi.gov

Read Press Release
More information on the new legislation can also be found on this web site.

"Malinda's Act" becomes active in the state of Wisconsin on April 10, 2010.



Dedicated Memorial Info Clip:

Yarmouth, Massachusetts Passes Strict Door-to-Door Sales 'No Knock'
Solicitation Ordinance/Regulations

DOOR TO DOOR BY-LAW-codified.htm
Read This New 'No Knock' Solicitation Law

For more information:
Contact: Officer Frank Frederickson
Yarmouth, Massachusetts Police Department
http://www.yarmouth.ma.us/index.aspx?NID=128
Yarmouth, Massachusetts:
http://www.yarmouth.ma.us


STOP DOOR-TO-DOOR SOLICITATION
CARE2petitionsite
NO 2 DOOR-TO-DOOR
Target: To stop solicitation in private areas such as houses, cell phones, and personal email Sponsored by:
NODOOR2DOOR.ORG

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/no-2-door-to-door


DMPG: A Blast From The Past:

Time Magazine:
The Press: Slamming the Door
Monday, Jun. 18, 1951
Up to a housewife's door in Alexandria, La. one day in 1949 stepped Magazine Salesman Jack H. Breard to sell combination subscriptions to several magazines (Saturday Evening Post, Newsweek and Ladies Home Journal). But Breard was really trying to get arrested, to test a city ordinance forbidding door-to-door visits without prior permission of householders. Obligingly, Alexandria's police arrested Salesman Breard, and he was ordered to pay a $25 fine or go to jail for 30 days.

Three associations, representing door-to-door sellers of everything from Fuller Brushes to encyclopedias, joined with Breard to appeal his case, since the law dealt a heavy blow to the house-to-house selling of $1.4 billion in consumer goods each year, including some 10,000,000 magazine subscriptions. They wanted to test the constitutionality of the "Green River" ordinance which over 400 U.S. communities have adopted since Green River, Wyo. passed the first one in 1931 to slam the door on solicitors. Breard's lawyers charged that his arrest violated both freedom of the press and free speech. Last week, by 6-to-3, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled otherwise, affirmed the right of any community to restrict door-to-door selling. Justice Stanley Reed, speaking for the majority, wrote: "Subscriptions may be made by anyone interested in receiving the magazines without the annoyances of house-to-house canvassing."

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,814989,00.html


Kissimmee, Florida
Arrests of salesmen in bloody Osceola County beating attracts attention of national group monitoring door-to-door magazine sales.
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Midwest Circulation LLC
December 31, 2009
Arrests of salesmen in bloody Osceola County beating attracts
attention of national group monitoring door-to-door magazine sales.
By Henry Pierson Curtis, Orlando Sentinel
5:06 p.m. EST, December 31, 2009
KISSIMMEE – Two national groups say the recent arrests of two magazine salesmen charged with beating a colleague at an Osceola County motel represent a nationwide surge in violence in a door-to-door business where workers can't meet quotas in the recession.

Parent Watch, one of the groups, has been following the industry for 30 years that hires young adults to travel across country in teams selling magazine subscriptions to earn points for prizes, cash awards and shopping sprees.

"The crews for the most point seem to be more on edge than ever before because they can't sell," said Parent Watch founder Earline Williams, who handles two to six phone calls a day from frightened, stranded workers seeking bus fare home. "The industry's ouf of control as far as violence."

On Dec. 16, Osceola County deputies found a salesman known as " The Kid" bleeding from multiple wounds outside America's Best Inn at 5150 W. U.S. Highway 192, according to sheriff's reports.

The victim, Brian Emery, told deputies he recently had been hired to sell magazines and slept with other team members in a motel room rented by the company. Late on Dec. 15, some of his team members gave him $12 to buy beer but became enraged when he bought the wrong brand, the report stated.

Justine Angermeier, a 24-year-old salesman, is charged with breaking a 32-ounce beer bottle against Emery's right eye and cheekbone. Jeremy Kirkemeir, 20, a team member with a criminal record in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri, is charged with taking part in a beating that followed, according to court records. Both were released on bail from the Osceola County Jail.

On Thursday, about 30 salespeople working for Midwest Circulation LLC, a door-to-door magazine sales company, checked out America's Best Inn on Thursday afternoon, according to the motel staff. Midwest Circulation manager Bridgett Robbins, who lists Angermeier as a friend on her Myspace.com page, did not return a telephone request for comment.

The group's activities prompted a public warning in Gainesville in November, when about 50 Midwest Circulation workers started selling magazines in Alachua County, according to the Gainesville Sun. "Our patrol division has been advised to be on the lookout for places where these folks may be working and that they do have criminal histories," sheriff's spokesman Art Forgey told the newspaper.

Few of the magazine sales teams do background checks on their workers, according Phil Ellenbecker of http://www.travelingsalescrews.info , a national group based in Wisconsin that has tracked about 300 felony crimes and 86 deaths attributed to door-to-door vendors.

"It's not uncommon to get recently released felons knocking on your door trying to sell you magazines," said Ellenbecker. "They've been linked to a number of unsolved rapes and murders."

Henry Pierson Curtis can be reached at 407-420-5257 or hcurtis@orlandosentinel.com.
By Henry Pierson Curtis, Orlando Sentinel
http://www.orlandosentinel.com
Orlando, Florida
Read This Story


Lehigh Acres, Florida
Door-to-door salesman charged with scheming to defraud
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Prestige USA
A.K.A.: Prestige Sales
December 30, 2009
Door-to-door salesman charged with scheming to defraud
Lehigh Acres Citizen
POSTED: December 30, 2009
An Arizona man's story about being a magazine salesman had an unhappy ending. Matthew Maio, 26, of 6202 W. Nancy Road, Glendale, Arizona, was arrested and charged with solicitation, loitering and prowling and scheme to defraud.

Earlier this month, Sheriff's investigators said Maio knocked on the door of a residence in The Reserves, a gated community. Maio advised the homeowner that he lived in the community and was selling magazine subscriptions for Prestige USA. The homeowner became suspicious and asked Maio where he lived.

Maio gave the homeowner an address that the homeowner knew was fictitious. The homeowner then pointed out that the community has several "no soliciting" signs posted and that Maio should not be soliciting. Maio walked away.

Without Maio's knowledge, the homeowner followed Maio as he exited the community on foot and walked across Estero Parkway and into another gated community, The Rookery.

There Maio approached several more houses. One of those homeowners told detectives that at no time did Maio identify himself as a magazine salesman, but instead showed him a brochure of equipment he was working on and asked for money.

When confronted, Maio had two receipts for magazine sales, each for $49 as well as a check for $198, authorities said. The check appeared to have been altered with a one written in front of the "98" and "One Hundred" squeezed in place in front of "Ninety-Eight Dollars." When the check writer was located, she told detectives she had written the check for $98 and that it had been altered. She has the check number listed in her register as $98, authorities said.

Maio's story to detectives changed several times when he was questioned.

The Lee County Sheriff's Office Economic Crimes Unit continues its investigation and believes there may be more victims.

If you placed a magazine order with a door-to-door solicitor, please review your order and means of payment and contact the Lee County Sheriff's Office Economic Crimes Unit at (239) 258-3240.
Lehigh Acres Citizen
http://www.lehighacrescitizen.com
Lehigh Acres, Florida
Read This Story


St. Louis, Missouri
BBB lists 2009 scams
December 28, 2009
BBB lists 2009 scams
St. Louis Business Journal
Monday, December 28, 2009, 4:53pm CST
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) in Eastern Missouri and Southern Illinois released its list of the top scams and rip-offs of 2009.

All are attempts to separate consumers from their money, the group said.

In alphabetical order:

• Advance fee loans: Legitimate companies do not charge a fee to help borrowers refinance their loans, the BBB said.

• Door-to-door sales: Beware of high-pressure sales tactics by people selling magazine subscriptions, burglar alarms, vacuum cleaners and other items to obtain payment for items that never arrive or fail to meet buyers’ expectations.

• Friend/family in distress: Also known as the “grandma scam,” a caller posing as a friend or family member says he or she is in trouble and asks the victim to advance thousands of dollars by wire to post bail or pay fees.

• H1N1 flu scams: Consumers were contacted in several ways to scare them into buying cures or information to prevent the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu.

• Lottery and fake check scams: Letters purporting to be from a well-known company or charity are used to convince consumers they have won millions of dollars in a (non-existent) lottery but must wire money to pay taxes or fees before receiving the prize.

• Job hunter scams: Job seekers have been asked to pay fees to be considered for a job, or other scammers try to gain access to personal information such as bank account or Social Security numbers, under the guise of evaluating a potential employee.

• Memorabilia: The election of President Barack Obama and the death of entertainer Michael Jackson provided opportunities for scammers to sell commemorative collectibles at inflated prices.

• Mystery shopping: Some scams tell consumers they will be paid to shop at a store and evaluate its customer service. Others are sent authentic-looking checks that are supposed to cover the cost of doing business, and may be asked to wire money back to the scammers to evaluate a money wiring service. The checks are fake.

• Office supply sales: Telemarketers call offering office supplies at a discount, saying their company is relocating and must liquidate inventory. Others imply that a company officer already authorized an order, then send inflated bills and more supplies than ordered. Refunds are difficult to obtain.

• Phishing e-mails: Phishing e-mails appear to be sent from government agencies to trick victims into divulging financial information or to infect the victim’s computer with viruses and malware.

• Robocalls: Automated telephone calls claim that the consumer’s automobile warranty is about to expire or that a bank is offering to lower the interest rate on their credit card. The number of violations of federal telemarketing laws prompted the FTC to restrict the use of robocalls.

• Teeth-whitening offers: Consumers thought they were signing up for a free trial of teeth-whitening products, but say they received multiple bills for products and services they didn’t want.

• Weight-loss pill free trial offers: Ads offering free trials of acai berry or resveratrol weight loss pills ended up costing consumers money by automatically enrolling them in a program that charged monthly fees to their credit cards.

Consumers can check a business’s Reliability Report by calling (314) 645-3300 or by going online to www.bbb.org, the nonprofit organization’s Web site.
St. Louis Business Journal
http://stlouis.bizjournals.com
St. Louis, Missouri
Read This Story


Martin County, Florida
Martin residents warned of door-to-door charity scams
December 22, 2009
Martin residents warned of door-to-door charity scams
By Lamaur Stancil
TCPalm.com
Posted December 22, 2009 at 11:53 a.m.
MARTIN COUNTY — Authorities are warning Martin County residents to be wary of scam artists going door-to-door to selling products for charity.

Residents have reported the scams to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office Economic Crimes Unit. In the sales pitch, the representative might explain they are working to help get their lives back on track. They might also say they are raising money on behalf of a charity, for a school trip or even to support troops in Iraq, the Sheriff’s Office said. In one case, a 72-year-old Jensen Beach man Monday invited two of the salesmen into his home in the 1600 block of Old Dixie Highway, according to an incident report. The senior citizen and his daughter wrote checks totalling $110, which the men told them would pay for books for children, the report said. After they left, the resident checked the Web site the men said they represented and discovered it was a scam. Residents have described the salesmen as college-aged males. The Sheriff’s Office recommends researching any organization before making a charitable donation and avoid giving personal information to strangers.
By Lamaur Stancil
TCPalm.com
tcpalm.com
Stuart, Florida
Read This Story


Clarksville, Teenssee
Man Selling Magazines Attacks Woman
December 21, 2009
Man Selling Magazines Attacks Woman
Police Say Scammers Abundant During Holiday Season
Reported by Carley Gordon
WSMV-TV
POSTED: 12:33 pm CST December 21, 2009
UPDATED: 6:22 pm CST December 21, 2009
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. -- Police are warning people about a possible scammer in Clarksville. So far, they said they only know of one victim.

Officers said a man knocked on Krystie Chancey's door at her home on N. Charles Avenue, saying he worked for Austin Peay State University and then tried to sell her magazines.

According to police, he then forced his way into her mobile home, attacked her and ran away. He didn't take anything inside, police said.

"He rushed in my door and pushed me down on the couch and started kissing on me, reached his hand up my shirt," said Chancey. "I was really terrified. My kids was screaming, and I didn't know what to do."

Police said scammers come out of the woodwork during the holiday season and that people shouldn't open their doors to strangers.

"If somebody knocks on your door, if you can look outside before you open that door, and if you don't know the person, talk to them through the door and then make your decision at that point in time," said Officer Jim Knoll of the Clarksville Police Department.

Chancey said she thought she took the right precautionary steps.

"I said I could listen to him. I wanted him to stand on my top step, not come in," she said.

Chancey said that the man had the paperwork for magazine sales. Representatives from APSU said they aren't aware of any school programs that require students to sell magazines for classes.

Anyone who receives a home visit from this man is asked to contact the Clarksville Police Department.

"I told all my neighbors and stuff to look out and be careful because I really thought it was just an APSU student that was trying to raise money for a class, and I opened my door to talk to him," said Chancey. "I've not been able to sleep since then."
Reported by Carley Gordon
WSMV-TV
wsmv.com
Nashville, Teenssee
Read This Story


Winnetka, California
Salesman Charged In Sexual Assault, Burglary
December 21, 2009
Salesman Charged In Sexual Assault, Burglary
LOS ANGELES (CBS)
cbs2.com
Dec 21, 2009 5:42 pm US/Pacific
A magazine salesman was charged Monday in connection with a home-invasion robbery and attempted rape in the Winnetka area.

Gerald Vidal, 23, faces two counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object and one count each of residential burglary, attempted sodomy by use of force, assault with a deadly weapon involving a stick, kidnapping and assault to commit a felony during the commission of a first-degree burglary.

Vidal was being held on $5.6 million bail.

Officers were called to the scene at 11:10 a.m. last Thursday and found the 30-year-old female victim alone and severely beaten, Los Angeles police spokesman Bruce Borihanh said.

"The victim told the officers that the suspect had tried to sell her a magazine subscription but after she declined to buy, he forced his way into her home, beat her, sexually assaulted her and stole money from her," Borihanh said.

"The victim was able to give officers a detailed description of the suspect," he said. "During a canvass of the neighborhood, officers found several neighbors who had seen the suspect going door-to-door selling magazine subscriptions prior to the attack."

Police had been recently investigating complaints from residents in the area about door-to-door magazine salesman, Borihanh said.

Officer Dennis Cunningham had discovered a door-to-door magazine sales crew operating out of a local motel. After the attack, he met with the motel staff and was able to tentatively identify the suspect, he said.

"Using a photo provided by the manager for the sales crew, officers canvassed the area and located the suspect three hours later," Borihanh said. "The suspect ... was positively identified by the victim and witnesses."

The suspect listed a Woodland Hills address when booked but police initially described him as being from Texas.

If convicted, Vidal faces a potential life prison sentence with the possibility of parole.
LOS ANGELES (CBS)
cbs2.com
Los Angeles, California
Read This Story


Winnetka, California
Magazine salesman arrested in sexual assault, home invasion in Valley
December 19, 2009
Magazine salesman arrested in sexual assault, home invasion in Valley
Gerald Vidal, who was selling subscriptions in the Winnetka area, is accused of forcing his way into a woman's home and attacking her. She was hospitalized and is in stable condition.
By Seema Mehta
The Los Angeles Times
December 19, 2009
A 23-year-old man who was selling magazine subscriptions door to door in the Winnetka area has been arrested after brutally attacking and sexually assaulting a woman who changed her mind about buying a subscription, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Gerald Vidal was arrested Thursday on suspicion of home-invasion robbery and attempted rape and is being held on $5.6-million bail, said Det. Darcie Cobos. More charges are likely. The Texas native will be arraigned Monday.

Vidal was part of a subscription-selling crew from out of state. Such operations have been drawing increased police scrutiny.

About 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Vidal knocked on the woman's door and she agreed to buy magazines. While she went to get money, Vidal waited on the sidewalk, said Senior Lead Officer Dennis Cunningham. But when she returned and told him she had changed her mind, he forced his way into her home, hit her repeatedly in the head and tried to rape her in the entryway to her home. The victim fought back by scratching and choking him.

Vidal then dragged her from room to room, ransacking the home and demanding money. The woman, 30, continued to resist, and Vidal fled the home, Cunningham said.

Cunningham, who responded to the call, had stopped two subscription sellers the prior day in West Hills, and knew there was a crew from out of state staying at a nearby motel. He went there, where a man from the crew identified Vidal and told Cunningham of the suspect's whereabouts. Police arrested him at 3:30 p.m., and the victim briefly left the hospital to identify him.

The victim suffered massive head injuries and is hospitalized in stable condition.

Cunningham said he had already been investigating the subscription-selling crews, which are typically from out of state and go to various neighborhoods for a short period of time to sell subscriptions on commission.

"They present themselves as students trying to earn points for scholarships," he said. "In reality, they earn a commission for each sale."

Criminals are increasingly joining the crews so they can case neighborhoods, burglarize homes, or pocket the cash from subscription sales, he said.

Police declined to release a picture of Vidal, but urged anyone with information about the crime or similar attacks to call Cobos at (818) 756-4820 or the 24-hour tip line at (877) LAPD-24-7.
seema.mehta@latimes.com
By Seema Mehta
seema.mehta@latimes.com
The Los Angeles Times
latimes.com
Los Angeles, California
Read This Story


Winnetka, California
Salesman arrested for assault, attempted rape
December 18, 2009
Salesman arrested for assault, attempted rape
Rob Hayes
KABC-TV
Friday, December 18, 2009
WINNETKA, Calif. (KABC) -- Los Angeles police are looking for other possible victims of a man suspected of forcing his way into a Winnetka-area home, robbing a woman and attempting to rape her. Gerald Vidal, 23, is suspected of being a door-to-door magazine salesman who invaded a woman's home Thursday morning. Vidal is suspected of attacking her and trying to rape her, before making off with an undisclosed amount of money. Officers found the victim, a 30-year-old woman, severely beaten inside her home in the Winnetka area. "He forced his way into her home, struck her multiple times in the head, removed her clothing and then he attempted to rape her in her home," said LAPD Officer Dennis Cunningham. The woman told officers a man tried to sell her a magazine subscription and after she declined, he barged into her home. "When she told me, I almost had a heart attack," said Hong Thai, the victim's aunt. She said that her niece was badly beaten, but she is recovering. Thai said that she won't be opening her door to salespeople any time soon. "Right now, I'm thinking about making a security door, and after I get home, I'm nervous to get in," said Thai. The LAPD said the victim was able to give officers a detailed description of her attacker. And officers found several neighbors who had seen a man in the area. Cunningham has been investigating recent complaints about door-to-door magazine sales, and he discovered a crew of salespeople staying at a local hotel. With the help of the motel manager, the suspect was located within three hours. Amazingly, he was back on the sales beat, going door to door. "He was actually soliciting magazines to senior citizens in the Fallbrook/Burbank area," said Cunningham. Vidal has been identified by the victim and neighbors. He was being held on $5.6 million bail. Investigators said that crime rates tend to rise when bussed-in sales crews come into the city. "They come from out of state, so they come in, they can commit their crimes and they're gone in a week or two, and we have no way of following up, and a lot of our crimes go unsolved," said Cunningham. The LAPD would like to hear from anyone with information about the crime or any similar attacks. Contact Detective Darcie Cobos at (818) 756-4820, or call the LAPD 24-hour tip line at (877) LAPD-24-7.
Rob Hayes
KABC-TV/DT
abclocal.go.com
Glendale, California
Read This Story


Winnetka, California
Magazine Salesman Held in Home Invasion Robbery
December 18, 2009
Magazine Salesman Held in Home Invasion Robbery
KNX 10.70 News
CBS Broadcasting, Inc.
Posted: Friday, 18 December 2009 2:19PM
LOS ANGELES (CBS) -- Police arrested a Texas man selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door on suspicion of committing a home-invasion robbery and attempted rape in the Winnetka area.

Gerald Vidal, 23, was held on $5.6 million bail after the incident in the Winnetka area. Police would not disclose the address.

Officers were called to the scene at 11:10 a.m. Thursday and found the 30-year-old female victim alone and severely beaten, Los Angeles police spokesman Bruce Borihanh said.

"The victim told the officers that the suspect had tried to sell her a magazine subscription but after she declined to buy, he forced his way into her home, beat her, sexually assaulted her and stole money from her," Borihanh said.

"The victim was able to give officers a detailed description of the suspect," he said. "During a canvass of the neighborhood, officers found several neighbors who had seen the suspect going door-to-door selling magazine subscriptions prior to the attack."

Police had been recently investigating complaints from residents in the area about door-to-door magazine salesman, Borihanh said.

Officer Dennis Cunningham had discovered a door-to-door magazine sales crew operating out of a local motel. After the attack, he met with the motel staff and was able to tentatively identify the suspect, he said.

"Using a photo provided by the manager for the sales crew, officers canvassed the area and located the suspect three hours later," Borihanh said. "The suspect ... was positively identified by the victim and witnesses."

Anyone with information about the crime or any similar attacks can call Detective Darcie Cobos at (818) 756-4820; or the 24-hour tip line, (877) LAPD-24-7.
CBS Broadcasting, Inc.
KNX 10.70 News
CBS Broadcasting, Inc.
knx1070.com
Los Angeles, California
Read This Story


Fort Meyers, Florida
Naples-based salesman didn't stand a chance
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Editor & Chief Review Inc.
A.K.A.: Fidelity Readers Service
President: Belo Kellam
December 17, 2009
Naples-based salesman didn't stand a chance
Man selling magazines stops at the wrong house
Melanie Payne • tellmel@news-press.com • December 17, 2009
http://www.news-press.com

1:10 A.M. — Willie Wiggins rang the wrong doorbell Monday.

It was mine.

Wiggins was going door-to-door in my Fort Myers neighborhood selling magazine subscriptions for a Naples-based company, Editor & Chief Review Inc.

Wiggins had the wrong house for one simple reason: I don't buy from door-to-door salespeople.

Here's just one reason why:

On Saturday, the Lee County Sheriff's Office arrested a door-to-door magazine subscription salesman in Estero, charging him with solicitation, loitering and prowling and scheming to defraud.

According to the arrest report, an 84-year-old woman had written a $98 check to Matthew Michael Maio to pay for two subscriptions. Police allege Maio changed the amount to $198.

Maio, 26, said he works for a company in Phoenix and he had an outstanding warrant in Virginia for soliciting without a permit.

Wiggins - the salesman who came to my door - didn't have a City of Fort Myers license to canvass and solicit, but Belo Kellam, president of Editor & Chief, said he doesn't need one because he's licensed in Collier County.

"If you (get a license) in one county, you don't have to do it in another. But a lot of police people don't understand that," Kellam said.

The people who work for Kellam are independent contractors who earn points when they sell magazines. Various point levels earn cash, and the top four point-getters can win trips, Kellam said.

The ordinances many cities have regulating door-to-door sales are too cumbersome, Kellam said. The intention is to cut out the unscrupulous itinerant salesman, but it hurts legitimate businesses such as his and the onerous requirements violate interstate commerce laws, Kellam said.

Mike Titmuss, Fort Myers' chief code enforcement manager, agrees with Kellam on one point.

"The system is set up to dissuade the fly-by-night (salesman) who blows through town," Kellam said.

But Titmuss disagrees with Kellam about who needs a permit. According to Titmuss, if people are selling magazines door-to-door in Fort Myers, they need to get a license from the city.

Usually, Titmuss said, when peddlers hit the river side of McGregor Boulevard, someone calls the police.

Police didn't get calls complaining about door-to-door salesmen Monday night when Wiggins and his cohorts worked my neighborhood. But some folks were annoyed with the early evening visitors.

Mitch Haley, for one.

"My concern is that he tried to be threatening and that might have worked on a senior citizen," Haley wrote in an e-mail to me.

"Magazine scams are always around, and a person should never buy from a door-to-door salesperson."

Stacey Payne, community relations manager with the Lee County Sheriff's Office, wouldn't say "never" but she certainly discourages the practice.

Payne, no relation to me, said if you are interested in purchasing magazines or whatever else the person is selling, get printed information about the company and check to see whether the offer is legitimate before paying.

Payne also offered these tips:

- You aren't obligated to answer the door. Don't open it if you don't want to be bothered.

- Take a telephone with you to the door and have someone on the line with you - or say that you do.

- Never invite the salesman into your home.

- To see if the peddler has a legitimate license or permit for door-to-door sales in your area, call the sheriff's office or police department.

And speaking of law enforcement, as a result of Maio's arrest, the sheriff's office is asking people who ordered magazines from a door-to-door solicitor to contact the Economic Crimes Unit at 258-3240.
Melanie Payne • tellmel@news-press.com
http://www.news-press.com
Fort Meyers, Florida
Read This Story


Lehigh Acres, Florida
Door to door solicitor is arrested
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Prestige USA
A.K.A.: Prestige Sales

December 17, 2009
Door to door solicitor is arrested
Lehigh Acres Citizen
POSTED: December 17, 2009
http://www.lehighacrescitizen.com
An Arizona man's story about being a magazine salesman had an unhappy ending. Matthew Maio, 26, of 6202 W. Nancy Road, Glendale, Arizona, was arrested and charged with solicitation, loitering and prowling and scheme to defraud.

On December 12, 2009, Sheriff's investigators said Maio knocked on the door of a residence in The Reserves, a gated community. Maio advised the homeowner that he lived in the community and was selling magazine subscriptions for Prestige USA. The homeowner became suspicious and asked Maio where he lived. Maio gave the homeowner an address that the homeowner knew was fictitious. The homeowner then pointed out that the community has several "no soliciting" signs posted and that Maio should not be soliciting. Maio walked away.

Without Maio's knowledge, the homeowner followed Maio as he exited the community on foot and walked across Estero Parkway and into another gated community, The Rookery. There Maio approached several more houses. One of those homeowners told detectives that at no time did Maio identify himself as a magazine salesman, but instead showed him a brochure of equipment he was working on and asked for money.

When confronted, Maio had two receipts for magazine sales, each for $49 as well as a check for $198. The check appeared to have been altered with a one written in front of the "98" and "One Hundred" squeezed in place in front of "Ninety-Eight Dollars." When the check writer was located, she told detectives she had written the check for $98 and that it had been altered. She has the check number listed in her register as $98, authorities said.

Maio's story to detectives changed several times when he was questioned.

The Lee County Sheriff's Office Economic Crimes Unit continues its investigation and believes there may be more victims. If you placed a magazine order with a door-to-door solicitor, please review your order and means of payment and contact the Lee County Sheriff's Office Economic Crimes Unit at (239) 258-3240.
Lehigh Acres Citizen
http://www.lehighacrescitizen.com
Lehigh Acres, Florida
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
Homeowner Stabs Suspected Thief Posing As Magazine Seller
December 16, 2009
Homeowner Stabs Suspected Thief Posing As Magazine Seller
Police say the woman did not want to buy magazines,
but allowed the two suspects, 20-year-old Rosette Graves and Melissa Bales, into the residence so she could give
them a monetary donation.
Once in the home, Graves distracted the homeowner by
asking to use the restroom.
Posted: 12:20 AM Dec 16, 2009
Reporter: KKTV
Email Address: news@kktv.com
Two women are in the hospital after deputies say a homeowner stabbed a suspected thief. Deputies say it happened in the Cimarron Hills neighborhood of the Springs about 8:30 Tuesday night. Two women said they were selling magazines and were invited into a home on Petersburg Court. Police say the woman did not want to buy magazines, but allowed the two suspects, 20-year-old Rosette Graves and Melissa Bales, into the residence so she could give them a monetary donation. Once in the home, Graves distracted the homeowner by asking to use the restroom. Bales then found the homeowner's purse and took money from it. The woman say Bales allegedly stealing the money and confronted her. Bales then locked the front door, so the homeowner grabbed a knife and a struggle ensued. During the fight, the homeowner stabbed one of the women multiple times and cut herself by mistake. Authorities tell us the women got away in a green van driven by another person. They were stopped near Astrozon and Powers by Colorado Springs police. A man who was driving the van was detained with the two suspects for questioning. Bales and Graves are being charged with Second Degree Burglary, Robbery, and False Imprisonment. They are currently being held at the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center on a $10,000 bond. Click on the Photos tab to see pictures of the suspects. The homeowner and the stabbed suspect are in separate hospitals getting treatment. Deputies say the wounds are not life-threatening.
Stay with KKTV.com and tune in to 11 News This Morning for the latest.
Reporter: KKTV
Email Address: news@kktv.com
kktv.com
Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Traveling Youth Crews
December 16, 2009
Traveling Youth Crews
by Robin Landry
AC Associated Content
December 16, 2009

The Dark Side of Door-to-Door Sales

It was a blisteringly hot, August day when my doorbell rang. When I opened the door a polite young girl of about sixteen or so immediately launched into a well rehearsed sales pitch for magazines and children's books which she indicated could be donated to a well respected local charity if I did not wish to keep the subscriptions for myself. It seemed plausible enough and an easy way to help a good cause so I agreed. As I was writing the check, however, she made one more rather poignant plea, "I'm sorry, but it is so hot that I feel like I'm kind of freaking out. May I please have some water?"

I happily provided her with a glass of water in a "to go" cup with plenty of ice, but as I closed the door I felt uneasy. There was something not quite right about the entire encounter, although I couldn't pinpoint exactly what it was. It was only later, when recounting the episode with my mom that I learned that the young woman was most likely part of a traveling youth sales crew. Intrigued, I began researching this phenomenon and was shocked and appalled by what I found.

All across the United States young people are recruited for traveling sales crews, lured by promises of big money and fabulous prizes. The sad reality, however is that they are shuttled from town to town, dropped off in unfamiliar neighborhoods with no supervision and expected to meet impossible sales goals. If they fail to meet their goals, abuse, both verbal and physical is often the result. Worse still, most rarely receive the money or prize incentives that they were promised and are often reduced to a state that resembles something that is a cross between indentured servitude and the perpetual debt of old time sharecroppers.

There are also charges that these young sales agents are being driven around by crew leaders who have unsafe driving records or drug or alcohol problems. Claims of sexual harassment are common. Some low performing sales agents have even reported that they were denied food, a bed for the night, or both if they repeatedly failed to meet their quotas.
by Robin Landry
AC Associated Content
http://www.associatedcontent.com
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Naples, Florida
Lee deputies arrest man posing as door-to-door salesman
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Prestige USA
A.K.A.: Prestige Sales

December 16, 2009
Lee deputies arrest man posing as door-to-door salesman
By Naples Daily News staff report
Naples Daily News
Posted December 16, 2009 at 5:47 p.m.
Lee County deputies arrested a man posing as a door-to-door magazine salesman in Estero , the Sheriff’s Office reported. Matthew Maio, 26, of Glendale, Ariz., was confronted by deputies after a homeowner at The Reserves became suspicious and contacted the Sheriff’s Office. The homeowner said that on Dec. 12, Maio identified himself as a salesman with Prestige USA, a magazine company, and said he lived in the neighborhood. When the homeowner challenged Maio’s account, the suspect left the neighborhood and walked into nearby community The Rookery. Maio then presented himself to other homeowners as an equipment salesman, the Sheriff’s Office reported. One complainant told deputies she wrote Maio a $98 check, which he altered to $198. The Economic Crime Unit of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office is looking for anyone else who may have given money to Maio. Those with information are encouraged to call the unit at 239-258-3240.
By Naples Daily News staff report
Naples Daily News
http://m.naplesnews.com
Naples, Florida
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Estero, Florida
Deputies bust magazine solicitor
December 16, 2009
Deputies bust magazine solicitor
NBC2 News
Posted: Dec 16, 2009 11:30 AM CST
Updated: Dec 16, 2009 5:20 PM CST
http://www.nbc-2.com
A man deputies say was a door-to-door con artist was arrested in Estero – and their may be more victims out there.

Deputies were told about 26-year-old Matthew Maio, of Glendale, Arizona, by a resident of The Reserves on Saturday.

The resident told investigators Maio knocked on their door and said he lived in the community and was selling magazine subscriptions.

But they say Maio gave the homeowner an address they knew didn't exist, and they told Maio that soliciting was not permitted in the community.

Maio left, but was tailed by the homeowner, who deputies say watched the suspect cross Estero Parkway and go into The Rookery development.

He allegedly stopped by several more homes. One homeowner told deputies Maio didn't mention magazines, instead he showed a brochure of equipment he said he was working on and asked for money.

Deputies caught up with him and found Maio had receipts for two magazine sales, for $49 each.

But the check he had from the purchaser was made out for $198 – with the number ‘1' looking like it was added after the check was handed over, and the words "one hundred" squeezed in before the "ninety eight dollars."

Deputies found the woman who wrote the check, who told them it was made out for $98.

Investigators say Maio's story about what he was doing changed several times during questioning.

He was arrested and charged with solicitation, loitering and prowling and scheme to defraud. He remains in the Lee County Jail.

But deputies say the case isn't closed yet – the Economic Crimes Unit believes more people may have been victimized by Maio.

Deputies ask that anyone who placed a magazine order with a door-to-door solicitor to check their order and their means of payment, then contact the Economic Crimes Unit at (239) 258-3240.
NBC2 News
http://www.nbc-2.com
Fort Myers, Florida
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EL CAJON, California
Grandmother's Attacker Found Guilty
DMPG Research:
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Court Documents reveal that Jeffrey Edward Nelson
Worked for:
Kirby Vacuum
End DMPG Research
December 14, 2009
Grandmother's Attacker Found Guilty
Reported by: Elex Michaelson
Email: elex.michaelson@sandiego6.com
San Diego 6 the CW (XETV-TV)
Last Update: 12/14/2009 11:53 pm


75-year-old Sandy Vinge underwent a 26 hour nigfhtmare when she was kidnapped, beaten and thrown in the trunk of her car. EL CAJON--20-year-old Jeffrey Edward Nelson looked unemotional and sat motionless as a jury convicted him of attempted murder and torture of 76-year-old Natalie "Sandy" Herbst Vinge.

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EL CAJON--20-year-old Jeffrey Edward Nelson looked unemotional and sat motionless as a jury convicted him of attempted murder and torture of 76-year-old Natalie "Sandy" Herbst Vinge.

In December of last year, Vinge was kidnapped from her La Mesa home, beaten, and put in the trunk of a car. She was eventually saved by a Sheriff who pulled over her captors for a traffic violation. Vinge was able to make enough noise to get the Sheriff's attention, who helped free her.

More than a year later, Vinge has mostly healed from her bruises and is grateful she does not have to worry about Nelson returning to her door. "I'm so pleased because if they had let him go, I wouldn't have been able to live here, I'd have to move."

She thanked all her friends and family who helped her get through this difficult time. She also was grateful the jury did not take Nelson's side.

"Some people may have thought he was nicer, because he was being very nice in court, but he's not nice" she said.

Prosecutor Paul Greenwood said Vinge was one of the most "remarkable" people he's ever met. "In all the cases I've handled in the last 13 years of elder abuse cases, every victim is special but she demonstrated amazing qualities. I don't know how any of us could have gone through the ordeal that she went through."

The jury only took 3 hours to reach this decision. "The worst part of a trial is waiting for the jury for a verdict...their quick verdict...I think sends a message."

Nelson had already plead guilty to ten other counts including burglary and carjacking, but wanted to face a jury on the attempted murder and torture charges.

His attorney, Bart Sheela, would not comment to media. He said he had "nothing good to say" and added he had flu-like symptoms and wanted to get home to take some cold medicine.

Nelson faces a sentencing hearing on February at the Courthouse in El Cajon. His accomplice Luis Osborne has a status hearing for his only trial scheduled for December 21st.

Vinge is looking forward to moving forward. "I am happy because this young man won't be able to do this to anybody else. And that's a strong concern of mine because there are ladies out there who are my age and who aren't as strong as I am."
Reported by: Elex Michaelson
Email: elex.michaelson@sandiego6.com
San Diego 6 the CW (XETV-TV)
http://www.sandiego6.com
San Diego, California
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Brockville, Ontario
Salesman charged with sex assault
December 14, 2009
Salesman charged with sex assault
Teen victim aids cops in making arrest
By RONALD ZAJAC, QMI Agency
cnews.canoe.ca
December 14, 2009
BROCKVILLE, Ont. - A text message from a quick-thinking teen allowed Brockville police to arrest an Ottawa man suspected of sex assault Saturday night.

Police were called around 6:30 p.m. to the south end, where a young woman was reportedly being sexually assaulted by a man doing door-to-door sales for an Ottawa firm, said Sgt. Todd Bertrend.

The 17-year-old victim reportedly opened her apartment door to the man, who then entered the apartment without her knowing, said Bertrend.

"I believe she re-enters her apartment to get some documentation and he goes into the apartment (after her)," he said.

The victim managed to send a text message to a family member who then called police.

"We arrested him a short time later in the area," said Bertrend.

The man was legitimately working for the Ottawa firm, said Bertrend, who did not have the identity of that company Sunday morning.

Bertrend would not provide more specific details about the location of the crime.

The victim did not require medical treatment, said the sergeant.

Although there was "physical contact" between the assailant and the victim, the incident was not a rape, he said.

"It was simply actions by him that fit the definition of a sexual assault," said Bertrend.

Ahmed Ali Ahmed, 18, of Ottawa, has been charged with sexual assault in connection with the incident, said Bertrend.

The accused also faces charges of break and enter, breach of an undertaking in connection with charges laid in Ottawa, and a charge of theft in connection with the theft of an item of the victim's clothing, said the sergeant.

The charges were processed in satellite court Sunday morning and the accused was in custody pending a bail hearing Monday at 2 p.m.

Bertrend commended the victim for her quick thinking. With an increasing number of people doing door-to-door sales, police warn city residents to remain vigilant and ready to call police if there is anything suspicious.

"I think it's just another example of how people need to be careful," said Bertrend.
By RONALD ZAJAC, QMI Agency
cnews.canoe.ca
Brockville, Ontario
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Burlington, North Carolina
Police urge caution with door-to-door peddlers
December 10, 2009
Police urge caution with door-to-door peddlers
Roselee Papandrea / Times-News
http://www.thetimesnews.com
December 10, 2009 5:00 PM

Several residents have reported to police that a group of people selling vacuums are going door to door in some Burlington neighborhoods.

Police can’t say whether it’s a legitimate business or not. But officials are reminding people that it is against city ordinances to solicit after dark and peddlers must have a permit. Any violations of the ordinance should be reported to police.

Burlington police Assistant Chief Greg Seel also warns that people shouldn’t let solicitors in their homes unless they are really interested in the product they are peddling.

“Unless you are really looking for what they are selling there is no reason to let them in,” Seel said.

At the end of last month, police received several complaints from residents in the west Burlington area, regarding people peddling vacuum cleaners. One man let the peddler into his home to do a demonstration.

While the peddler was in his home, the man noticed his wallet was missing and contacted police. Officers responded and found that there were about seven people working out of a van going door to door in the man’s neighborhood.

The man filed a larceny report, but no one was charged. Seel said the peddlers were warned about the city’s ordinance.

According to city ordinances, people with peddler’s permits are only permitted to knock on doors between 9 a.m. and 30 minutes before sunset. They are not allowed to solicit any time on Sunday. If residents post “no solicitors” or “no peddling allowed” signs on their house or mailbox, even someone with a peddler’s permit isn’t allowed to knock on the door.

People who violate the conditions of the permit could face a $50 fine. If the fine isn’t paid in 10 days, the person can be fined an additional $25. Violation of the city ordinance is considered a misdemeanor.

Police urge residents to think twice when dealing with a stranger at their door.

“Be careful who you let in your house,” Seel said.
Roselee Papandrea / Times-News
http://www.thetimesnews.com
Burlington, North Carolina
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Stuart, Florida
Police: Mich. Man Sold Magazines Without License
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
AntiLaziness
December 10, 2009
Police: Mich. Man Sold Magazines Without License
Man Accused Of Selling Magazines Door To Door In Stuart Neighborhood
WPBF-TV
POSTED: 10:17 am EST December 10, 2009
STUART, Fla. -- A Michigan man was arrested Wednesday after he went door to door selling magazines in a Stuart neighborhood without a license, police said. Eric Matthews, 21, of Pontiac, Mich., was arrested on a charge of soliciting without a license. Stuart police said Matthews told them he was working for a company called AntiLaziness out of LaPorte, Ind. Matthews said he had been traveling with a group who were dropped off in different neighborhoods. Police said Matthews was also found to be in possession of marijuana. His bond was set at $1,300.
WPBF-TV
http://www.wpbf.com
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
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Jacksonville, North Carolina
Beware salespeople going door to door
December 10, 2009
Beware salespeople going door to door
jdnews.com
December 10, 2009 9:37 AM

To The Editor:
I am tired of telling salespeople who come to my door holding products that neither I nor my neighbors are interested.

I don’t need someone to try and sell me a vacuum cleaner at an inflated price with the promise of a free gift. Nothing is for free.

They show up in a van, drop people off at various houses and try to gain entry. They do not display any badge, identification or permit. The vehicles have no corporate logo. Two people showed up last week obviously ignoring the no soliciting sign displayed in my front yard. I directed their attention to it and closed my front door.

Another group showed up this past Sunday night after dark asking my husband if he ever heard of a certain company — same van, different people. Again they were turned away. My sign is still up, but they still keep coming around.

I did a little checking of my own. They have many complaints against them nationwide, one of which is most disturbing — no background checks on these individuals, unscrupulous sales tactics and targeting senior citizens.

Now they are showing up more frequently despite repeated refusals.

This is becoming more than a nuisance, it’s becoming a very troublesome situation and possibly dangerous.

Now that we are in the holiday season, we all need to be more vigilant.

Perhaps, your newspaper could do an in-depth article on this operation and those like it. Please alert your readers not to let them in. They are strangers!

Barbara Buffell

Stella
jdnews.com
http://www.jdnews.com
Jacksonville, North Carolina
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Fort Myers Beach, Florida
Fort Myers Beach woman warns about possible scam
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Prestige Sales
December 10, 2009
Fort Myers Beach woman warns about possible scam
By Haley Hinds, WINK News
Story Created: Dec 10, 2009 at 6:25 PM EST
Story Updated: Dec 10, 2009 at 7:12 PM EST
FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. - It's your money, and a Lee County woman worries scammers may have taken it from her. Now she wants everyone to watch out when salespeople come knocking.

It starts with a knock at the door. A kid tells you they're selling magazines and books for charity. You pull out your checkbook. A month later, your magazine still isn't here, and your money is nowhere to be found.

You've been scammed. A Fort Myers Beach woman living on Ohio Avenue says she may be the latest victim. She claims she bought books from a kid working for "Prestige Sales." She later checked the Internet to find complaints like these: "beware...don't fall for it... i was scammed."

"It doesn't really surprise me, considering the economy and the way things are nowadays," neighbor Mark Panick said. "People are doing all kinds of crazy things to make money."

Stacey Payne at the Lee County Sheriff's Office says when the economy tanked, fraud line calls spiked. She hasn't heard much on Prestige Sales but warns, buyer beware. "Get the information that they're selling," Payne said. "Get whatever paperwork there may be and tell them, before I make the purchase, before I make my decision, I want to check into this and do a little more research."

The Better Business Bureau gives Prestige Sales an "F," it's lowest rating, for unresolved complaints. They're seeing an increase in scams involving door-to-door magazine sales. The State Attorney tells us they've also received complaints specifically about Prestige Sales.

You can Attorney General's Fraud Hotline at 1-866-966-7226 and the Lee County Sheriff's Office Fraud Line at 239-477-1242.
By Haley Hinds, WINK News
http://www.winknews.com
Fort Myers, Florida
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Tuson, Arizona
Homicide: Daniel Patrick Willis, 40
December 8, 2009
Homicide: Daniel Patrick Willis, 40
by Rynski on Dec.08, 2009, under life, murder, obvious signs of trauma
tucsoncitizen.com

Arrested: Robert Hines/TPD photo

Daniel Patrick Willis, 40, was found murdered on Dec. 6, according to a news release from the Tucson Police Department. Police officers and Tucson Fire Department personnel were called to 2300 block of East Eastland Street around 3:15 p.m., where they found Willis deceased. He exhibited “obvious signs of trauma.” Willis was often homeless and had been allowed to stay on a shack on the Eastland Street property. Detectives followed a trail of information that led them to Robert Hines, 23, who was subsequently booked into Pima County Jail on charges of first-degree murder relating to Willis’s death. No motive was disclosed. The investigation is ongoing and police are urging anyone with information on Willis’s whereabouts 24-hours prior to his death to call 911 or 88-CRIME.
by Rynski
tucsoncitizen.com
http://tucsoncitizen.com
Tuson, Arizona
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San Mateo, California
Teen facing trial for attempted rape
December 3, 2009
Teen facing trial for attempted rape
The Daily Journal
Daily Journal Staff Report
December 03, 2009, 02:52 AM
A 17-year-old Hayward boy accused of posing as a magazine salesman to attack two women working in a residential care home will stand trial in February on multiple felonies after failing to settle the case at a pretrial conference.

Christopher Joseph Cortez is charged with attempted rape, assault with the intent to commit rape, residential burglary and misdemeanor false imprisonment. He has pleaded not guilty.

He returns to court Feb. 1 for jury trial.

San Mateo police arrested Cortez March 19 after two women in their 50s reported being held against their will by a man who came to their residential care home workplace in the 2600 block of Holland Street and claimed to be selling magazine subscriptions. The assailant fled after the women fought back. Police found Cortez nearby in a van with other magazine salespeople. Both women later identified Cortez as the attacker.

Although Cortez is a juvenile, prosecutors charged him as an adult under California’s Proposition 21. If convicted of all charges, he faces 15 years to life in prison. Cortez remains in custody in lieu of $1 million bail at the Youth Services Center.
The Daily Journal
Daily Journal Staff Report
smdailyjournal.com
San Mateo, California
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Nevada
Door-to–Door Magazine Sales Scams
December 2, 2009
Door-to–Door Magazine Sales Scams
Nevada Fight Fraud
FightFraud.nv.gov
Last Updated: 12/02/09 08:01:38 AM
Beware of emotional appeals by someone selling door-to-door.
For example, the student selling magazine subscriptions using the appeal that your sale will help him/her get a college scholarship or other such rewards.

FTC's Cooling-Off Rule

If you buy from a door-to-door salesperson in your home, and the purchase is more than $25, you're protected under the FTC's Cooling-Off Rule.

The Rule gives you three days to cancel your order and receive a full refund. The seller must tell you that you have a right to cancel, and give you a summary of your cancellation rights and two copies of the cancellation form. Ask to see the required cancellation notice before you agree to buy. If the salesperson doesn't have it, don't place an order. The company is breaking the law.

Sales techniques vary. The FTC says consumers should question approaches that feature:

Salespeople who encourage you to buy without giving you your total costs. For example, a salesperson may offer magazines for just a few dollars a week. That could sound like a bargain - until you do the math. You could end up paying hundreds of dollars over several years for subscriptions that sell elsewhere for less.

Salespeople who tell you magazines are "free" or "pre-paid" for you and that you'll be charged only a "processing fee." The fee may be more than the retail price of the magazine subscription.

Salespeople who don't identify themselves as such or who may not give you the name of their company. They may lead you to believe they represent magazine publishers, or that they're soliciting for reasons other than selling subscriptions.

Be wary. This may be a scam. Use the following tips to protect yourself.

Get the name and phone number of the company for which the salesperson is working. If they are reluctant to provide the information or can’t provide it, that’s a red flag that they may be a scam artist.

Once you get the name and phone number, check with the local business licensing agency to ensure that the salesperson is legally selling door to door in that locality.

Postpone the actual purchase until the following business to allow for the above check and for checks with the Nevada Consumer Affairs Division and/or the Southern Nevada Better Business Bureau regarding prior complaints.

Never allow the solicitor into your residence.

Never conduct door-to-door transactions at night.

Sources: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/tmarkg/magzn.shtm and the Nevada Consumer Affairs Division

Last Updated: 12/02/09 08:01:38 AM
Nevada Fight Fraud
FightFraud.nv.gov
http://fightfraud.nv.gov
Nevada
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Choose Jobs Carefully
or You Might Get Killed!
HIRE TEEN
Teenagers Job Resources
http://www.hireteen.com
At the National Consumers League (NCL), we urge teens to choose their summer jobs carefully: the wrong choice could harm you or even kill you.
HIRE TEEN
Teenagers Job Resources
http://www.hireteen.com
Read This Story


Washington DC
NCL's 2009 Five Worst Teen Jobs
2009
NCL's 2009 Five Worst Teen Jobs
National Consumers League
source: http://www.nclnet.org/labor/childlabor/jobreport2009.htm
Traveling Youth Crews
Performing Door-to-Door Sales

Parents should not allow their children to take a traveling sales job. The dangers are too great. Without parental supervision, teens are at too great a risk of being victimized. Traveling sales crew workers are typically asked to go to the doors of strangers and sometimes enter their homes—a very dangerous thing for a young person to do.

Frequent crime reports involving traveling sales crews suggests that the environment they present is not a safe one for teen workers. And with four in 10 worker fatalities coming from vehicle accidents, NCL urges teens not to accept any job that involves driving long distances or for long periods of time.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warned consumers in May 2009 that deceptive sales practices are common in door-to-door sales—the group had received 1,100 complaints in the prior year. “Experience tells us that customers aren’t the only victims of [these scams],” said Michael Coil, President of BBB of Northern Indiana, “the young salespeople are also potentially being taken advantage of by their employers and forced to work long hours, endure substandard living conditions and have their wages withheld from them.”

In May 2008, police in Spokane, Washington investigated a 16-year-old’s claim that she was held as a captive worker by a door-to-door sales company. She escaped after the sales crew leaders beat up her boyfriend because he wasn’t selling enough magazines.

Unscrupulous traveling sales companies charge young workers for expenses like rent and food that requires them to turn over all the money they ostensibly make from selling magazines or goods. When they try to quit or leave the crew, they are told they can’t. Disreputable companies have been known to seize young workers’ money, phone cards, and IDs and restrict their ability to call their parents. Drug use and underage drinking are not uncommon. A New York Times report in 2007 found that crew members often make little money after expenses are deducted.

Among the possible dangers:

Murder:

* In November 2007, Tracie Anaya Jones, 19, who was a member of a traveling sales crew, was found dead of stab wounds. Originally from Oregon, Jones was last seen working in Little Rock Arkansas before her body was found 150 miles away in Memphis, Tennessee. Her killing remains unsolved and is featured on America’s Most Wanted Web site.

* In Rapid City, South Dakota in April 2004, a 41-year-old man was charged with murdering a 21-year-old woman who came to his home to sell magazines.

Robbery: Working in unknown neighborhoods poses risks, especially if you are carrying money from sales or goods to sell.

* Although not part of a traveling sales crew, a 12-year-old selling candy for a school fundraiser in a Jacksonville, Florida neighborhood in March 2009 was robbed by three individuals who drove up to her in a car.

* In April 2003, a 16-year-old Texas youth selling candy was robbed and shot in the stomach by two teens.

Assaults:

* In May 2009 in Bethesda, Maryland, a 19-year-old woman selling magazines was attacked and nearly raped by someone she encountered while selling magazines door-to-door.

* In Lawton, Oklahoma, a 19-year-old Nevada woman was selling magazines door-to-door in February 2009 when her potential customer invited her in. The man gave her something to drink and she awoke several hours later and realized she had been raped.

* A 19-year-old Ohio magazine sales person was assaulted by three men who expressed an interest in buying magazines. The victim was waiting for a pickup by co-workers when she was approached, abducted, and sexually assaulted (April 2003).

Reckless driving: traveling sales crews face greater risk of vehicle accidents and in many cases, crew leaders are driving without licenses or driving on suspended licenses. Vehicles are not always maintained properly and the use of 15-passenger vans in some cases presents safety concerns.

* In November 2005, two teenagers were killed and seven were injured when the van they were riding in flipped near Phoenix, Arizona. The vehicle crossed a median strip, and ended up in the opposite lanes of a freeway. All nine occupants, who worked for a magazine subscription company, were thrown from the vehicle.

* A month earlier, 20-year-old, James Crawford, was ejected and killed from a van crash in Georgia. Eighteen young adults were crammed into the 15-passenger van. The driver fell asleep and was allegedly driving under the influence of marijuana. The occupants were heading north from Florida to sell magazine subscriptions.

* Two young salespersons, age 18 and 19, were ejected from a vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene after a vehicle accident in which 15 salespersons were crammed into a 10-year-old SUV that rolled over on a highway in New Mexico (September 2002).

* In 1999, seven individuals travelling as a sales crew were killed in an accident in Janesville, Wisconsin. Five other passengers were injured, including one girl who was paralyzed. The driver of the van, who was trying to elude a police chase, did not have a valid drivers license and attempted to switch places with another driver when the accident occurred. The fatality victims included Malinda Turvey, 18, who has inspired ground-breaking legislation—Malinda’s Act—which passed in Wisconsin in April 2009 to regulate traveling sales crews.

Desertion: young salesmen have been stranded if they try to quit or do not sell enough.

Exposure: crews often work in bad weather, walking miles in blazing heat or in cold weather.

Arrest: crews often operate without proper licenses and permits and young sales people are subject to arrest.

Sexual exploitation: young workers, far from home, are at special risk of exploitation from older crew leaders and crew members.

At any given time, there are as many as 50,000 youth under the age of 18 involved in youth peddling crews.

The National Consumers League has material on its Web site that young workers should look at before they consider taking a traveling sales job here.

source: http://www.nclnet.org/labor/childlabor/jobreport2009.htm
National Consumers League
nclnet.org
source: http://www.nclnet.org/labor/childlabor/jobreport2009.htm
Washington, DC
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Wallingford, Seattle
Someone's at the door
November 30, 2009
Someone's at the door
Wallyhood
http://www.wallyhood.org
Mon, November 30, 2009 at 11:05 am

Those of you who have been reading the many comments on our Door-to-door Ladies post know this already, but it bears bubbling up into the main blog feed for those who may have missed it:

There are a variety of people canvassing Wallingford saying they’re selling magazine subscriptions or the like. One is a man, black, who says he is an ex-gang member from Atlanta. There are a pair of women as well, saying they are in an entrepreneurial program. Both have been intimidating people who say no, trying to bully them into giving money.

They are not really selling magazines. They are taking people’s money and keeping it. They may also be assessing your home’s burglary-worthiness. It’s called stealing. Please tell them no.

If they come to your door, you don’t need to answer it. If you answer it, you don’t need to give an excuse (e.g., “I can’t afford it”, “I don’t want a magazine”, “I don’t trust you”). It’s OK to simply say no and close the door. That’s not rude. What’s rude is trying to steal from someone on their own doorstep.

You can call 911 to report them to the police, if you like, although they are unlikely to respond. 911 isn’t just reserved for “someone is mugging me now” type emergencies, you can call 911 to report any criminal event. If you call the “non-emergency” number, they will just tell you to call 911 or to hang up and go about your business.

On a perhaps related note, Jay writes:

i wanted to let you know that even though the crime stats for wallingford seem to be level, i’m another point of anecdotal data that says otherwise. my home near the wallingford / fremont border was broken into on thanksgiving day. i’m just taking inventory now. they didn’t seem to get much and nothing that can’t be replaced, but i can’t really shake the feeling of being incredibly bummed at the situation. it seems that this kind of activity is happening more and more. everyone out there, remember to know your neighbors. they’re an incredibly valuable resource and are most likely really awesome people.

Be vigilant. They stole Jay’s shift-key!
Wallyhood
http://www.wallyhood.org
Wallingford, Seattle
Read This Story


Santa Clara, California
Warrant Arrest
November 30, 2009
Police Report November 29 - December 5, 2009
The Santa Clara Weekly
Santa Clara's Community Newspaper and Discussions Hub
Monday, November 30th, 2009
Warrant Arrest Location: 600 Block of Clara Vista
Officer Garces made contact with an individual who had been going door to door selling cleaning products. The suspect initially gave a false name, but was found to have a parole violation from Texas. Texas was willing to extradite so the man was arrested.
Case Number 09-13035
The Santa Clara Weekly
Santa Clara's Community Newspaper and Discussions Hub
http://scw.tearn.com
Santa Clara, California
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New Smyrna Beach, Florida
New Smyrna police issue caution about solicitors
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Face to Face Technology
Magazine Clearinghouse:
Great Lake Circulations
November 26, 2009
New Smyrna police issue caution about solicitors
By MARK I. JOHNSON
Staff Writer
The News-Journal
November 26, 2009
New Smyrna Beach police are pulling the welcome mat out from under door-to-door salesmen.

Spokesman Sgt. Mike Brouillette is urging residents to be wary of individuals' unsolicited attempts to sell items throughout local neighborhoods.

He said sales personnel are required to get a solicitor's permit to conduct such activity in the city.

"The only place they can get it is from the Police Department," he said, encouraging residents to ask to see it. "If (the sales person) does not have one, ask them to hold on and call police."

Wednesday's warning came on the heels of complaints from city residents about young people going door to door selling magazines in neighborhoods off the North Causeway. It was suspected the self-described college students trying to earn money to study abroad were actually trying to scam residents.

In addition, police arrested a 19-year-old Ohio man for giving officers a false name. The report said Phillip Deandray Marks was in the Lymestone Ranch apartment complex attempting to sell products for Colorado-based Face to Face Technology to residents Sunday night. When confronted he gave police a bogus name and identification, officers said, and was taken into custody.

Marks was taken to the Volusia Branch Jail.
By MARK I. JOHNSON
Staff Writer
The News-Journal
Daytona Beach, Florida
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Port Huron, Michigan
UPDATED: McRae's hearing adjourned
November 24, 2009
UPDATED: McRae's hearing adjourned
Times Herald • November 24, 2009
thetimesherald.com
A plea hearing for a 43-year-old North Carolina man police said raped a Port Huron woman was adjourned today. The plea hearing for Toney McRae was rescheduled for Nov. 30 at 1:30 p.m. in front of Circuit Court Judge James Adair. Court officials originally said the hearing was going to be Dec. 1. No reason was given for the adjournment. A woman testified during a preliminary examination Sept. 29 that Toney McRae entered her home after knocking on her door selling magazines Sept. 18. She said she was raped when she went into her bedroom to retrieve her cell phone. McRae is charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct third degree.
The Times Herald does not identify the victims of sexual assault.
Times Herald
thetimesherald.com
Port Huron, Michigan
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New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Magazine Sellers Turn Out To Be Scammers
November 24, 2009
Magazine Sellers Turn Out To Be Scammers
Sellers Claimed To Be Raising Money To Study Abroad
WESH 2 News
POSTED: 5:02 pm EST November 24, 2009
UPDATED: 6:01 pm EST November 24, 2009
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- Several people in New Smyrna Beach were disappointed and angry to learn that the so-called college students who were trying to sell them magazines, claiming to be earning money to study abroad, turned out to be scammers.

Gerard McLoughlin is one of a dozen or more residents in the Venecia subdivision approached at home by two young people claiming to be local college students selling magazines.

"They said I was a very nice guy, and I don't know if that was an enticement, and they said that this summer they were going on a trip to Spain," McLoughlin said.

Police said this particular scam is making its rounds.

The solicitors said they lived down the street and dropped neighbors' names who gave, then offered to sell magazines or take a charitable donation.

"They said, 'Well, you could buy these magazines for such-and-such a deal or you could donate to a shelter, and they had shelters that I never heard the names of," McLoughlin said.

On closer inspection of the receipts, residents found the names of the companies through the Internet. The companies were under fire as rip-offs in other states.

One of the people who donated became suspicious later in the evening when he saw these alleged students jump into a dark blue van that was waiting in the street and quickly take off. The sellers said they lived in the neighborhood.

"There's people that are there to pick on, prey on people. Victims of opportunity and that sort of thing," McLoughlin said.

Police said legitimate solicitors must be permitted by the city and carry a card proving so.

Worried they've lost more than a donation, some residents have cancelled checks and even closed their accounts.
WESH 2 News
wesh.com
Winter Park, Florida
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City ordinances aim to curb
door-to-door sales
November 23, 2009
City ordinances aim to curb
door-to-door sales
By Judy Keen, USA TODAY
11/23/09
Communities across the USA are slamming the door on door-to-door solicitors and peddlers. They are enacting ordinances that require background checks for people seeking donations or selling goods, increase fees and penalties, or allow residents to join "do not knock" lists.

Most exempt charities, religious and political groups and youngsters from the restrictions.

Changes are being prompted by increasing complaints from residents about aggressive people on their doorsteps. Mayor Tom Strickland of Machesney Park, Ill., says the economy "has a lot to do with" an influx of sales crews from out of state.

The Board of Trustees votes next month on higher license fees and $500-$1,000 fines for ignoring "no soliciting" signs or requests to leave.

Strickland prefers a total ban on door-to-door sales, but worries that would invite lawsuits.

He's probably right, says Dan Kobil, a constitutional law professor at Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio. He has sued communities with anti-soliciting rules for Ohio Citizen Action, a consumer advocacy group that canvasses door-to-door.

The Supreme Court has ruled that "going door-to-door to communicate a message" is a First Amendment right, Kobil says, and ordinances that "try to license speech are inherently suspect under our Constitution."

Recent action elsewhere:

•Colebrookdale Township, Pa. Rules that took effect last month require solicitors to be licensed by police, who can conduct background checks; township officials had issued licenses. The change came after an alarm system sales crew from Utah was "kind of forcing their way into people's homes," Township Manager Cindy Conrad says.

•Sumter, S.C. Starting this month, the city requires photos on peddlers' badges and upped the badge fee from $1 to $50 to cover the cost of national background checks, City Manager Deron McCormick says. Previously, state checks were done.

•North Richland Hills, Texas. An ordinance passed in October requires solicitors to wear photo badges and sets penalties of $500 for each offense if they don't leave when asked, city spokeswoman Mary Peters says.

•Columbus, Ind. Mayor Fred Armstrong says the city "put a little more teeth" into its ordinance last month after complaints about salespersons knocking on doors after dark and "really pressuring" residents.

Starting Jan. 1, solicitors must get licenses from police and can't approach homes after 6 p.m. or 9 p.m., depending on the season.

•Canal Winchester, Ohio. The village has collected about 55 names on its "do not knock" list, which was approved last month and is modeled on "do not call" phone lists, finance director Nanisa Osborn says.

Residents can fill out forms that bar peddlers, solicitors or both from their property and can list exceptions. Those who go door-to-door pick up the list when they apply for permits and must check for updates monthly.

Mayor Strickland wishes Congress would help. "Our national laws need to do something about this," he says.
By Judy Keen, USA TODAY
usatoday.com
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Sikeston, Missouri
Numerous scam claims emerge in Southeast Missouri
November 21, 2009
Numerous scam claims emerge in Southeast Missouri
by Zakk Gammon
KFVS12
Posted: Nov 21, 2009 9:39 PM CST
Updated: Nov 22, 2009 7:51 AM CST
SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - Authorities in several Heartland towns continue receiving complaints from residents about people going door to door attempting to sell magazines. Since a story aired Friday on Heartland News regarding this alleged scam, more people came forward with information saying they were victims as well. The Sikeston Department of Public safety issued a press release saying the department was notified of a group of people who said they were with a large magazine sales company selling magazines door to door. You are advised to do research on companies if you feel they may be fraudulent. You can visit the Better Business Bureau's website to check out companies. In addition to the Sikeston area, Heartland News has also received complaints from Bertrand, Charleston, East Prarie, Advance and Dexter. Sgt. Jim McMillen with Sikeston DPS tells Heartland News if a resident feels they've been a victim of fraud, they can file a complaint with the BBB. You should also notify local law enforcement and the Missouri State Attorney General's Office.
by Zakk Gammon
KFVS12
kfvs12.com
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
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Bertland, Missouri
Pastor becomes victim of alleged magazine scam
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Atlantic Circulation, Inc.
November 20, 2009
Pastor becomes victim of alleged magazine scam
by Zakk Gammon
KFVS12
Posted: Nov 20, 2009 7:16 PM CST
Updated: Nov 20, 2009 8:01 PM CST
BERTRAND, MO (KFVS) - A Heartland pastor's quick thinking saves him from being from a lot of trouble in what authorities call a huge scam.

Bertrand First Baptist Church pastor Ron Aldridge became suspicious after a woman tried to sell him more than 100 dollars in magazine subscriptions. She told the man and his wife the magazines would go to troops overseas. However, according to the pastor, the police and numerous Internet complaints, that simply isn't true.

"She came knocking on our door," says Aldridge. "We're not interested in magazines. I've turned down a lot of good magazines I'd like to read; I just don't have time to read them."

But Aldridge says he'll give a helping hand any chance he gets.

"We said 'let's take a chance and we'll send some to the troops... supposedly a three-year subscription," Aldridge said.

The pastor wrote the woman a check for the subscription but he says he and his wife were still uneasy.

"I Googled the company and sure enough they've got page after page after page of where they've done this up and down the East Coast," Aldridge said.

The company is Atlantic Circulation, Inc., based in Pennsylvania. It has an official website listing contact information like phone and fax numbers and an email address. However, Mississippi County Sheriff Keith Moore says don't let that fool you.

"They'd ask for cash. The cash would pay for motels [and] food," says Sheriff Moore. "Then they'd take the checks or credit cards and get the money out of them."

Aldridge called his bank and the police. He canceled the check but the police never found the woman who sold him the subscription. They did arrest eight other people who they believe represent Atlantic Circulation. They all face charges of Theft by Deception. All but two of them bonded out.

20-year-old Samantha Graham of North Carolina remains in jail along with 20-year-old Adam Baker of Michigan, who police believe is the ring leader. However, investigators say there are still more people out there.

"If they're legit that's fine," says Sheriff Moore. "But if they're not, we're gonna go after them."

Heartland News contacted the company. A representative says they contract door-to-door sales people to sell the magazines. They also say receipts give to people when they buy the magazines clearly states delivery could take up to 120 days.

It apparently lists a customer service phone number for questions and complaints.
by Zakk Gammon
KFVS12
kfvs12.com
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
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New Orleans, Louisiana
Five booked in St. Charles Parish magazine scam
November 19, 2009
Five booked in St. Charles Parish magazine scam
By Matt Scallan, The Times-Picayune
November 19, 2009, 11:44AM
Five people were booked with violating the St. Charles Parish's door-to-door solicitation law, in the wake of complaints that they misrepresented themselves as Destrehan High School students selling magazine subscriptions to benefit U.S. troops.

"These individuals were falsely representing that they were selling for a local school group or charity," Sheriff Greg Champagne said in a news release.

None of the five arrestees are from the area.

The Sheriff's Office was alerted last week when someone who made a donation to one of the solicitors became suspicious and called the Sheriff's Office, which determined that the salesperson's claim of being a Destrehan High student was false.

In an e-mail to residents, Champagne credited numerous tips from the public that led to the arrests.

Parish law requires that commercial vendors obtain a permit and ID card issued by the Sheriff's Office. Violation of the law is a misdemeanor. Representatives of non-profit organizations don't need the permit, but should be able to provide appropriate identification, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

Arrested were Dustin A. Bradley, 19, of Waco, Texas, Michael Patterson, 19, of Jamaica Plain, Mass., Kimberly Holden, 20, Wimauma, Fla.; Takeema Johnson, 20, of New York, N.Y.; Nesia T. Gordon, 19, of New York, N.Y., and Jamarr Wilson, 24, of Shreveport.

Three of the arrestees were released on $500 bond.

Bradley and Patterson remained in custody Thursday on other charges. Bradley also was booked with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Patterson was held on a fugitive warrant from South Carolina.
By Matt Scallan, The Times-Picayune
nola.com
New Orleans, Louisiana
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Melrose, Massachusetts
Melrose Police seek stricter laws for solicitors
November 19, 2009
Melrose Police seek stricter laws for solicitors
By Daniel DeMaina / ddemaina@cnc.com
Melrose Free Press
Wicked Local Melrose
Thu Nov 19, 2009, 03:58 PM EST
Melrose - Those going door-to-door in Melrose soliciting sales are currently required to register their name, residence and the nature of their business with the Melrose Police Department. However, Melrose Police Chief Mike Lyle is seeking to create more stringent requirements to weed out more nefarious and aggressive solicitors from harassing residents.

The proposed law change currently before the Melrose Board of Aldermen would require solicitors to provide contact phone numbers, their date of birth, and their driver’s license number and state of issue, among other requirements. The Police Department would photograph and fingerprint each solicitor, and require a $25 registration fee.

Further, Lyle said the police department would then conduct a background check on each solicitor to determine whether the person has any outstanding warrants or is a “person of interest” in any crimes.

Lyle explained that the new restrictions would prohibit door-to-door solicitors who may have criminal records from working in Melrose, where they might solicit as a cover for scoping out potential victims and homes to break into.

The lack of background checks, Lyle said, is “like giving the new maintenance job at the local bank to the bank robber.”

Melrose City Solicitor Rob Van Campen said the background checks would not be Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) checks “per se,” but that the police chief can “conduct to the legal extent possible a background check.”

Lyle said approved solicitors would receive a certificate that would also function as a photo ID, using the photo taken at the police department. Solicitors would then be required to present that certificate to police officers upon request, and residents would be instructed to check and see if the solicitor at their front door had properly registered with the police department.

Those caught soliciting door-to-door without first registering with the Melrose Police Department would be subject to a $100 fine for each offense.

Maribeth Harrington, aldermanic clerk of committees, told the Free Press that last Thursday the aldermen’s Protection and License Committee recommended the proposed law change for passage. Before doing so, however, they amended it, increasing the registration fee to $50 and inserting a clause that the fee can be waived for non-profit organizations at the police chief’s discretion, such as for Girl Scouts Troops selling cookies door-to-door.

As a legal check and balance, however, Ward 3 Alderman Frank Wright asked that Van Campen give his opinion as city solicitor on the amendment.

The recommended proposal is scheduled to go before the aldermen’s Legal and Legislative Committee on Monday, Nov. 23, pending Van Campen’s legal opinion.
By Daniel DeMaina / ddemaina@cnc.com
Melrose Free Press
Wicked Local Melrose
wickedlocal.com
Beverly, Massachusetts
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Gainsville, Florida
Residents told to beware of door-to-door sellers
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Midwest Circulations LLC
http://midwestcirculationllc.com/policy.html
And:
Atlantic Circulation
Trade Group:
National Field Selling Association
http://www.nfsa.com
November 17, 2009
Residents told to beware of door-to-door sellers
By Karen Voyles
Staff writer
The Gainsville Sun
Published: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 5:20 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 5:20 p.m.
Alachua County deputies have been told to be alert for a group of about 50 people who are in the Gainesville area selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door. Several members of the group reportedly have criminal histories.

Meanwhile, Gainesville police are urging Crime Watch groups and apartment managers to be on the look out for what appears to be another group selling magazine subscriptions that appears to be committing fraud.

Deputies discovered the 50 or so door-to-door salespeople were working in the area after they were dispatched to the Days Inn on Newberry Road about a disturbance.

Sheriff's spokesman Art Forgey said the disturbance involved a 17-year-old girl who told deputies she had been part of a traveling magazine business and was fired Monday for under-performance. The girl said she had nowhere to go and was not being allowed to collect her belonging from the room where she had been staying.

Deputies helped the girl retrieve her property, arranged for a safe place for her to stay overnight and contacted her legal guardian to arrange for her to go back home, Forgey said.

Deputies also determined the girl was one of about 50 people staying at the hotel who worked for Midwest Circulations LLC of Cameron, Mo. The people have reportedly been getting dropped off in subdivisions to try to sell subscriptions.

"We ran background checks on several of the people there and we found some extensive criminal histories," Forgey said. "Our patrol division has been advised to be on the lookout for places where these folks may be working and that they do have criminal histories."

Gainesville police said the group of alleged door-to-door sellers for which they have gotten complaints are apparently not really selling subscriptions.

In an e-mail to Crime Watch group leaders and apartment managers, Gainesville Police Cpl. Audrey Mazzuca wrote that there is a "group of subjects selling magazine subscriptions in Gainesville. They claim to be working for Atlantic Circulations. I contacted Atlantic Circulations’ headquarters and was told that they are not currently selling magazines in our state. These subjects are committing fraud. If you are solicited by these subjects, please report them by calling 955-1818."
By Karen Voyles
Staff writer
The Gainsville Sun
gainesville.com
Gainsville, Florida
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Downs, Kansas
Magazine Subscription Scam Thwarted
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Atlantic Circulation
Trade Group:
National Field Selling Association
http://www.nfsa.com
November 13, 2009
Magazine Subscription Scam Thwarted
Posted on November 13, 2009 by Mike Schrant
94.1 KDNS-FM
Dierking Communications, Inc
A little after 6:00-o’clock Wednesday evening, the alert wife of Beloit Police Officer Shaefer Fraley alerted her husband that a young woman had come to their home claiming to sell magazine subscriptions. The woman was also asking for personal information.

26-year old Jamie Mitchell from Florida was picked up a short time later and taken to the Mitchell County Law Enforcement Center where she was informed that she had broken the law under a new nuisance ordinance that made selling door-to-door a misdemeanor offence.

Officer Fraley said his wife Rebecca quickly picked up on the potential danger and did what everyone else should do in a similar circumstance, call the police.

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According to Beloit Police Chief Ryan Stocker, Mitchell said she was selling magazine subscriptions for a York, Pennsylvania based company called Atlantic Circulation Incorporated. She was then instructed to contact what she called he “group” to come pick her up.

About 9:00-PM the “group” which consisted of three young men, showed up to retrieve Mitchell. The members of the “group” – 26 year old Dustin Davidson from Missouri, 34 year old Floyd Arterburn from Oregon and 24 year old Eugene Goebel from New York.

A quick background check of the three soon turned up an outstanding warrant on Goebel. He is currently wanted in Nebraska on a charge of First Degree Sexual Assault. Goebel was taken into custody and the other three quickly left Mitchell County.

Chief Stocker said his concern was the fact only one call was made to the Beloit PD.

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As for Goebel, he made a court appearance this afternoon. He came to court dressed in the traditional orange county jail jumpsuit and chains for the Waiver of Extradition Hearing. Goebel eventually signed the waiver which eliminates any legal hurdles to a quick transfer of custody to the State of Nebraska. Goebel did not however, go quickly or quietly. Before he signed the waiver, he threatened to sue both the Mitchell County Jail and the State of Nebraska for False Imprisonment.
Mike Schrant
94.1 KDNS-FM
Dierking Communications, Inc
dierkingcommunications.com
Downs, Kansas
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Spencer, Iowa
Salesman's grab leads to charges
November 13, 2009
Salesman's grab leads to charges
By Russ Mitchell, Daily Reporter Staff
Spencer Daily Reporter
Friday, November 13, 2009
A 71-year-old, door-to-door magazine salesman faces a charge of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse after he allegedly groped a potential customer during a house call. Clay County Deputies were called to a Webb neighborhood at about 7:30 p.m. Monday after a resident called authorities to report an incident of sexual misconduct. Sheriff Randy Krukow said Dennis Baker of Cherokee apparently made an innuendo about cold air, then reached out for unwanted physical contact with the chest area of the female resident. The sheriff believes the initial magazine sales effort was legitimate, not a ploy for Baker to impose himself physically upon people who answered their doors. The victim was roughly Baker's age, and Krukow characterized the incident as an inappropriate act and momentary lapse in judgement by the salesman. "It isn't like he was out stalking people," Krukow explained. Baker was later located, arrested and transported to the Clay County Jail where he was processed and held to appear before a magistrate.
By Russ Mitchell, Daily Reporter Staff
Spencer Daily Reporter
spencerdailyreporter.com
Spencer, Iowa
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Greenfield, New York
Police to seek more remains of missing girl
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Atlantic Circulation Co.
November 10, 2009
Police to seek more remains of missing girl
By Paul Post
Special to The Record
The Record
Published: Tuesday, November 10, 2009
GREENFIELD — Police today will try again to find clues that might explain the death of a Colorado woman whose partial remains were discovered two weeks ago.

Saratoga County sheriff’s deputies and State Police will revisit the remote Fox Hill Road site where a hunter found skull fragments belonging to Jennifer Hammond, who was 18 when she went missing in late August 2003.

Sheriff James Bowen said Monday that no new leads or specific information prompted today’s search. Police and state forest rangers spent three days looking for additional remains right after Hammond’s skull was found, but came up empty-handed and called off such efforts after scouring the immediate area.

"We’re going back up there," Bowen said. "Before the weather changes. We thought it would be a good idea to take another look. We have the skull and jaw, but that’s it, no other remains. There’s already a lot of leaves. We want to make one more clean sweep while we can before it snows."

Bowen declined comment when asked if existing remains indicate violence or foul play in Hammond’s death. Police are treating the case as a homicide, but have no suspects.

"We don’t have a lot to go on," Bowen said.

Hammond was last seen at Creek & Pines Trailer Park, near the corner of Geyser and Middle Line roads in Milton, where she was selling magazines door-to-door. Her case bears striking similarity to that of then-19-year-old Christina N. White, who was last seen alive in the Geyser Road-Rowland Street area of Milton on July 1, 2005.

The following March, her badly decomposed body was found at Daketown State Forest in Greenfield, several miles from where Hammond’s remains were discovered. A subsequent examination of White’s skeleton revealed she was stabbed to death.

Bowen said nothing definitively links the two cases.

"We’ve got nothing that leads together," he said. "We look at everything."

Hammond’s skull and jaw frag¬ments, including several teeth, were found on Monday, Oct. 26. The site is fairly deep into the woods, off an unpaved section of Fox Hill Road, about three miles past Lake Desolation, near the Edinburg town line.

Three days later, a forensics dentist was able to positively iden¬tify Hammond using her dental records. The state police crime lab in Albany is conducting an additional DNA test with results expected in another few weeks.

"It confirms the identification and gives us a DNA record to have on file," State Police Major William Sprague said.
By Paul Post
Special to The Record
The Record
troyrecord.com
Troy, New York
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Greenfield, New York
Search to resume Tuesday for skeletal remains
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Atlantic Circulation Co.
November 9, 2009
Search to resume Tuesday for skeletal remains
By DREW KERR dkerr@poststar.com | Posted: Monday, November 9, 2009 12:00 pm
The Post Star
GREENFIELD -- Authorities on Tuesday will resume their search efforts in Greenfield, where the remains of a missing Colorado teenager were found two weeks ago.

Saratoga County Sheriff James Bowen said a group of 15 to 20 officers will be involved in the search, which will focus on the same wooded area off of Fox Hill Road where a hunter found a skull on Oct. 26.

No specific information led investigators to return to the site, but investigators are hoping that more remains can be found in the area, Bowen said. So far, only skull and jaw fragments have been located.

This is the first time police have returned to the site since their initial search of the area ended on Oct. 28.

How long the search will last will be dictated by what police discover after resuming their efforts, Bowen said.

"It will all depend on what they find," Bowen said. "It could be a difficult search. All these leaves and stuff certainly don't help."

On Oct. 29, police announced that dental records led them to believe the victim is Jennifer M. Hammond, a Littleton, Colo., an 18-year-old woman who was in the area selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door when she went missing in August 2003.

A DNA test that would confirm those suspicions has not yet been completed.

Hammond was last seen at the Creek & Pines Trailer Park in Ballston Spa, police said. A missing persons report was not filed until three months after her disappearance.

Bowen said he would not discuss whether police had developed any additional information that could assist in their investigation.

Posted in Local, Saratoga on Monday, November 9, 2009 12:00 pm Updated: 9:20 pm. | Tags: Jennifer M. Hammond, Skeletal Remains
By DREW KERR dkerr@poststar.com
The Post Star
poststar.com
Glens Falls, New York
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University of South Carolina
USC warns of fundraising scams
November 5, 2009
USC warns of fundraising scams
The State
Thursday, Nov. 05, 2009
http://www.thestate.com
University of South Carolina officials are warning residents around the Columbia campus to be on the alert for potential fund-raising scams. The university has received several reports in recent weeks of individuals claiming to be students and selling magazine subscriptions or other products for school-related projects. "We are not aware of any instance when a professor has sanctioned the selling of magazine subscriptions to raise funds for class projects," said USC spokeswoman Margaret Lamb. "Individuals who are doing so and representing themselves as USC students are impostors." Lamb said anyone who is approached by such individuals should immediately report them to the proper authorities.
The State
http://www.thestate.com
Columbia, South Carolina
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NCL’s Savvy Consumer Blog
Teen’s Death Raises Concern About One of the “Worst Jobs” for Teens
November 4, 2009
Teen’s Death Raises Concern About One of the “Worst Jobs” for Teens
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Posted by savvyconsumer in Child Labor Coalition, child labor, kids, legislative issues, worker's rights issues.
Tags: Five Worst Jobs for Teens, Jennifer Hammond, traveling sales crews trackback
by Reid Maki, Coordinator of the Child Labor Coalition
NCL’s Savvy Consumer Blog
For the last several years, the National Consumers League (NCL) has warned parents and teens that traveling sales crews are too dangerous for young workers. The discovery last week of the remains of Jennifer Hammond, who was only 18 when she disappeared from a sales crew six years ago, heightens our concern about the safety of traveling sales crews for teen workers.

Jennifer Hammond was one of those teenagers who knocks on your door and tries to sell you magazines. In August 2003, co-workers at Atlantic Circulation, Inc. dropped Hammond, a native of Littleton, Colorado, off in a mobile home park in Milton, New York. She failed to show up at the designated pickup spot two hours later. Six years later, a hunter found some bone fragments and teeth in a forest in Saratoga County, New York and forensic specialists identified the remains as Hammond’s. Local police are investigating the case as a homicide.

Each year, traveling sales has consistently appeared as one of NCL’s list of “Five Worst Jobs for Teens.” Going door-to-door is a risky proposition these days and when you add doing it in an unfamiliar town without parental supervision, the dangers add up quickly. After reviewing this industry and scores of problems we’ve heard about over the years, NCL came to the conclusion last spring that under no circumstances should a minor be allowed to travel as part of a sales crew.

Members of sales crews are vulnerable to assault and exploitation from customers, fellow crew members, and their superiors. Over the years, we’ve heard and read many stories of crew members who were beaten because they wanted to leave their crews or did not sell enough magazines.

On October 15th, the New York Times published a story about two young magazine salesman who were beaten with baseball bats and golf clubs in Lakewood, Washington simply because they wanted to quit. The police arrested six men in the attack.

Unscrupulous traveling sales companies charge young workers for expenses like rent and food that in some cases requires them to turn over all the money they earn from selling magazines or goods. When they try to quit or leave the crew, they are told they can’t. Earlier this summer, NCL received a phone call from a young man who quit his crew and found himself stranded 1,000 miles from home. He was broke and trying to hitch-hike home.

Disreputable companies have been known to seize young workers’ money, phone cards, and IDs and restrict their ability to call their parents. Drug use and underage drinking are not uncommon. Another New York Times report in 2007 found that crew members often make little money after expenses are deducted.

Teen sales crews are often crammed into poorly maintained, unsafe vans and driven by young distracted drivers. In November 2005, two teenagers were killed and seven were injured when the van they were riding in flipped near Phoenix, Arizona. A month earlier, 20-year-old, James Crawford, was ejected and killed from a van crash in Georgia. Eighteen young adults were crammed into the 15-passenger van when the driver fell asleep.

Unfortunately, Jennifer Hammond’s suspected murder is not the first associated with work in traveling sales crews: In November 2007, Tracie Anaya Jones, 19, a member of a traveling sales crew, was found dead of stab wounds in Memphis, Tennessee. Her killing remains unsolved and is featured on “America’s Most Wanted” Web site. In Rapid City, South Dakota in April 2004, a 41-year-old man was charged with murdering a 21-year-old woman who came to his home to sell magazines.

Clearly, these are extreme examples of what can go wrong, but there is ample evidence that there is much to be concerned about when one contemplates traveling sales work. Last month’s Times article on the beating of the two young salesmen, noted that Parent Watch, an industry watchdog group, is receiving about 10 emergency calls a day from crew members with problems.

In Wisconsin, a new law designed to protect young sales people will take effect next April. We’ll take a closer look at it in the days ahead….Stay tuned.
Posted by savvyconsumer in Child Labor Coalition
by Reid Maki, Coordinator of the Child Labor Coalition
NCL’s Savvy Consumer Blog
http://savvyconsumer.wordpress.com
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Alpharetta, Georgia
Magazine salesman had warrants
November 4, 2009
CRIME
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Magazine salesman had warrants
appen newspapers, Inc.
northfulton.com
November 04, 2009
Alpharetta police arrested a 28-year-old homeless man Oct. 24 selling magazine subscriptions on Morning Mist Drive who was wanted for burglary in Ohio.

According to the incident report, homeowners in the neighborhood called police to complain about two men selling magazines door-to-door. Officers met with both of them and asked for identification.

After checking them out through criminal databases, investigators were able to determine one of them, John Brunswick, had a warrant out for his arrest for burglary from Elyria, Ohio.

He was taken into custody.
appen newspapers, Inc.
northfulton.com
Alpharetta, Georgia
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Chico, California
Editorial: Scammers find easy targets on campus, in community
November 4, 2009
Editorial: Scammers find easy targets on campus, in community
By
The Orion
http://www.theorion.com
Published: Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Updated: Tuesday, November 3, 2009
It’s honorable to want to help someone in need. It’s been drilled into us since childhood that we should share what we have. But there is a difference between being helpful and being naive and it is time the students of Chico State learned that lesson before someone really takes advantage of us.

Scam artists have become a major problem in Chico — both on campus and in the community. University Police Chief Eric Reichel recently sent out a campus-wide notice warning us that aggressive solicitors, who pretend to sell magazines, are victimizing students. It’s easy to get caught in a scammer’s web of lies, especially for unsuspecting students. Don’t fall for it. There are some simple ways to realize you’re being scammed and to take action and to be prepared.

•Is there anything suspicious about the person who approached you? If they are selling magazines, are their samples worn down or torn at the edges? If you feel any sort of suspicion, stick to your intuition and simply close the door or walk away. They’ll probably try to get you to stay, but be assertive, tell them “No” loudly and leave. They’ll get the message.

•Before you walk away, try to get as much information about the person as you can. Remember the little things, like a branded hat or shirt and ask to see identification. An accurate description can help the police catch scam artists. Call the police immediately after they’ve left. Tell police which way the scammers went and what they look like.

•Don’t feel pressured into buying something, even if they claim it’s going to a charity. You may think you’re helping the underprivileged young dentists of Somalia but, in reality, you could be paying for some guy’s next keg. If you really want to donate to charity, find a reputable organization, like St. Jude Children’s Research hospital or the Salvation Army and donate to them. At least then you know your money is going toward a good cause. These con artists work by daylight — it adds credence to their scams — so they’re not going to attack you if you don’t donate. Say no and walk away.

By keeping our wits about us, we can outsmart them. The simple rule is don’t buy magazines from the suspicious guy at your door. Don’t give the guy who “just needs some gas” all the money in your pocket. Point him to the police station. And never give out personal information.

Managing Editor Jennifer Siino
News Editor Don Bunce
Opinion Editor Robin Epley
Sports Editor Phil Petermann
Entertainment Editor Earl Parsons
Features Editor Therese Marucci
Photo Editor Jeb Draper
Video Editor Jackson Wong
Online Editor Lauren Mayo
Chief Copy Editor Elizabeth Ghiorso
The Orion
http://www.theorion.com
Chico, California
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Vacaville, California
'Polite' Burglar Sought In 23 Thefts
November 2, 2009
'Polite' Burglar Sought In 23 Thefts
Homes In North Vacaville Hit In October, Police Say
KCRA 3 Television
POSTED: 4:02 pm PST November 2, 2009
UPDATED: 6:10 am PST November 3, 2009
VACAVILLE, Calif. -- Neighbors in north Vacaville should be on the lookout for a young man who's described as polite, clean-cut and a crook, according to the police department.

There have been 23 homes burglarized in a 10-day period, most of which are in the Browns Valley neighborhood. The break-ins were reported Oct. 17-27.

Police believe the robberies involve either one person or a small group of burglars.

A woman named Monica said she went out to run errands and came home to find that someone had visited her bedroom.

"And that's immediately when I realized the room had been ransacked. All the drawers were open," the woman said.

She said the crooks stole all her jewelry, including her wedding ring, along with expensive perfume and handbags.

Monica said she called loved ones, who told her to get out of the home.

"It didn't even dawn on me to get out of the house," the woman said.

In each case, police say, a young, clean-cut man comes to the door and says he's looking for a friend -- or he's selling magazines.

"What they're really doing is trying to see if there's anyone home or not. If they don't find anyone home, then they're basically going around to the side of the residence, going through a side gate, going to the rear of the residence and forcing entry," Jeff King from the Vacaville Police Department said.

Police said the homes that were hit are in middle- to-upper-class neighborhoods and that they all had unlocked gates and no barking dogs.

So far, nobody has been hurt and no weapons have been reported in the incidents.

Monica said she's since had an alarm installed and finds herself more suspicious of people nearby.

"Everybody that I see walking around looks a little suspect, because you just don't know. They haven't caught anybody, so you just don't know," she said.
KCRA 3 Television
kcra.com
Sacramento, California
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Washington, DC
National Consumers League Warns About Work on Traveling Sales Crews
After Remains of Colorado Teen Are Recovered
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Atlantic Circulation Co.
November 2, 2009
National Consumers League Warns About Work on Traveling Sales Crews
After Remains of Colorado Teen Are Recovered
nclnet.org
Release Date: November 2, 2009
Contact: 202-835-3323, media@nclnet.org
WASHINGTON, DC — The National Consumers League (NCL) has long warned about the dangers traveling sales crews pose for young workers. Last week’s discovery of the remains of Jennifer M. Hammond, who disappeared from a sales crew six years ago, heightens our concern about the safety of traveling sales crews for teen workers.

“Jennifer Hammond’s death should serve as a tragic warning. We urge parents not to allow their children to join traveling sales crews,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg. “The dangers are too great. Without parental supervision, teens are at too great a risk of being victimized. Traveling sales crew workers are typically asked to go to the doors of strangers and sometimes enter their homes—a very dangerous thing for a young person to do.”

In August 2003, co-workers at Atlantic Circulation, Inc. dropped Hammond, an 18-year-old native of Littleton, Colorado, off in a mobile home park in Milton, New York. She failed to show up at the designated pickup spot two hours later. A hunter found her remains in a forest in Saratoga County, New York last week.

Local police are investigating the case as a homicide—another young woman, also missing from Milton, New York, was found dead just miles from the location of Hammond’s remains in 2005.

Each year, traveling sales has consistently appeared as one of NCL’s list of “Five Worst Jobs for Teens.”

“Frequent crime reports involving traveling sales crews suggests that the environment they present is not a safe one for teen workers,” said Greenberg. “Working in unknown neighborhoods poses risks, especially if you are carrying money from sales or goods to sell. Workers are vulnerable to assault and exploitation from customers, crew members, and their superiors.”

Unscrupulous traveling sales companies charge young workers for expenses like rent and food that in some cases requires them to turn over all the money they earn from selling magazines or goods. When they try to quit or leave the crew, they are told they can’t. Disreputable companies have been known to seize young workers’ money, phone cards, and IDs and restrict their ability to call their parents. Drug use and underage drinking are not uncommon. A New York Times report in 2007 found that crew members often make little money after expenses are deducted.

“The crews also expose young workers to grave danger from vehicle accidents,” added Reid Maki, NCL’s director of social responsibility and fair labor standards. “Teen sales crews are often crammed into poorly maintained, unsafe vans and driven by young distracted drivers.” In November 2005, two teenagers were killed and seven were injured when the van they were riding in flipped near Phoenix, Arizona. A month earlier, 20-year-old, James Crawford, was ejected and killed from a van crash in Georgia. Eighteen young adults were crammed into the 15-passenger van when the driver fell asleep.

Unfortunately, Jennifer Hammond’s suspected murder is not the first associated with work in traveling sales crews:

In November 2007, Tracie Anaya Jones, 19, a member of a traveling sales crew, was found dead of stab wounds in Memphis, Tennessee. Her killing remains unsolved and is featured on “America’s Most Wanted” Web site. In Rapid City, South Dakota in April 2004, a 41-year-old man was charged with murdering a 21-year-old woman who came to his home to sell magazines.
National Consumers League
nclnet.org
Washington, DC
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Athens, Georgia
Magazine scam reported in area
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
My Dynasty
November 2, 2009
Magazine scam reported in area
Warning about My Dynasty issued
By Joe Johnson | joe.johnson@onlineathens.com | Story updated at 9:55 pm on 11/2/2009
Athens Banner-Herald
An Athens man ordered a "Disney Princesses" book for his granddaughter, but he stopped payment on his check when he learned the smooth-talking salesman who came to his home wasn't a University of Georgia student trying to raise money for an educational trip.

The salesman was one of several fresh-faced young men and women who have been going door to door, selling books and magazine subscriptions for a company called My Dynasty - which authorities said is an apparent scam.

Although Athens-Clarke police last week cited three men and a woman for soliciting for My Dynasty without permits, they didn't arrest anyone because there wasn't enough evidence that they were committing fraud, according to police.

My Dynasty has a Web site, but no address, telephone number or contact information that police can find, leading investigators to suspect that the company is a fraud, according to Athens-Clarke police Detective Sean McCauley.

Several Better Business Bureau offices and police departments have issued warnings about My Dynasty, and many people have posted complaints about the company on fraud alert Web sites.

Athens-Clarke police issued a warning last week for residents not to do business with My Dynasty after a 77-year-old resident of the Tanglewood subdivision reported that he'd stopped payment on a check for the "Disney Princesses" book because he suspected he'd been conned.

"The M.O. is pretty much the same all over," McCauley said. "They say they are college students who are selling magazine subscriptions because they need money for a trip to London or somewhere else overseas."

The man from Tanglewood said he welcomed a man who called himself Patrick Kennedy into his home because he was clean-cut, well-spoken - and even claimed to live nearby and knows the man's neighbors across the street. He said he was a broadcast media major at UGA and needed to raise money so he could go to London and study with the British Broadcasting Corp.

"So many kids and college students come around selling stuff, so we assumed that's what it was," the victim said.

But after he gave the salesman a check for $55, he discovered that no one named Kennedy lived at the address the salesman gave, and the "student" only knew his neighbors because he had just sold them magazines.

The salesman apparently chose a student's name from the UGA directory.

"He was a convincing, polite, nice-looking boy," the man said. "He really did his homework and almost got away with it. But I had a gut feeling this wasn't right."

Residents can protect themselves against scams by asking salesmen to show their county-issued permits and ID badges, police said, and they should immediately call 911 if someone representing My Dynasty knocks on the door.

Anyone with information about the scammers should call McCauley at (706) 613-3850, ext. 141.

Originally published in the Athens Banner-Herald on Tuesday, November 03, 2009
By Joe Johnson | joe.johnson@onlineathens.com
Athens Banner-Herald
onlineathens.com
Athens, Georgia
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Milton, New York
Did victims share killer?
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Atlantic Circulation Co.
October 31, 2009
Did victims share killer?
Police seeking links in the homicides of young women
By DENNIS YUSKO, Staff writer
http://www.timesunion.com
First published: Saturday, October 31, 2009
MILTON -- Christina White and Jennifer Hammond were two young women who police believe were killed less than two years apart, their bodies dumped in the Daketown Forest area of Greenfield. White, 19, and Hammond, 18, both were last seen alive in or near mobile home parks along Geyser Road; White in 2005, Hammond in 2003.

Hammond's remains were discovered by a hunter earlier this week, in the same backwoods area where White's body was found three years ago.

Today, police are questioning if they shared something else: a killer.

Police are taking a new look into the stabbing death of White, whose body was found in March 2006 about 9 months after she was reported missing, as they work to develop leads in the Hammond killing.

Saratoga Springs Police Sgt. John Catone said he wants to dust off the city's police file of convicted kidnapper John Regan of Connecticut. Catone will talk to State Police and the county Sheriff's Office about the time Regan was believed to be in Saratoga County.

On Oct. 31, 2005, four months after White disappeared, Regan tried to abduct a female Saratoga Springs High School student from the school parking lot after sports practice. The girl narrowly escaped with the help of bystanders. Police caught Regan, then 50, who was convicted of attempted kidnapping in the case. Now an inmate at Clinton Correctional Facility, Regan was subsequently convicted of kidnapping in a 1993 case, and stalking and restraining another victim in a 2004 case, in Waterbury, Conn., his hometown. At the time of his Saratoga Springs arrest, Regan was free on $375,000 bail and working on a relative's property while awaiting sentencing on the earlier charges.

He is serving a 12-year sentence for the New York conviction and a concurrent 15-year sentence for crimes in Connecticut. He will not be eligible for release until 2021.

"If it's not John Regan, do you have a serial killer?" Catone said in an interview Friday. "You have a couple homicides, with both victims found in the same place."

State and county police say they do not have a suspect in the Hammond case. County Sheriff James Bowen said in an interview Friday that area residents shouldn't worry about a killer on the loose. He said police handling the cases are open to "everything and anything," including reopening the files of Regan, who had been investigated as a possible suspect in the White case in 2006.

"We're not going to speculate on what we are doing or how we are doing it," Bowen said. "We are working a joint investigation and running down leads as we speak."

Similarities in Hammond's and White's deaths surfaced after skull fragments belonging to Hammond were found Monday off Lake Desolation Road in Greenfield. The former Littleton, Colo. resident had left home to sell magazine subscriptions door-to-door across the country for Atlantic Circulation Inc. She and about five co-workers came to Albany in August 2003. Police say Hammond's colleagues were the last to see her when they dropped her off to canvass the Creek and Pines mobile home park on Middle Line and Geyser roads, an address a law enforcement official called "big and dicey."

More than six years later, fragments of Hammond's skull and jaw were discovered about a mile away from the nearest road in a forested area in Greenfield. Dental work on three recovered teeth were found to match Hammond's records.

Family members of Hammond, who was nicknamed "Moonbeam," declined comment when contacted. At the time of her disappearance, Hammond stood 5-foot-2 inches and had light brown hair and hazel eyes.

White, according to police, was 5-feet-3 inches and had brown hair and blue eyes. She left her home in Saratoga Village Mobile Home Park on June 30, 2005 to go for a walk, and was last seen after midnight on July 1 near Geyser Road and Rowland Street.

Missing young girls include Sara Anne Wood of Herkimer County, who was 12 when she disappeared in 1993, and Tammie McCormick, of Saratoga Springs, who was 14 when she was last seen in 1986. Lewis Lent Jr. was convicted of killing Wood and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison in 1997.

Dennis Yusko can be reached at 454-5353 or by e-mail at dyusko@timesunion.com.
By DENNIS YUSKO, Staff writer
http://www.timesunion.com
Albany, New York
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Greenfield, New York
Unease spreads on news of remains
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Atlantic Circulation Co.
October 31, 2009
Unease spreads on news of remains
By PAUL POST, The Saratogian
Published: Saturday, October 31, 2009
GREENFIELD — The recovery of Jennifer Hammond’s remains answers one question, but raises many more, especially for residents unsettled by the grisly case.

Authorities on Friday conducted what was expected to be a final day’s search for additional clues, following Monday’s discovery of Hammond’s skull by a hunter off Fox Hill Road, in a remote section of Greenfield near the Edinburg town line.

The then-18-year-old Colorado woman was last seen alive in late August 2003 at the Creek & Pines Trailer Park, near the intersection of Geyser and Middle Line roads in Milton. Police are treating the case as a homicide, but there are no known suspects.

“It’s too close to home when something like this happens,” said Michael Baldwin, owner of Baldwin’s Garage in Middle Grove. “It makes you feel uneasy. What kind of people are living up here that we don’t know about? It could be one you’re dealing with on a regular basis. There’s a lot of questions when you start thinking about it that don’t add up.”

From the trailer park, where Hammond was selling magazines, it’s 12 miles — via Sodemann and Lake Desolation roads — to the Fox Hill Road site where state police and forest rangers continued searching on Friday. Hammond’s skull fragments were found some distance off the unpaved town road, and authorities had to hike up a rugged old woods road to reach the location, part of Lake Desolation State Forest.

Officials identified Hammond’s remains with dental records. Remains were found in three parts — a skull section, part of the jaw, including some teeth, and a portion of orbital bone.

No other skeletal parts have been found. A DNA test of skull fragments is under way at the state police crime lab in Albany with results expected in four to six weeks.

“It confirms the identification and gives us a DNA record to have on file,” State Police Major William Sprague said.

Three state police vehicles left the Fox Hill Road search site at about 2:30 p.m. Friday, while four state forest ranger vehicles and a half-dozen other cars remained at the scene. State police and the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office are conducting a joint investigation. Sprague said the sheriff’s office is the lead agency and deferred questions about evidence and suspects to Sheriff James Bowen, who was not immediately available for comment.

If Hammond was abducted, at this point it’s unknown whether she was still alive when taken to Fox Hill Road. Shannon Lutz of Middle Grove said she believes only a person familiar with the area would have taken Hammond there.

“People around here know that area, it’s as simple as that,” she said. “They know places nobody else does. That’s what’s scary. It could be one of our customers and we wouldn’t know. We tell our kids this is the kind of thing that could happen anywhere. When it does, it’s kind of shocking.”

A manager at Creek & Pines Trailer Park declined comment, and said many of the park’s residents in 2003 have moved elsewhere since then.

Hammond’s case has similarities to that of Christina White, a 19-year-old who was last seen in the vicinity of Geyser and Rowland roads in Milton on July 1, 2005. Her badly decomposed body was found on March 10, 2006, at Daketown State Forest in Greenfield, off Lake Desolation Road, which becomes Fox Hill Road. An examination of White’s skeleton revealed she was stabbed.

Police say it’s too early to make a connection in the cases. However, Sprague said residents should always be aware of their surroundings. “People have to pay attention to what’s going on around them,” he said.

“I’m a big believer in lights,” Baldwin said.
By PAUL POST
The Saratogian
saratogian.com
Saratoga Springs, New York
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Saratoga County, New York
Dental work key to identifying missing Colorado teen
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Atlantic Circulation
October 31, 2009
DENVER AND THE WEST
Dental work key to identifying missing Colorado teen
By Howard Pankratz
The Denver Post
Posted: 10/31/2009 01:00:00 AM MDT
Updated: 10/31/2009 08:58:27 AM MDT

Jennifer Marie Hammond was missing for six years.

Jenny Hammond was a bright Douglas County teenager who wanted to see the United States and earn summer money when she went to upstate New York in 2003 as part of a crew selling magazine subscriptions, her mother said Friday.

On Monday, a hunter in Saratoga County, N.Y., found Hammond's remains six years after the 18-year-old was dropped off at a trailer park in Ballston Spa, N.Y., to sell subscriptions. She was never seen alive again.

Her death is being treated as a homicide, said Maj. William Sprague of the New York State Police.

"It is absolutely the most horrible thing that could happen to any parent's life," said Hammond's mother, Valerie Tiller. "It was devastating."

Related Articles
Oct 30:
Skull found in N.Y. is missing Douglas County teen's
Oct 29:
Bones in N.Y. ID'd as missing Douglas County teen
Tiller, a longtime elementary school teacher originally from Douglas County, said she came home Thursday evening to an answering machine message from New York detectives asking that she call.

At 7 a.m. Friday, they called her and told her Jenny's remains had been found.

"I'm so grateful that she will not be forgotten," said her mother, who now lives in Texas. "She will be buried in Colorado. Colorado is where she grew up. Her friends will be able to say goodbye."

On Aug. 1, 2003, Hammond was traveling in the area with other young people selling subscriptions for a company called Atlantic Circulation. She was dropped off at the trailer park, and when her ride returned two hours later, she was not there.

Sprague said Friday that the hunter found a partial skull, a jawbone and six teeth, three of which had "unique dental work."

Police already had dental chart

Aware of the individuals who had disappeared in the area, the State Police quickly focused on Hammond, whose family had previously provided investigators with Hammond's dental chart.

"We were fortunate that three teeth had unique dental work," Sprague said. "We are sure that these are Jennifer's remains. I believe it offers relief to the family, but we won't have satisfaction until we find out who is responsible."

Sprague said DNA tests will also be used to verify the findings. On Friday, Valerie Tiller gave authorities a sample of her DNA to be compared with DNA from the remains.

Tiller described her daughter as having an outgoing, friendly personality. She loved the arts.

She attended Castle Rock Middle School and then Douglas County High School in Castle Rock.

She loved to act and acted in musicals in high school, her mother said.

"She wanted to see new places"

Hammond had a friend who had sold subscriptions, and selling subscriptions appealed to Hammond because "she wanted to go out and see the world," said Tiller.

"She told me she wanted to see new places. She anticipated she would make a little summer money," Tiller said.

During her summer in the East, Tiller said, Hammond would call her at least once a month. But before she disappeared, she told her father, Davis Hammond, that she wanted to come home, and Davis Hammond bought her a bus ticket back to Colorado, Tiller said.

At the time, Tiller and Davis Hammond were going through a divorce, Tiller said.

"She had never been away from home except on family vacations, and I just assumed she was homesick for her family and her sister," said Tiller, referring to Jenny's younger sister, Julie, who is 19 and attending college in Colorado.

Hammond was missing for three months before a police report was filed, according to Saratoga County Sheriff James Bowen. She had left the magazine group before without telling others, only to return later, he said.

Tiller said her then-husband had given Jenny permission to sell the subscriptions during the summer. But Tiller said in retrospect she doesn't believe selling door-to-door subscriptions is safe.

Company has no information

"Magazine sales were not, and are not, a safe situation for anyone," Tiller said. "It is not safe for people to go to strange areas and knock on strange doors."

Sprague of the New York State Police said Atlantic Circulation has been cooperative.

Candra Misal, a supervisor at the York, Pa., company said the firm received numerous calls Friday about Hammond but that Hammond's name is not in their system.

"I tried to locate her information, and I was unable to," Misal said.

Tiller said that after her daughter's disappearance she went through grief counseling.

"I was told if I believed she was dead, I should accept it," Tiller said. "But I felt if I accepted it, it was like I was giving up.

"I know where she has been. She has been in heaven."

Davis Hammond declined comment Friday.

Howard Pankratz: 303-954-1939 or hpankratz@denverpost.com
By Howard Pankratz
The Denver Post
denverpost.com
Denver, Colorado
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Rockford, Illinois
Proposal would end door-to-door sales
October 31, 2009
Proposal would end door-to-door sales
By Kevin Haas
RRSTAR.COM
The Rockford Register Star
Posted Oct 31, 2009 @ 10:43 PM
Last update Oct 31, 2009 @ 10:45 PM
MACHESNEY PARK — A proposed law could end door-to-door sales in Machesney Park.

Charitable organizations, religious groups and political solicitors still would be allowed to go from house to house, unless a “No Solicitation” or “No Trespassing” sign is posted.

But no others would be welcome.

What’s next
The Machesney Park Administration and Finance Committee will review plans at 6 p.m. Monday at Village Hall, 300 Machesney Road, to change the soliciting laws to prohibit door-to-door sales.
“Everyone I’ve talked to is against (door-to-door sales), as far as residents,” village President Tom Strickland said. “I guess they feel the same way I do. If I want something, I’ll call you, don’t come bother me.”

The proposal will go before the village’s Administration and Finance Committee on Monday for village representatives’ first change to review the new law.

Committee member Frank Vitelli said he plans to recommend approval of the ordinance.

“I used to live in Elmhurst, and after a while it got really annoying with one person after another knocking on the door,” Vitelli said. “It wasn’t even during the day. It was at night while we’re eating supper.”

Resident Jaime Irwin said door-to-door sales are inconvenient.

“I’ve been in the middle of doing dinner or trying to take care of the kids,” Irwin said. “When you tell them you don’t want anything they just keep going and going and going.”

Resident John Valenta has no problems with Girl Scouts and kids raising money for schools, but others, like those selling magazine subscriptions, can be pushy.

“I don’t like being interrupted by them. I feel a lot like it’s the cold-calling you get on the telephone. You don’t really know who the people are, and sometimes they’re pretty intrusive,” Valenta said. “I understand they’re doing their job, but sometimes it seems like they’ll do anything they can to hold you at the door.”

The current law allows licensed businesses that have undergone background checks to make residential sales. Strickland said that can be an expensive process, adding that he had to pull the license of a burglary-alarm system business this year for overbearing tactics.

Just Energy, a supplier of natural gas, is the only company that is licensed and cleared to make sales in Machesney Park. Spokesman Gord Potter said in a message that it was unsettling that the board may prohibit door-to-door sales. He also said other companies are likely making sales without a license.

“I would be shocked to find there aren’t other companies going door to door,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that we’re the only ones to abide by the law.”

Reach staff writer Kevin Haas at khaas@rrstar.com or 815-987-1354.
By Kevin Haas
RRSTAR.COM
rrstar.com
The Rockford Register Star
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Gainesville, Florida
Fugitive Door-to-Door Magazine Salesman Arrested
October 30, 2009
Gainesville Police credit alert citizens for two recent arrests
The Gainesville Sun
Published: Friday, October 30, 2009 at 3:53 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, October 30, 2009 at 3:53 p.m.

Brian Craig

Wilber Johnston

Gainesville Police are crediting alert citizens for two recent arrests.
A fugitive from Pennsylvania raised one resident's suspicions while peddling magazines door-to-door on Thursday. A man spotted breaking into a car got the attention of another resident early Friday.

Both men were arrested on felony charges within hours of police being alerted.

Wilbur Johnston III, 23, was arrested on a Pennsylvania warrant charging him with theft, receiving stolen property and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Brian Allen Craig, 24, was arrested on three counts of vehicle burglary and one count each of criminal mischief and resisting arrest.

A resident of the 5600 block of Northwest 26th Street called police after Johnston came to the person's door claiming to be selling magazine subscriptions.

"In this day and age, anyone who is coming to your door in the middle of the work day should raise suspicions," said Gainesville police spokesman Lt. Keith Kameg.

Police questioned Johnston and, while confirming his identity, discovered he was wanted on the outstanding warrants.

Craig was arrested after being reported to police in connection incidents in the 4000 block of Northeast First Terrace.

A woman told police that she spotted a man pulling on several car-door handles and then walking through a neighbor's yard and opening their car doors before heading toward her house. The woman said she woke her husband, who chased the man out of their yard.

Officer Justin Torres said he spotted a suspect at MeadowCrest Apartments, 110 N.W. 39th Ave., but the man ran when he noticed Torres. Officer Charlie Owens and his K9 partner Justice tracked the man to an apartment door. Officers said they knocked, the man who opened the door was identified as Craig and as the man who ran from Torres and the car owner.

Police said that Craig denied burglarizing any vehicles and said he had been in the neighborhood to buy marijuana.
The Gainesville Sun
gainesville.com
Gainesville, Florida
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Chico, California
Police still trying to find alleged bogus magazine sellers
October 30, 2009
Police still trying to find alleged bogus magazine sellers
By GREG WELTER - Staff Writer
Chico Enterprise-Record
Posted: 10/30/2009 12:07:33 AM PDT
CHICO — Police are still working to identify people selling magazine subscriptions in the Chico area allegedly to benefit organizations with which they have no connection.

Over the past several weeks residents have reported salespeople coming to their doors claiming to be raising funds for Chico American Legion Baseball, The Chico State University student council and soldiers serving in Iraq.

Contacts have been reported both inside and outside Chico city limits, and the Butte County Sheriff's Office is also involved in the investigation.

Police said they're particularly concerned because many of the victims are elderly, and alleged scam artists have been invited into their homes to make their sales pitch.

In one case an elderly woman who bought a subscription was the intended victim of a telephone scam the next day. She didn't fall for it, but police believe it may be connected to the door-to-door scam.

Police note that alleged fraudsters currently working the Chico area are typically in their 20's, and often travel in rented vans with out-of-state license plates.

The salespeople are characterized as being very skilled at getting victims to fall for their scam, sometimes gathering information from residents so they can use it to their advantage at other stops. They often claim to be relatives or friends of people in the area.

Police are pursuing leads into the identities of the alleged scammers and want to speak with anyone who believes they've had contact with them. The Chico police detective bureau can be reached at 897-5820 during normal business hours, or call 895-4911 after hours.
By GREG WELTER - Staff Writer
Chico Enterprise-Record
http://www.chicoer.com
Chico, California
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Okaloosa County, Florida
Police still trying to find alleged bogus magazine sellers
October 30, 2009
Magazine Sales Scam Alert
Reporter: Michele Nicholson, O-C-S-O
WJHG News Channel 7
Posted: 9:28 PM Oct 30, 2009
The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office is receiving complaints from residents who say they are being contacted by door-to-door solicitors selling magazines and asking for donations for inner city literacy and other programs. Some sellers reportedly request to come inside for a drink or to use the restroom, sparking concerns that they may be looking for items to steal. Although some magazine subscription sales are legitimate, many are not. The Better Business Bureau says scam operations are common and typically involve some sort of emotional appeal to pressure people to purchase magazine subscriptions. To avoid being a victim of a scam, you can check out businesses at www.bbb.org before making a purchase. The Better Business Bureau also says don't be pressured into buying and remember you have three days to cancel purchases over $25 that are made in your home or at a location that is not the seller's permanent place of business. If you are a victim of fraudulent magazine sales, file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and notify local law enforcement.
Reporter: Michele Nicholson, O-C-S-O
WJHG News Channel 7
http://www.wjhg.com
Okaloosa County, Florida
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Ballston Spa, New York
Skull fragments identified as missing Colo. woman
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Atlantic Circulation Co.
October 29, 2009
Skull fragments identified as missing Colo. woman
By PAUL POST
The Saratogian
Published: Thursday, October 29, 2009

This undated photo of Jessica Hammond was provided by the New York State Police. Hammond, 18 at the time, was last seen in the latter part of August 2003, soliciting magazines in the Creek and Pines Trailer Park in Ballston Spa. Skull fragments found in a remote part of Greenfield were positively identified as the missing Colorado woman. (Photo provided)


BALLSTON SPA – For the family of 18-year-old Jennifer M. Hammond, the wait and hope are over.

Police on Thursday positively identified skull fragments discovered Monday in a remote part of Greenfield as belonging to the Colorado woman who was last seen at the Creek and Pines Trailer Park, in Milton, in late August 2003.

Police say they’re handling the case as a homicide, but have no suspects.

“Everyone wants to know where their loved one is,” Saratoga County Sheriff James Bowen said. “At least it will give closure to the family.”

Hammond, originally from Littleton, Colo., was selling magazines in the area with her employer, Atlantic Circulation Co. She failed to appear at a designated pickup point and was never heard or seen from again.

Remains found Monday were identified with a check of dental records involving a number of unsolved local missing persons cases.

“There was sufficient surfaces as well as dental work that had been done to compare it to her records,” said Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy III.

State Police Major William Sprague said, “We were fortunate to get an identification this early in the case. We have found nothing else other than what secure on the first and second day (Monday and Tuesday). We are still looking for other things.”

The sheriff’s office and state police are conducting a joint investigation.

“They’ll continue to search that area of the woods,” Murphy said. “Nearby, there might be more remains or bones. Certainly the search will broaden in scope.”

Check back at www.saratogian.com or in Friday's newspaper for additional details on this developing story.
By PAUL POST
The Saratogian
saratogian.com
Saratoga Springs, New York
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Lakewood, Washington
Lakewood hotel beating: Magazine sales job turns into nightmare
October 24, 2009
Lakewood hotel beating: Magazine sales job turns into nightmare
Lakewood: Police, prosecutors charge six fellow workers with robbery, assault after beating
BRIAN EVERSTINE; The News Tribune
Published: 10/24/09 12:05 am | Updated: 10/24/09
Jeremy Martin was 27, looking to get out of his Texas hometown and find some direction in his life.

So he joined a traveling crew selling magazines. He believed the promise of money, fun and travel.

For three years, he slept on motel room floors after working 14 hours a day, six days a week.

Not only were the days long, but they also could turn mean.

To make sure he put subscription sales above all else, Martin said in a recent interview with The News Tribune, he was brainwashed, threatened and sometimes beaten.

But nothing was as bad as what happened to him earlier this month after he told his boss he was leaving the crew.

Police and prosecutors say six members of Martin’s crew broke into his room at a Lakewood motel Oct. 12 and beat Martin and his best friend with baseball bats, a golf club and brass knuckles. Six people were arrested in connection with the attack.

Martin and his friend – who The News Tribune is not naming because he could not be reached for this story – had put up with mistreatment for years because they had nowhere else to go. They were stuck in an industry that experts say is unregulated and thrives on violence and coercion. “There is no regulation of this industry at all,” said Earlene Williams, who runs Parent Watch, an organization created to keep tabs on the industry and help those who want to get out.

At any one time, more than 200 traveling magazine crews are working in the United States, Williams said. Because the crews are constantly traveling, no single entity can watch over what they do, she said.

Martin could have used the help.

“The only thing I wanted from this game was to get out if it,” he said.

WASHINGTON WAS THEIR GOAL

Earlier this year, in a Baltimore motel room, Martin and his friend decided it was time to end their “mag crew” life.

They had the perfect place to go.

“Washington was always it,” Martin said. “We said once we get to Washington, we’re through.”

The state was just what he expected. The rain was rough, but the people, the diversity, the girls – this was it.

The Northwest was where Martin would finally begin his life.

This fall, he and his friend finally made it. Martin told his bosses he was out of the business once they were done with the area.

Two weeks later, on the night of Oct. 12, Martin was relaxing on the floor of his Best Night Inn motel room.

His friend was in the bed, watching “Family Guy.”

A roommate came in to pack up some things, and asked to use the bathroom. As he opened the door to the bathroom, several crew members came into the room and started beating Martin and his friend, court documents state.

In the interview with The News Tribune Martin told what happened next:

He said he was on the floor when a crew member started hitting him with a bat.The others were screaming and kicking.

“I get met with a bat,” Martin recalled. “I was lying on the ground, getting hit, and I was able to hold on to the bat. He said, ‘Let go of the bat!’ Someone in the back said, ‘Hey, let me get some of Jeremy.’”

Martin was hit repeatedly with a golf club. He said the only thing that saved him was that the club broke when someone smashed his ankle with it.

He was able to see his friend, still on the bed. He looked unconscious and bloodied. The crew members kept beating him. He couldn’t move. He just kept taking the blows, Martin said.

“I remember thinking, ‘Man, just leave him alone,’” Martin said. “What else can you do? There was no justice in those swings.”

Earlier that week, Martin suspected he was in trouble and asked the motel to keep an eye on his room. Police were called quickly after the beating began.

The attackers had a lookout and immediately fled as officers arrived.

Police stopped the group’s white Ford Expedition in the parking lot. Six men were inside One had brass knuckles and a loaded gun, police said.

Officers arrested the six men: Glenn A. Pinkney, 21; Vespucci D. Cole, 39; Richard H. Griffith, 36; Samuel Cole, 40; Joshua T. Neloms, 24; and Jonathon B. Massey, 21. All were charged with first-degree robbery and second-degree assault and have pleaded not guilty.

Pierce County deputy prosecutor Sunni Ko said the charges could change once she reviews medical records about the injuries Martin and his friend suffered. Martin hurt his back, leg and ankle, along with multiple cuts. His friend spent a week in the hospital with head injuries.

Calls to four of the men’s attorneys seeking comment were not returned. The other two declined to comment because they had just received the case and had not been able to visit with their clients.

PROMISES UNFULFILLED

Managers of the organizations whose crews roam the country selling magazine subscriptions advertise for workers in job publications, on Web sites and through signs placed across the country.

The ads promise money, a fun atmosphere and travel across the United States.

Martin saw such a sign when he was living in Texas, called the phone number and ended up joining the crew in Chicago.

“We come with the hope of actually being able to do something,” he said. “But it’s nothing but a lie.”

Martin said he was promised he’d be paid based on the number of subscriptions he sold. His pay varied each week – sometimes he calculated it should have been $1,000 – but he never got what he thought he’d earned, he said. Plus, he had to pay for his food and rent. In the end, he was pretty much broke.

No one connected with the organization that ran the crew Martin worked in could be reached for this story.

The groups he was familiar with vary from a dozen people working in sales to up to 50. In many cases, they stay for a few months in one city, packed into motels.

Martin said he worked 12 to 14 hours a day, six days a week, with Sundays off except for the daily meeting.

Managers held meetings every day at 7 a.m. There, Martin said, he was “brainwashed” to consider only profit and production.

In the closed environment of motels and vans, salespeople cared only about their status and sales, thinking it would give them money and respect.

It became their only focus, and many forgot they were sleeping in motels, barely making any money at all.

“Once they get in, they’re hoping the status gives them freedom from abuse,” said Williams of Parent Watch.

The biggest threat, she said, is brutality.

“Something that is unique to this industry is the level of violence,” she said.

Salespeople are beaten for not making a quota in sales, Williams said. Some managers even drive sellers out in the middle of nowhere in a strange area and abandon them.

The Web site travelingsalescrews.info tracks violent incidents involving crews through news reports. It has counted more than 300 felony cases and 86 deaths involving magazine crews over the years.

Williams’ organization helps crew members seeking a way out. She said she gets multiple calls daily asking for help. This week, while she was speaking to someone trying to get out of a crew, a manager came in and beat him, she said.

READY FOR STABILITY

Martin said he was jealous of the homeowners he visited in neighborhoods where he touted magazines.

He wants a home, but since the attack, he’s without a stable place to live. He hopes to work both a day and a night job until he has a place to “lay my head without worrying about it getting kicked in,” he said.

“All I want to do is live a normal life,” Martin said. “I want a gym membership. I want to play basketball on Sundays. I want to go to church. I want neighbors.”

He said he plans to stay in the area, because Washington was always his goal. What happened at the motel wasn’t because of where he was working, he said, it was the people he was working with.

Martin does have advice for anyone in his position three years ago when he joined the “mag life.”

“There’s got to be something better,” he said. “This ain’t even a last resort. You’re going backwards.”

Brian Everstine: 253-597-8374
brian.everstine@thenewstribune.com
blog.thenewstribune.com/crime
BRIAN EVERSTINE; The News Tribune
253-597-8374
brian.everstine@thenewstribune.com
blog.thenewstribune.com/crime thenewstribune.com
Tacoma, Washington
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Chico, California
Magazine subscription seller claims links to American Legion baseball
October 21, 2009
Magazine subscription seller claims links to American Legion baseball
By GREG WELTER - Staff Writer
Chico Enterprise-Record
Posted: 10/21/2009 12:07:03 AM PDT

CHICO — A young man selling magazine subscriptions door to door in some Chico neighborhoods claims to be raising money for American Legion baseball, but he's asking that checks be made out to a dead relative. Reportedly seen in neighborhoods around Keefer Road and Neal Dow Avenue, the man makes various claims about being an American Legion player.

He's reportedly knocked on the door of American Legion officials, who quickly discovered holes in his story.

Tom Stevens, the director of American Legion baseball in Chico, said the league isn't currently doing any fundraising, and would never solicit money door-to-door.

The salesman, described as being between 18 and 21, reportedly tells prospects he's raising money to send Chico teams to a tournament in Hawaii.

American Legion officials believe the man is a local, and said he gathers information about the league as he goes door-to-door, so he can use it in his sales pitch. In one case, Stevens said, he got information from the mother of a former player.

At least one resident has written him a substantial check.

"We've verified that the person he's having checks written to is deceased," Laver said. "We don't know if he's got an account open in that name or not." Stevens said the man is hurting the image of American Legion baseball, which has been active in Chico for 70 years.

Sgt. George Laver said the case has been turned over to Chico police detectives.

The Butte County Sheriff's Office is also investigating, since several of the sales contacts have taken place in the county. Laver said no one should ever make out a check supporting an organization in the name of an individual. "The check should always be made out to the organization," he said.
By GREG WELTER - Staff Writer
Chico Enterprise-Record
chicoer.com
Chico, California
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Ruston, Louisiana
Several women suspected in scam
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Atlantic Circulation Incorporated
October 20, 2009
Several women suspected in scam
Police: Group is allegedly selling fake magazine subscriptions
Chris Butler, Reporter
The Ruston Daily Leader
10-20-2009
Ruston police are warning the public about members of a Pennsylvania-based group who are allegedly going door-to-door and selling fraudulent magazine subscriptions.

Members of the group are all women ages 18-24 and affiliated with the Atlantic Circulation Incorporated. Police recently told the women to cease their activities and leave Ruston. None of the women were arrested. Police received reports that the women sold almost 40 fraudulent magazine subscriptions to people in the city, said Lt. Curtis Hawkins, spokesman for the Ruston Police Department.

“Several of these girls were claiming to be from this area. In fact, they are all (mostly) from the West Coast,” Hawkins said.

The women were actually from various places in New Mexico, California, Florida, Utah, Washington state and Oregon, Hawkins said.

“They deceived and lied to numerous people saying they were from Ruston and that this was a local activity. It would have taken a citizen to ask only a couple of questions to verify they were local. Local residents should call the organization they claim to be from to verify they are who they say they are, if there is any doubt,” Hawkins said.

Police received reports last weekend that the women were going door-to-door selling magazine subscriptions. They located one of the women on East Maryland Street. They later learned that six other women were also in Ruston trying to sell magazine subscriptions, Hawkins said.

“Their sales pitch was that they were attempting to earn money and prizes through magazine subscriptions. One said they were trying to make money for their senior trip. They said they earned points by the number of sales they made,” Hawkins said.

Sgt. Clint Williams began investigating their activities and learned that numerous people in other areas have complained about them to the Better Business Bureau. He also learned that 37 people in Ruston had given money to them for magazine subscriptions, Hawkins said.

“This group even went so far as to claim that they got more points if they would pay through an ATM transaction. They tried to get customers to pay with cash so that they could get the money right then,” Hawkins said.

“This is not the first time this group has come through Ruston.”

Many people across the country have complained about members of the Atlantic Circulation Incorporated selling fraudulent magazine subscriptions, according to a Google search of the company.

Police think that there are possibly more unidentified victims in Ruston who purchased fraudulent magazine subscriptions.

Police ask any potential victims to call them at 255-4141, Hawkins said.
Chris Butler, Reporter
The Ruston Daily Leader
rustonleader.com
Ruston, Louisiana
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Cincinnati, Ohio
Door to Door Magazine Scam Alert
October 20, 2009
Door to Door Magazine Scam Alert
Reported by: John Matarese
Email: jmatarese@wcpo.com
WCPO-TV
WCPO is an ABC affiliate
Last Update: 2:00 pm
Cincinnati Children's Hospital is warning people in the Cincinnati area not order books or magazines from young people traveling door-to-door, who claim that proceeds are benefiting the hospital. The hospital is not receiving any money, and has no connection with these people. They appear to be one of many traveling groups that criscross the country in vans each year selling magazines, staying in budget hotels and moving from community to community. Sometimes they claim your payment benefits sick children, other times a soccer or football team, other times it will help them pay for a student trip to Europe. In many cases they are lying, and there is no guarantee you will ever receive your magazines. Read the full statement from Children's:
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center would like to warn Greater Cincinnati residents about a recent scam that is going on. There are door to door salespeople who are selling magazines and books claiming that the proceeds will benefit Cincinnati Children's. The hospital would like residents to know that this is a scam and that these monies are not going back to the hospital. If one of the sales people knock on your door Cincinnati Children's is suggesting that you DO NOT purchase any materials. If you want more information about how to legitimately donate money to the hospital, people can call 513-636-4561 or go to www.cincinnatichildrens.com/donate.
Reported by: John Matarese
Email: jmatarese@wcpo.com
WCPO-TV
WCPO is an ABC affiliate
wcpo.com
Cincinnati, Ohio
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Reading, Pennsylvania
Colebrookdale Township OKs ordinance requiring registration of door-to-door sellers
October 20, 2009
Colebrookdale Township OKs ordinance requiring registration of door-to-door sellers
By Harlan Snyder
Reading Eagle Press
Reading Eagle Company
Last Update: 10/20/2009 12:04:00 AM
The Colebrookdale Township commissioners adopted an ordinance requiring people selling products door to door to register with the township and undergo criminal-background checks. Failure to register would result in a citation, Solicitor Jeffrey C. Karver said during Monday night's meeting. An offense is subject to a fine of $25 to $300 and up to 90 days in jail. Enacting a criminal rather than a civil ordinance enables the township police to enforce it, Karver added. The ordinance was drawn up after residents complained of what they called aggressive tactics by some people going door to door. Karver did not specifically name the organization, which he said was selling home alarm systems.
- By Harlan Snyder
By Harlan Snyder
Reading Eagle Press
Reading Eagle Company
readingeagle.com
Reading, Pennsylvania
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Madison, Alabama
North Alabama BBB getting complaints about magazine solicitors
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Face to Face Technologies
October 19, 2009
North Alabama BBB getting complaints about magazine solicitors
WAFF 48 News
Posted: Oct 19, 2009 5:47 PM CDT
Updated: Oct 19, 2009 9:49 PM CDT

MADISON, AL (WAFF) - The next time a door-to-door salesperson comes to your home, you may want to do some research before you sign that check.

Several complaints have come in to the Better Business Bureau about magazine solicitors in the past week.

Mostly from the Decatur area, but WAFF 48 News spoke to a Madison man Monday who said he fears he was almost taken and wants to warn others.

Lance Allen initially wasn't suspicious of the two people who knocked on his apartment door in Madison Saturday night.

"It was these two college age girls saying they were selling magazines raising money for charity and in a contest, where they collected points," Allen said.

They asked to come inside and eventually Allen's fiance wrote out a check for four magazine subscriptions.

But when the girls left, the couple's suspicions rose.

"Googled the name of the company, immediately it just brought up several returns," Allen said.

They were all negative, including reports of people never receiving the magazines they paid for, even months later.

And difficulty getting a hold of the company to see about a refund.

Michele McDaniel of the Better Business Bureau tells us Face to Face Technologies, the company the girls claimed to work for, has had 284 complaints filed against it in the past three years, including a least a half dozen filed last week from Morgan County.

"They have F ratings. Primarily because they have complaints that have been registered that they did not responded to or resolve," McDaniel said.

By federal law, people have 72 hours to cancel a purchase made from a door-to-door salesperson.

That request must be done in writing and postmarked within three business days of your purchase.

You can also do as Lance Allen did and put a stop payment on the check and change your bank account number.

Here are some red flags to look out for if you're approached: If the salesperson is pushy and encourages you to pay in cash, if they are from out of town and if they ask to come into your home.
WAFF 48 News
waff.com
Madison, Alabama
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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Officials warn students of potential scammers
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Pacific Coast Clearing Service
October 18, 2009
Officials warn students of potential scammers
Charley Groth
Kirkwood Community College
Communique' Online
Issue date: 9/18/09 Section: News
"I should have seen the signs," recalled one Kirkwood Community College student in Cedar Rapids who last month handed over a $75 check to a young woman claiming to be selling magazines for the Kirkwood speech department.

The student, who prefers to remain anonymous, said the "sales" person pushed herself into his Village East apartment and handed him a glossy, official-looking list of magazine subscriptions to choose from. "She said she needed to earn points so that she could get a trip to Hawaii," he said.

Wanting to help out this fellow student and wanting her out of his kitchen, he agreed to a subscription of ESPN Magazine, wrote a check and received a sticker for his door, to supposedly alert other magazine "salesmen" of his purchase so they wouldn't bother him.

"I felt kinda stupid after she left," said the student. Suspicious, he called a friend to tell him about the experience and found out that the friend, too, had just written a check to the same company, Pacific Coast Clearing Services.

With a little digging, they discovered that no one affiliated with Kirkwood was selling magazines and Pacific Coast Clearing Service, based out of Gig Harbor, Wash., has a reputation of popping up all over the country peddling phony or non-existent subscriptions.

Though some people tried to call Pacific Coast Clearing Service, they reached a message announcing the office hours and asked the caller to call back later, even though the business should have been open.

"I knew it was a scam right away," said Brenda Cooley, a Kirkwood instructor who was notified of the incident by the anonymous student's mother. "This has been a problem for a couple of years."

If your trusting Iowan nature insists that you open the door for a stranger, at least keep your eyes open for these telltale signs of a rip-off artist. First, ask for the solicitor's identification and permit. Be wary of someone asking for a donation to benefit an organization or purpose. When the solicitor asks for cash or even offers a reduced price for cash, the conversation should be over.

Cooleysaid she thinks Kirkwood could include information about potential scammers in its freshman orientation. She said the apartments around campus could also warn students when they sign the lease.

Other scams that college students should be aware of, according to Scambusters.org, are, above all, identity theft. College students can be heavy Internet users and scammers are constantly trolling social networking sites like Facebook collecting data that could be used to steal your identity or put you on lists for later data mining.

Since the whole point of these sites is to divulge personal information, only complete social networking abstinence will save you here.

Also, beware of scholarship scams. Many services online will charge you a fee to match you up with a scholarship but this is totally unnecessary because scholarship information is available free online at sites like FastWeb.com or FindTuition.com.

Along with this, don't respond to offers of student loans. Your first stop should be the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Then, if you need more money, go to a bank or a source that you know is reputable.

Luckily, the two students in this story were able to cancel their checks in time, walking away from the experience unscathed monetarily but more weary of the next knock at the door.
Charley Groth
Kirkwood Community College
Communique' Online
media.www.kirkwoodstudentmedia.com
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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Fayetteville, Georga
Fayette Scam Warning
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Dynasty Sales, LLC
October 18, 2009
Fayette Scam Warning
Advisory Message has been issued by the Tyrone Police Department.
Georgia Front Page
fayettefrontpage.com
Sunday October 18, 2009 16:38 PM EDT
Scam warning - Dynasty Sales, LLC going door to door selling magazine subscriptions. An individual living just outside the Town limits sent me an email to advise me of a potential scam: "A young white male representing “Dynasty Sales, LLC” was in the _______ subdivision on Friday October 16 selling magazine subscriptions. My wife ‘bought’ a magazine that totaled $49.00. We received a call from another person living in Sharpsburg today. He found my wife’s order form in the street. Using the number on the order form, he contacted us to let us know he had our order. He had also been approached on Friday evening but didn’t buy. We compared stories and the person’s description matched but the sales pitch didn’t. The young man told us he lived in a specific house in our neighborhood. When we checked if he lived there we found out he didn’t but had already been to that house soliciting money for a soccer team. This guy is really good and I hope he doesn’t hit Tyrone." Please be extremely vigilant when individuals approach your home soliciting products. Criminals use these tactics to obtain your information for the purpose of identity fraud and they may be using their approach and sales pitch as a method to get a closer look at your home in order to "case" it. It is against Town ordinance for anyone to sell door to door without a permit and documentation from Town Hall. Ask anyone who approaches you to see their permit. If they can't produce a valid permit tell them "no thanks", politely ask them to leave, and call 911 or 770-461-HELP immediately and provide the dispatcher with a description of the person and the activity and an officer will respond. If you have interacted with this individual - especially if you made a purchase - please send me an email at bperkins@tyrone.org and I will arrange to have a report filed and assist you with protecting your information.
Thanks,
Chief Brandon Perkins
Georgia Front Page
fayettefrontpage.com
Fayetteville, Georga
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Chico, California
Sales scam hits Butte County
October 17, 2009
Sales scam hits Butte County
Staff Reports
Chico Enterprise-Record
Posted: 10/17/2009 03:07:42 PM PDT
The Chico Police Department has recently received reports of a possible scam of residents in Chico and the surrounding Butte County area. The suspect or suspects have been going door-to-door trying to sell children's books to raise money for a baseball tournament in Hawaii, according to a press release. The suspect is described as a white male, age 16 to 30. The suspect usually claims to be affiliated with Chico American Legion Baseball. Tom Stevens, director of baseball operations for the legion, said the program is not conducting any fundraising activities. The legion will never solicit money door-to-door. If someone is approached by anyone claiming to be working with the program, they should call Stevens at 342-0717 for verification. Anyone with information relating to the case is urged to call the Chico Police Department or the Butte County Sheriff's Department.
Staff Reports
Chico Enterprise-Record
chicoer.com
Chico, California
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Lamorinda, California
Itinerant Magazine Gangs
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Companys:
OverAchievers USA
Fresh Start Opportunities
http://www.freshstartopportunities.com
Trade Group:
National Field Selling Association - NFSA
http://www.nfsa.com
October 16, 2009
Itinerant Magazine Gangs, Er, Salespeople Getting Meaner - Lamorindans Shutting Their Doors
Posted by J.D. at 8:34 AM
Friday, October 16, 2009
EastBayDaze
Lamorinda's Alternative eNewspaper
He was a strapping kid, six-foot-one or so and he was dressed in dialed back Hip Hop attire. He was on our doorstep late at night and his pitch was well-rehearsed.

"Hi, I'm Mike, Jane's son. We live on Donald - you've probably seen my mom, she's the one walking the Golden Retriever every morning - and I'm selling magazine subscriptions for the Moraga Bandits baseball team..."

We asked him where he lived again and he pointed vaguely up the street - in the wrong direction. "I'm selling these subscriptions... if I sell enough the team gets to go to Sacramento." Holding out his order pad.

None of it smelled right, and we asked him to break out the ID. He showed us a lame, peeling, Kinko-laminated card with someone else's picture on it and "OverAchievers USA" at the bottom and it all came together.

"You're with the group that killed the woman in Lafayette," we said and he looked like we'd hit him with a two-by-four.

"Dude..."

"Let's go talk to your mom... up there on Donald. If she can vouch for you, we'll support the team."

That's when it all fell apart, and he began to prance around, muttering veiled threats and finally breaking when we told him to hit the road. He went by a few minutes later in the van they use to bring the kids in, flipping off the house.

OverAchievers has changed its name, of course, after one of their "salesmen" raped and killed a Lafayette woman a few years back, and we were surprised the kid was still using one of the old IDs. The game is to recruit kids, pump them up about selling, give them a thinly veiled but outwardly believable cover story and send them into "well-to-do" neighborhoods to pick off what money they can.

With the economy being what it is there is no end of "recruits" and the "companies" that recruit them are getting even more ruthless.

Two boys working as itinerant magazine salesmen were beaten with baseball bats and golf clubs on Monday night when they told their bosses they wanted to quit, the police in Lakewood Wash., say.

The victims remain hospitalized, and six men were charged in the attack and are in jail, police said.

The Washington state attorney general’s office said Thursday that it was considering civil penalties against the magazine sales company, Fresh Start Opportunities.

As usual, there were quite a few complaints lodged against "Fresh Start" (don't you just love the irony in these names?) which has said it is a charity working to help at-risk youth get work experience, even though the company is not registered as a charity.

Consumers have also reported never receiving the magazines that Fresh Start Opportunities sold them, and last October a member of one of the crews was charged in a robbery and assault on a customer.

EastBayDaze did a little digging and found that these magazine sales companies recruit young people to travel the country living in motels and selling subscriptions, often with a pitch tied to a charitable cause. In 2007, The New York Times reported that many sellers find that their wages are withheld by the company once they begin traveling.

Many sellers also faced physical threats or violence if they asked to leave or were abandoned penniless and hundreds of miles from home.

A request for comment from National Field Selling Association, which represents many of the magazine sellers went unanswered. The phone number for Fresh Start Opportunities has been disconnected.

You may want to keep that in mind the next time a fresh-faced kid turns up on your doorstep... and they will.

Posted by J.D. at 8:34 AM
Posted by J.D. at 8:34 AM
EastBayDaze
Lamorinda's Alternative eNewspaper
eastbaydaze.com
Lamorinda, California
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Dediacted Memorial Parents Group
Lafayette, California
Salesman pleads guilty to 2005 slaying of elderly Lafayette woman
Door-to-Door Sales Company: Overachievers
December 30, 2008
By Malaika Fraley
CONTRA COSTA TIMES
Posted: 12/30/2008 07:57:27 PM PST
Updated: 12/31/2008 06:33:50 AM PST

For more information on OverAchievers Rape/Murder Case see Breaking News 2008

http://www.travelingsalescrews.info/door to door sales 2008.html


For Additional Info. On OverAchievers Rape/Murder
Seacrh: Richard Craig McNew


Lakewood, Washington
Six Charged in Beatings of Salesmen
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Fresh Start Opportunities
October 15, 2009
Six Charged in Beatings of Salesmen
By IAN URBINA
The New York Times
Published: October 15, 2009
Two young people working as itinerant magazine salesmen were beaten with baseball bats and golf clubs on Monday night when they told their bosses they wanted to quit, the police in Lakewood Wash., said, reviving questions about the magazine sales industry’s practices.

The victims remain hospitalized, and six men were charged in the attack and are in jail, the authorities said.

In the wake of the incident, the state attorney general’s office said Thursday that it was considering civil penalties against the magazine sales company, Fresh Start Opportunities.

“There have been repeated complaints about this company,” said Kristin Alexander, a spokeswoman for the state consumer protection division. “And we intend to do something about it.”

Ms. Alexander said her office had recently issued two warnings about the company, which has said it is a charity working to help at-risk youth get work experience, even though the company is not registered as a charity.

Consumers have also reported never receiving the magazines that Fresh Start Opportunities sold them, and last October a member of one of the crews was charged in a robbery and assault on a customer, Ms. Alexander said.

Magazine sales companies recruit young people to travel the country living in motels and selling subscriptions, often with a pitch tied to a charitable cause. But in 2007, an article in The New York Times reported that many sellers find that their wages are withheld by the company once they begin traveling.

Many sellers also faced physical threats or violence if they asked to leave or were abandoned penniless and hundreds of miles from home.

Prosecution has been difficult because the crews are typically categorized as “independent contractors,” which insulates the companies from regulation, taxes and liability, and exempts them from most federal and state minimum wage and overtime requirements.

A request for comment from National Field Selling Association, which represents many of the magazine sellers got no response. The phone number for Fresh Start Opportunities has been disconnected.

“The economy is bad, so more kids are desperate for work and are joining crews,” said Earlene Williams, the director of Parent Watch, an industry watchdog group.

Ms. Williams said she received about 10 emergency calls a day from crewmembers, nearly double what it was a year or so ago.

“But no one is buying subscriptions either, so many of these kids are being moved several states from where they live and then abandoned,” she said.

In March, a Wisconsin law made it more difficult to declare salespeople independent contractors, rather than employees protected by federal labor laws.

Ms. Williams said she was pushing federal legislators to pass a similar measure.
By IAN URBINA
The New York Times
nytimes.com
New York, New York
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Southwestern Company Slave Labor? Door to door sales?
Door-to-Door Sales Company:
Southwestern Company
Trade Group:
Direct Selling Association - DSA
October 14, 2009
Southwestern Company Slave Labor? Door to door sales?
October 14th, 2009 | Author: admin
recruitmorefast.com
Has anyone had a chance to talk to any of the foreign students that are selling door to door for the Southwestern company?

I have read a few yahoo answers regarding this company and it is blatantly obvious that these Q & A’s are coming directly from people from that company as they hit all the "Talking points". It appears that they pose the ? and than provide the answer. Just a bit suspicious in my opinion.

I would like to know if anyone here thinks that it is a MLM brainwashing program that lures foreign students to America to work 80 hours a week, knocking on doors, without ANY free, personal time…and if you feel it is morally right to subject them to such an outdated sales practice, without first informing them that Americans do NOT like people knocking on their doors anymore than we like telemarketers!

I wonder if the SOUTHWESTERN Company executives are on the DO NOT CALL TELEMARKETER LIST ?

Any opinions on this Company and their sales tactics would be greatly appreciate

There are a million more like them. Usually, they pick foreign or very poor young men and women who are desperate for money. I have seen it happen a lot.
Author: admin
recruitmorefast.com
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Dediacted Memorial Parents Group
Research The Southwestern Company and The DSA:
Research
http://www.travelingsalescrews.info/southwestern company.html


Tacoma, Washington
Beaten with clubs, bats: High-pressure sales?
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Fresh Start Opportunities
October 14, 2009
Beaten with clubs, bats: High-pressure sales?
By Sabra Gertsch
KVAL TV
Story Published: Oct 14, 2009 at 9:01 AM PDT
TACOMA, Wash. -- A meeting of magazine salesman at a hotel room on Monday night ended with two in the hospital and six others in jail.

Investigators say trouble began after the group gathered at a room at the Best Night Inn in Tacoma.

When two of the men announced they wanted out of the magazine-selling operation, they were beaten with baseball bats and golf clubs.

The attackers ran off, but just blocks away, police stopped a white SUV that didn't have its headlights on.

Police grew suspicious when one of the men inside the car lied about his name. When officers found that same person was armed with brass knuckles and a gun, all six men in the car were taken into custody.

What's more, the state Attorney General's Office says the men were not selling magazines.

Order forms for a company called Fresh Start Opportunities were found in the hotel room. Just a few weeks ago, the attorney general issued a second warning about a door-to-door scam involving a company by that name.

Fresh Start claims to give young adults a fresh start on life with the money consumers pay for magazine subscriptions. But people across the country reported getting no magazines for their donations ranging from $50 and $800.

The two victims' conditions were not known. The six men who were arrested have been booked into the Pierce County Jail.
By Sabra Gertsch
KVAL TV
kval.com
Eugene, Oregon
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Lakewood, Washington
Lakewood police arrested six in assault on fellow magazine salesmen
October 13, 2009
Lakewood police arrested six in assault on fellow magazine salesmen
Posted By Stacey Mulick on October 13, 2009 at 3:06 pm
The News Tribune
Lakewood police have arrested six men suspected of assaulting two coworkers who were trying to break away from a magazine subscription-selling operation Monday night.

The victims, ages 27 and 30, were taken to a local hospital for treatment of their injuries, Lakewood police Lt. Heidi Hoffman said. The extent of their injuries was not known.

The six arrested men were booked into Pierce County Jail this morning on first-degree assault and other charges. The men range in age from 21 to 40, Hoffman said.

The incident occurred Monday night at a hotel on South Tacoma Way. Hoffman reports the suspects and victims are magazine salesmen. A fight broke out when the victims tried to leave the company. The suspects reportedly beat the victims with baseball bats and golf clubs, then fled about 11:45 p.m.

Lakewood police officers stopped a white SUV at 92nd Street South and South Tacoma Way because it didn't have its lights on, Hoffman said. While officers were contacting the occupants, they noticed the driver and a passenger were sweaty.

During the traffic stop, the assault was reported. The occupants of the SUV matched the descriptions of the suspects in the assault.

A passenger provided officers with a false name. They asked him to get out of the rig and found he was in possession of a gun and brass knuckles. Those items were taken as evidence, Hoffman said.

The driver and the other occupants of the SUV were arrested in the beating.
Posted By Stacey Mulick on October 13, 2009 at 3:06 pm
The News Tribune
blog.thenewstribune.com
Tacoma Washington
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Olympia, Washington
Beware of magazine sales scam on your porch
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Fresh Start Opportunities
October 13, 2009
Beware of magazine sales scam on your porch
THE OLYMPIAN | • Published October 13, 2009
Attorney General Rob McKenna has issued a warning about Fresh Start Opportunities. Washington residents must pay attention to McKenna’s warning and refuse to be duped by the door-to-door magazine sales scam. “If a young person knocks on your door and says they’re selling magazines for a charity, wait before reaching for your pocketbook,” McKenna said. Solicitors who left the state after a warning in March have returned, pitching Fresh Start Opportunities as a job training company that sends young adults on the sales circuit to give them a “fresh start.” But the organization has refused to register as a charitable organization with Secretary of State Sam Reed’s office and, in addition, has been the target of multiple consumer complaints to both the AG’s office and the Better Business Bureau. “After paying generous amounts for subscriptions, consumers throughout the country never received the magazines and have no idea how their money was spent,” McKenna said. The attorney general said customer complaints have ranged from a loss of $50 to as much as $784. Many victims said they were persuaded to subscribe by the heartfelt stories of the sales force. The youthful hawkers claimed to be earning money for college, working toward a better job, earning points for a free trip or contributing toward homeless youth. Most patrons paid by check. Those who filed complaints said they never received anything in return for their investment. McKenna said his office has received complaints from consumers around the country because Fresh Start Opportunities lists a downtown Seattle office as its headquarters on the company’s Web site. The address, however, belongs to a mail-forwarding service. Fresh Start’s Web site also lists a toll-free phone number. When called, an automatic message says the number is “temporarily unavailable.” Last fall, a 19-year-old man working for Fresh Start Opportunities was arrested in connection with an Edmonds robbery. That same young man is a burglary suspect in Tumwater and in Sammamish. Washington residents can protect themselves from being scammed by investigating the credentials of a charitable organization before writing out a check. The charities division of the Secretary of State’s office has a great Web site at www.secstate.wa.gov/charities. Web users can see whether a charity is registered with the state and with a simple click can see a list of all charities registered in Thurston County. The site also shows what percentage of total revenue the charity devotes to program services. It’s where, for example, donors can see that the Thurston County Food Bank reports that 99 percent of its expenses are for program services. The Olympia Police Guild reports that zero percent of its expenses went toward program services. Donors also can track how much of their charity dollar goes to professional fundraising organizations. Thurston County lists one commercial fundraiser — Northwest Charity Donation Service based out of Tenino. According to state records, 36 percent of the money raised on behalf of a couple of Humane Societies, Feline Friends, PAWS and other organizations, actually went to the charities. The rest went to the commercial fundraising organization. According to state records, the Tenino company raised $596,224 in 2008 and sent $209,904 to the charity clients. The bottom line is this: There’s plenty of information on the state’s Web site to separate legitimate charities from those who aren’t registered. Smart donors do their homework.
THE OLYMPIAN
http://www.theolympian.com
Olympia, Washington
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Arab, Alabama
Magazine scammers back in town
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Face To Face Technologies
October 12, 2009
Magazine scammers back in town
By CHARLES WHISENANT - The Arab Tribune
Monday, October 12, 2009 9:49 AM CDT
A magazine sales scam was back in Arab this week, and Arab police are warning residents to beware.

Several residents called APD Wednesday to report young people were going door to door in the Ninth Street NW and 12th Avenue NW areas.

The problem is that, in almost all cases, the people who buy subscriptions don't get their magazines, or they get one or two and never get another one, police said.

"I located the subjects at a residence on Fourth Avenue," officer Dan Woodruff reported. "Neither subject could produce identification, and they had no business license. They told me they were selling magazines for a company. I told them to call their coordinator and have him pick them up and to discontinue the process until they had a business license."

Three vans that had dropped the sellers off had license plates from Oregon, Texas and Louisiana.

Remembering problems with magazine sellers in Arab last year, Cpl. Mark Wright researched the company on the internet.

"The company's website describes how young people can make money fast," Wright reported. "All evidence shows that this is a scam."

Wright urged anyone who might have bought magazines Wednesday from those people, who were representing Face To Face Technologies, to immediately stop payment on their check.

"All you have to do is type in Face To Face and you will get pages and pages of scams," Wright said.

A Google search of Face To Face Technologies reveals several websites with customers' comments accusing the company of scamming them.

Most of the salespeople are 18 to 22 years old, Wright said.

"As far as the (salespeople), I don't know that they realize they are doing anything wrong," he said. "They are coached to tell a story that they are trying to win a trip or a scholarship. They say they are working their way through college.

"They are all from out of state, and they are coached not to carry personal identification," he said. "I don't really think they are a danger to the public, but they are a nuisance."

Wright said he appreciates residents reporting the salespeople to police.

"A lot of times these kids go into a town and slip out undetected because people don't call us," he said. "We found them Wednesday and chewed them out pretty good. I don't know if they'll heed the warning, but I hope they do."

Wright said the salespeople are coached to target neighborhoods with elderly and retired people and try to get them to feel sorry for them or encourage them to help with their college expenses by buying the magazines.

On Wednesday, Wright and Woodruff identified about a dozen salespeople, but said there were probably more.

"They have no business license, and they have no business doing what they are doing," Wright said.

On its website, the company claims it is a direct marketing company that is nationally recognized.

"We provide an adventurous, exciting career opportunity for those that want to travel, make money, and have fun," the website says. "We will teach you more about yourself than you ever thought possible.

"We give young people the chance to see the country and make an unlimited amount of money. Our company enhances the public speaking skills of each sales rep., helps them to become more confident in their ability to engage in conversation, and strengthens their communication skills that can be implemented into any business situation."

"We stay in each city about two to three weeks at a time (depending on the size of the city and size of the group you are with)," the site says. "We also stay in quality hotels that usually have a weight room and swimming pool."

The site claims that sales reps can earn between $500 and $1,500 per week.

"Your expenses after completing training are $13 a day for rent, which is deducted directly out of your commissions on a daily basis, six days a week and the company always covers the travel and transportation," the site claims. "The sales presentation is based around a company-sponsored contest where you have the opportunity to win a $1,000 achievement award check and an all expense one-week-paid vacation every six months."
By CHARLES WHISENANT - The Arab Tribune
thearabtribune.com
Arab, Alabama
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New Britain, Connecticut
Magazine subscriptions: Old scam gets new life
October 12, 2009
Magazine subscriptions: Old scam gets new life
Monday, October 12, 2009 10:31 PM EDT
By SCOTT WHIPPLE
Staff writer
New Britian Herald
It’s happening more often.

You get home from grocery shopping and are unpacking the frozen foods when your doorbell rings. You open the front door and there’s a teenage kid­ — you’ve seen him before, riding his bike.

He’s standing in your doorway with a pad and pen. Seems he’s raising money for his high school band’s trip to “the Rent” in East Hartford to watch the Huskies play football. He’s selling several popular magazines, all at discount rates. Just sign here and help your local high school.

Valuemags.com, “the Web site for people who love magazines,” suggests at this point you politely but firmly shut the door.

Often these salespeople are part of an aggressive sales force that preys on low-income people eager to make a buck. They themselves may be victims of rip-off artists who may never pay them or at least not pay them the commission they have been promised.

As with most scams, if a promise sounds too good to be true, it usually is. That’s the case with many offers for magazine subscriptions you may receive over the phone or from someone selling door to door. The Connecticut Society of CPAs has sharpened its eye after hearing some of its members complain that their clients are becoming a target for scams.

In fact, Berlin resident Marc Austin, a CPA and Certified Financial Planner for West Hartford-based Private Capital Group, LLC offers advice on how to be sure you’re not getting ripped off.

“Some scam artists will try to get you to accept a ‘free’ subscription offer or one that has been ‘prepaid,’” Austin says. “Typically, they’ll ask you to pay a hefty processing fee that may add up to more than the newsstand price of the publication. In the end, the deal is no bargain.”

Of course, many magazine subscription offers from telemarketers and door-to-door salespeople are legitimate.

But even though some offers you get are legal, they may not necessarily be the best deal financially.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, there are ways to make sure you’re spending your money wisely when it comes to subscriptions.

First, ask what your total cost will be. If the salesperson doesn’t answer or changes the subject, it’s a sign the deal could be a scam. If the salesperson tells you the subscription only costs “pennies a day,” be sure to get an answer on the full price you’ll pay.

You may find that those pennies add up to far more than you imagined. Austin points out that some salespeople may not tell you you’re actually signing up for a subscription that lasts several years.

“Once you verify the total cost and how long the subscription lasts, you may realize you’re paying significantly more per issue than you would if you bought the magazine on the newsstand or through the publisher,” he says. Ask how you’ll be billed and what your cancellation rights are. Ask for a written copy of the contract before you agree to subscribe to ensure you have all the necessary information in writing.

Remember, if your purchase is more than $25 you’re protected from door-to-door magazine salespeople. The FTC’s “Cooling Off Rule” gives you three days to cancel your order and receive a full refund. (There’s no federal law that regulates the cancellation of telephone agreements.)

The salesperson must tell you that you have a right to cancel, give you a summary of your cancellation rights and two copies of the cancellation form.

If the salesperson doesn’t have a cancellation form with him or her — red flag! According to the FTC, the company he or she represents is breaking the law.

“Telemarketers often urge you to renew a subscription at a special rate,” Austin says. “Before you agree, check the expiration date on your magazine. The caller may simply be trying to sell you a longer subscription before it’s time to renew.”

In tough times, con artists and hard-sell telemarketers try even harder to separate you from your money.

“That’s why it’s a good idea to get to know your local CPA,” says Austin. “You can turn to us for answers about financial issues facing your family.”

Scott Whipple can be reached at swhipple@centralctcommunications.com or by calling (860) 225-4601, ext. 319.

Buyer beware from the Connecticut BBB

Connecticut’s Better Business Bureau urges consumers to be careful when solicited by anyone selling magazine subscriptions, whether door-to-door or by telephone. “Scams over the years have involved subscription sales, some of them quite sophisticated,” says Connecticut BBB Communications Director Howard Schwartz. “Warning signs of a potentially phony operation include ‘time limited’ offers and other high-pressure sales tactics that require an immediate decision. It’s crucial people don’t let themselves be pressured into signing any contract or making a decision without having time to do their research.” With door-to-door sales, a legitimate seller will provide proper identification, contact information, promotional documents and contracts, and allow you time to think about a commitment.

“We encourage people to first check out the company with us, to research its marketplace track record and see if there have been any complaints,” says Schwartz.

“Be careful about giving out credit card information to an unsolicited salesperson at your door or over the telephone,” Schwartz says. “You should verify their identity and the reputation of the magazine distribution company.”

For more information visit www.bbb.org or call (203) 269-2700.
By SCOTT WHIPPLE
Staff writer
New Britian Herald
newbritainherald.com
New Britain, Connecticut
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Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Five more arrested for selling magazines without a permit
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Destiny Sales
October 9, 2009
Five more arrested for selling magazines without a permit
John Hult • jhult@argusleader.com • October 9, 2009
The Argus Leader
Another batch of people was arrested for selling magazines without a city peddler's permit including one man who already was arrested once this week for the same violation.

Five more people were arrested Wednesday selling magazines for two different companies. Police issued six citations for the same crime on Monday and another on Oct. 1, mostly to employees of Destiny Sales.

On Wednesday, 25-year-old Michael Jermaine Hambrick of Chicago and 26-year-old Johnny Crosby Jr. of Reidsville, N.C., who both work for Destiny Sales, were arrested after a resident on West 46th Street called police to report suspicious activity, police spokesman Sam Clemens said.

Crosby was among the six arrested Monday.

Three other sellers, 22-year-old Patrick Jermain Murphy of Rose Hill, N.C., Larry J.R. Burt Jr. of New York and a 17-year-old boy from Webb City, Mo., were arrested after reportedly soliciting customers at Walmart on East Arrowhead Parkway. The men worked for 777, Clemens said.

An employee first asked them not to sell magazines in the store, then asked them not to sell in the parking lot.

Officers found the trio using a license plate number the employee took down as they left.

All the sellers arrested Wednesday had a state sales tax license.

But any door-to-door seller also must have a city peddler's permit to operate legally.

"If they're going to knock on your door, they need to have a permit," said Rita Munro in the city Finance Office.

Peddler's permits are available through the city clerk and must be obtained by any temporary business, according to Munro.

There have been 155 issued in 2009 to businesses ranging from ice cream truck drivers to seasonal lawn care sellers, Munro said.

To get a permit, the seller must produce a photo ID, a state sales tax license, a $35 application fee and a $1,000 surety bond. The applicant's name is then screened by the Sioux Falls Police Department and returned to the clerk's office.

The entire process takes around five days.

Jim David, operations director for the Better Business Bureau in Sioux Falls, said having no license is a red flag.

He also urged buyers to check their receipts.

"There should be clear instructions on how to get the refund," David said.
Reach John Hult at 331-2301.
John Hult • jhult@argusleader.com
The Argus Leader
argusleader.com
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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Bellevue, Washington
State warns about magazine sales
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Fresh Start Opportunities
October 9, 2009
State warns about magazine sales
The Bellevue Reporter
pnwlocalnews.com
Oct 09 2009, 11:04 AM
If a young person knocks on your door and says they're selling magazines for a charity, wait before reaching for your pocketbook. The Washington Attorney General’s Office, which issued a warning about Fresh Start Opportunities in March, says solicitors have returned to Washington state. Fresh Start Opportunities claims to be a “job business training company” that sends young adults door to door to give them a “fresh start” on life. The organization has ignored repeated inquiries from the Secretary of State’s Office concerning its failure to register as a charity, as well as consumer complaints received by the Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau. “After paying generous amounts for subscriptions, consumers throughout the country never received the magazines and have no idea how their money was spent,” said Attorney General Rob McKenna.
The Bellevue Reporter
pnwlocalnews.com
Bellevue, Washington
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Lawrence, Kansas
Door-to-door sales on upswing in Lawrence
October 7, 2009
Door-to-door sales on upswing in Lawrence
The Lawrence Journal-World
Archive for Wednesday, October 7, 2009
John Kary is getting a bit frustrated by all the salespeople showing up lately on his east Lawrence doorstep.

They want to clean his gutters, clean his carpets, clean his car, sell him non-toxic eco-friendly house cleaner — and they'll pull any stunt to make a sale.

"I'm not sure what's going on, but there has been kind of a rush of door-to-door sales people that have come by my house," said Kary.

Police said there are multiple reports of Lawrence residents being hassled and annoyed by door-to-door solicitors recently, sometimes at odd hours of the night.

Spokesman Sgt. Bill Cory said van loads of young adults are being brought to town and dropped off to "work a neighborhood" for the day. After selling magazine subscriptions all day, the group's off to the next town.

Then there's the guy driving around town, knocking on people's doors and asking them to buy meat from the back of his pickup truck.

Officers say there's absolutely nothing wrong with these peddlers, as long as they obey city laws.

That's the problem, Cory said. Not all are.

Anyone selling products door-to-door must purchase a $25 solicitor's license from the city clerk's office at City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St. Cory said some folks are selling without one, a crime that can land violators in jail.

"The city has a right and really needs to know who’s coming and who’s going from their town, selling things door-to-door," said Cory.

When issuing a license, the city collects the person's name, information about what they're selling, sales tax number and even snaps the applicant's picture and fingerprints.

Police are also getting several calls about the salespeople being too aggressive and pushy. Cory said if they cross the line, solicitors can be arrested for crimes such as deception or disturbing the peace. If they do have a city license, it can also be revoked.

"If they are forceful, if they are rude, if they're trying to sell you one thing and then turn around and give you something else," he said. "Police can act on those."

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson has said some salespeople are scamming residents, through price gouging, phony claims and failing to deliver products.

In August, Branson said a Lawrence woman was issued a receipt by a salesperson who claimed to be raising money for a children's hospital. The transaction was fraudulent.

So far this year, the city’s sold 162 permits, compared to 146 in all of last year.

More like this
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POLICE TARGET UNLICENSED SOLICITORS June 2, 1992
D.A. issues alert on door-to-door sales 6 comments / July 14, 2009
SOUND OFF August 11, 1995
The Lawrence Journal-World
www2.ljworld.com
Lawrence, Kansas
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Aiken, South Carolina
Eight charged with soliciting without permit
October 6, 2009
Eight charged with soliciting without permit
By KAREN DAILY
Staff writer
Aiken Standard
10/6/2009 7:46 PM


In just a short period of time Monday evening, Aiken Public Safety received five complaints from residents bothered by a group of men and women going door-to-door attempting to sell residents cleaning products and, at times, becoming overly aggressive and refusing to leave.

Police arrested six men and two women for soliciting without a permit.

The City of Aiken requires door-to-door salespersons to have a business license and a peddler's permit before making sales.

The business license can be applied for at City Hall and the permit at Aiken Public Safety.

Aiken officers said they warned the group's organizer, Randy A. Sims, 20, multiple times that selling door-to-door without the proper permits and licensing is illegal and even explained to him what he needed to do.

But Public Safety Sgt. Aaron Dowdy said Sims failed to apply for the proper paperwork and still continued with the door-to-door sales.

"He was fully aware of the law and ignored it," Dowdy said.

One of the women working in the group was issued a citation last week, police said.

Shawntaria E. Jones, 33, was also charged Monday with Sims and others accused of making sales.

Martha K. Russell, 25, Michael Williams, 19, Lawasa Wilder, 37, Raymond Ross, 30, Hilton Washington, 20, and Odell Hogan, 23, were also jailed for solicitation without a permit.

Some of the residents who complained told police one of the women had been "very assertive," adding that she wouldn't leave, despite having been asked repeatedly to do so.

The group had been traveling in a gray van and then each person was going door-to-door, police said.
Contact Karen Daily at kdaily@aikenstandard.com.
By KAREN DAILY
Staff writer
Aiken Standard
aikenstandard.com
Aiken, South Carolina
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Sioux Falls, South Dakota
More Salespeople Arrested For Not Having Permits
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Destiny Sales Incorporated, aka: D.S.I.
October 6, 2009
More Salespeople Arrested For Not Having Permits
KELOLAND TV
10/06/2009 11:34 AM
Sioux Falls police have arrested six more people for selling magazines in the city without proper permits. According to police, the six all work for Destiny Sales Incorporated. They told officers that their bosses had said they had the proper permits. Not having a city permit is a violation of a city ordinance, similar to a misdemeanor.

These are the names of those arrested:
Johnny Crosby Jr., 26, of Reidsville, North Carolina
Mark Anthony Davon Sayles, 18, of Waterloo, Iowa
Darrell Rydell Price, 21, of Chicago, Illinois
Kendrell Clairence Fuller, 19, of Carpentersville, Illinois
Jarrod Chauncey Brehon, 27, of Dayton, Ohio
Alexis L. Baker, 20, of San Diego, California
KELOLAND TV.
keloland.com
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Salespeople Arrested At Gas Station
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Destiny Sales Incorporated, aka: D.S.I.
October 6, 2009
Salespeople Arrested At Gas Station
Cherlene Richards
KELOLAND TV.
10/06/2009 6:17 PM

Sioux Falls Police have arrested six more people for selling magazine subscriptions without the proper paperwork. In total, nine people have been arrested in less than a week for either not having a sales tax license or peddler's permit or both. And all of them were working for the same company, Destiny Sales, Incorporated. Sioux Falls Police say all six people arrested on Monday did have their state sales tax licenses, but did not have a city peddler's permit. "All of these people claim to have not known that they needed the city permit. Apparently, their bosses didn't tell them anything about that,” Sioux Falls police officer Sam Clemens said. In order to sell anything, such as magazine subscriptions, door-to-door salespeople need to have a city permit. Not having one is a violation of a city ordinance, similar to a misdemeanor. "It's a little unfortunate, but it's up to the responsibility of the salesman to make sure that they have all the necessary permits and paperwork in order,” Clemens said. Those arrested are: 26-year-old Johnny Crosby Jr. from North Carolina, 18-year-old Mark Sayles of Iowa, 21-year-old Darrell Price from Illinois, 19-year-old Kendrell Fuller also from Illinois, 27-year-old Jarrod Brehon of Ohio and 20-year-old Alexis Baker from California. Up until Monday night, all of the door-to-door salespeople were arrested in Sioux Falls neighborhoods, but two of the latest arrests happened at a gas station. Police say the men were trying to sell magazine subscriptions to people in the parking lot.
Cherlene Richards
KELOLAND TV.
keloland.com
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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Sioux Falls, South Dakota
SF Woman Warns Of Door-To-Door Salespeople
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Destiny Sales Incorporated, aka: D.S.I.
October 5, 2009
SF Woman Warns Of Door-To-Door Salespeople
Cherlene Richards
KELOLAND TV.
10/05/2009 5:56 PM
Posts Sioux Falls police arrested a third door-to-door salesman this weekend. This time, the Sioux Falls man did have a sales tax license but did not have a city peddler's permit. Police say 34-year-old Stacy Palmer was taken in on Saturday after a concerned neighbor called authorities.

One Sioux Falls resident says a very convincing saleswoman knocked on her door last week. But after signing up and handing over the check, Emilee Brasell felt that something just wasn't right.

"She had a great story, a great personality. She was just good, and I fell for it,” Brasell said.

Brasell says a nice, talkative young woman knocked on her door, asking her to subscribe to some magazines. After hearing the pitch for more than an hour, Brasell decided to buy.

"I picked 4 and the total was over $300. At first, I can't do that, that's too much for magazines,” Brasell said.

So, Brasell told her to cut out two; the total was now just under $200.

“I just didn't feel good about it, but she was in my house, I was ready for her to leave. I didn't know what else to do,” Brasell said.

But Brasell did do something.

"I called police, I called my neighbors and I had them call their banks, which is what my bank advised me to do,” Brasell said.

She tried calling the number on the receipt and locating the company, Destiny Sales Incorporated or D.S.I, online. When that didn't get her anywhere, she took action.

"I got in the car, just drove around for a little bit and I saw her. Called the police and told them where she was,” Brasell said.

As a result, 30-year-old Elisia Andrews from Mansfield, Ohio, was arrested and charged with two misdemeanors. But the concerned calls didn't stop there. On Thursday, Raquel Belcher of Seattle, Washington, was arrested for selling subscriptions door-to-door without the proper paperwork.

"If they are selling with the proper licenses, I don't see a problem with it, but if they're not, they should be punished. That's not fair to the citizens and the other business owners who are paying the taxes they're supposed to pay,” Brasell said.

Police say all three people arrested work for the same company, Destiny Sales Incorporated. The company could face felony charges if its agents continue to sell without licenses.
Cherlene Richards
KELOLAND TV.
keloland.com
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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Kennewick, Washington
Better Business Bureau warns of magazine salespeople
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Fresh Start Opportunities
October 5, 2009
Better Business Bureau warns of magazine salespeople
KNDU TV
kndo.com
Posted: Oct 5, 2009 08:18 PM CDT
Updated: Oct 5, 2009 09:21 PM CDT
KENNEWICK, Wash.-- They call themselves Fresh Start Opportunities; selling magazines, but also a story. Most of the salesmen claim they are trying to raise money for college or get points towards trips. But the company has received an "F" rating from the BBB with over one hundred filed compliants, and over half the BBB considers serious. That means people have given money with the promise of subscriptions and helping someone in need, only to get neither. The state Attorney's General office says one of the employees for Fresh Start Opportunities was arrested last fall in connection to several robberies and burglaries. KNDU called the number listed for Fresh Start Opportunities, but a message says the number is temporarily unavailable.
KNDU TV
kndo.com
Kennewick, Washington
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Cookeville, Tennessee
Salesman Charged With Disorderly Conduct
October 5, 2009
Salesman Charged With Disorderly Conduct
Posted by Jim Herrin at 7:14 PM
The Scoop with Jim Herrin
Monday, October 5, 2009
A door-to-door salesman, who was allegedly trying to intimidate local residents, has been charged with disorderly conduct. Police say the charge stems from a disturbance at two homes on Maple Avenue last week. 27-year-old Joshua Ray Gaylor of Tallapoosa, Georgia, allegedly insisted that his would-be customers call police after one of them changed his mind about ordering a magazine subscription. Police say they had received complaints about the group and had cited several individuals for selling without a license. They say their attempts to speak with Gaylor were met with loud and disruptive behavior. He was arrested and taken to jail after refusing several requests to be quiet.
Posted by Jim Herrin
The Scoop with Jim Herrin
jimherrin.blogspot.com
Cookeville, Tennessee
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Washington
State warns of magazine scam, again
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Fresh Start Opportunities
October 5, 2009
State warns of magazine scam, again
BULLETIN: Door-to-door solicitors have returned to area, says attorney general
BY JOHN BRANTON | The (Vancouver, Wash.) Columbian • Published October 05, 2009
The Olympian
The Web site of Fresh Start Opportunities, black with white lettering, sounds idealistic, though filled with misspellings.

“Have you ever wondered why so many young adults these days dont make it very far in life? … We believe that everyone deserves a second chance and a opportunity.”

The group, which sends young people door-to-door selling magazines, is a nationwide scam, according to bulletin released Friday by Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna.

His office issued a warning about the group in March. Nonetheless, the bulletin said, the group’s salespeople are once again operating in Washington and deceiving customers by claiming to be earning money for college, to be giving their proceeds to help homeless youths and other tales.

Consumers have paid $50 to $784 for subscriptions, the bulletin said.

The game-stopper: “After paying generous amounts for subscriptions, consumers throughout the country never received the magazines and have no idea how their money was spent,” McKenna said.

A 19-year-old man working for Fresh Start Opportunities was arrested last fall in connection with an Edmonds robbery and was a suspect in burglaries in Sammamish and Tumwater, the bulletin said.

McKenna cited several other problems with Fresh Start:

• Inquiries from the Secretary of State’s Office about the group’s failure to register as a charity have been ignored, as have consumer complaints received by McKenna’s office and the Better Business Bureau.

• Because the group lists a downtown Seattle address on its Web site, McKenna’s office has received complaints from customers across the United States.

“But it’s just a mail-forwarding service,” the bulletin said, going on to describe a cunning scheme.

“A business scans the letters then sends the files by e-mail to the addressee, believed to be located in another state. So no one from Fresh Start Opportunities ever has to step inside to pick up the mail, such as refund requests.”

In addition, the bulletin said, the Web site lists a toll-free number.

Call 1-866-496-8118 and you’ll likely hear it’s “temporarily unavailable,” as The Columbian confirmed.

On the group’s Web site, a Q-and-A section asks how long it takes before folks who buy subscriptions get their magazines.

“It nomally takes 60-90 days but however we ask that you allow 90-120 days.”

Four months to get a magazine?

Folks who’d like to donate to a charity are advised to check the Secretary of State’s Web site, using the exact name of the group, at secstate.wa.gov/charities.

Visitors can see if the group is properly registered as a charity, as required by law. The site also shows what percentage of total revenue the group says goes to the charitable purpose, called program services, and what percentage goes for overhead.

It’s often surprising how little of one’s donations goes to the charitable purpose, if there actually is one.
BY JOHN BRANTON | The (Vancouver, Wash.) Columbian
The Olympian
theolympian.com
Olympia, Washington
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Seattle, Washington
“Fresh Start Opportunities” reeks of scam
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Fresh Start Opportunities
October 2, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“Fresh Start Opportunities” reeks of scam
Door-to-door solicitor is back in the Northwest
Washington State Office
of the Attorney General
October 02, 2009
SEATTLE -- If a young person knocks on your door and says they're selling magazines for a charity, wait before reaching for your pocketbook. The Washington Attorney General’s Office, which issued a warning about Fresh Start Opportunities in March, says solicitors have returned to Washington state.

Fresh Start Opportunities claims to be a “job business training company” that sends young adults door to door to give them a “fresh start” on life. The organization has ignored repeated inquiries from the Secretary of State’s Office concerning its failure to register as a charity, as well as consumer complaints received by the Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau.

“After paying generous amounts for subscriptions, consumers throughout the country never received the magazines and have no idea how their money was spent,” said Attorney General Rob McKenna.

The AGO has received complaints from consumers who paid $50 to $784 for subscriptions. A common theme among the complainants is that they were touched by the solicitors’ stories. They said solicitors claimed to be earning money for college, working toward a better job, receiving points for a free trip, or contributing proceeds to help homeless youth. Consumers paid for subscriptions by check.

The Attorney General’s Office has received complaints from consumers nationwide because the company lists a downtown Seattle address on its Web site. But it’s just a mail-forwarding service. A business scans the letters then sends the files by e-mail to the addressee, believed to be located in another state. So no one from Fresh Start Opportunities ever has to step inside to pick up the mail, such as refund requests.

The Web site also lists a toll-free phone number. When called, an automatic message says the number is “temporarily unavailable.”

A 19-year-old man working for Fresh Start Opportunities was arrested last fall in connection with an Edmonds robbery and was a suspect in burglaries in Sammamish and Tumwater.

A state search engine listing registered charities is available at www.secstate.wa.gov/charities.

----------------------------

Media Contact: Kristin Alexander, Media Relations Manager - Seattle, (206) 464-6432, kalexander@atg.wa.gov
Washington State Office of the Attorney General
atg.wa.gov
Seattle, Washington
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Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Magazine peddler charged after resident calls police
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Destiny Sales Inc
October 1, 2009
Magazine peddler charged after resident calls police
Josh Verges • jverges@argusleader.com • October 1, 2009
Argus Leader
Police say an Ohio woman was in Sioux Falls on Wednesday selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door without sales tax and peddler’s licenses Elisia Andrews, 30, of Mansfield, Ohio, was charged with the two misdemeanors after a customer in southeast Sioux Falls called police at 4 p.m. Wednesday. The caller became suspicious when Andrews acknowledged she was working for a business, not a charity. Lt. Steve Haney said her employer, Destiny Sales Inc., could face low-level felony charges if its agents continue to sell without licenses.
Josh Verges • jverges@argusleader.com
Argus Leader
argusleader.com
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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Iowa City, Iowa
Sheriff's Dept. warns of fundraiser scam
October 1, 2009
Sheriff's Dept. warns of fundraiser scam
Oct. 1, 2009
NORTH LIBERTY LEADER
IOWA CITY- The Johnson County Sheriff's Office has received a complaint from a citizen reporting that an organization is calling residents telling them that they are selling magazine subscriptions as a fundraiser for the Johnson County Police. They might say the fundraiser is to try and raise funds for bulletproof vests for the local agencies. The Johnson County Sheriff is not and does not raise funds through a telemarketer. The deputies are provided with bullet resistant vests through our normal budget process. If anyone receives a call please ask the caller for a name and call back number and report that to the Johnson County Sheriff's Office at 356-6020.
NORTH LIBERTY LEADER
northlibertyleader.com
North Liberty, Iowa
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How to How to Handle Traveling Magazine Sales Crews

How to How to Handle Traveling Magazine Sales Crews
Contributor
By Barb Nefer
ehow.com
All over the country, traveling sales crews go door to door to sell magazine subscriptions under the guise of being local youngsters. They claim your purchase will help them win a trip, earn a scholarship or benefit a charity--but the only benefit is to their company. Your magazines may never show up, and the contact information on your receipt will prove false. To prevent this scam, you must be assertive and say no.

Recognizing the Sales Crews

Step 1
When someone comes to your door claiming to be a neighbor or local student, make them verify their claims. If they claim to be from a local school, ask for their teacher's name and other information. If they claim to be home-schooled, ask for their address and parents' phone number. If they provide vague information, it's a red flag. If they won't give the information, say "I'm not interested" and end the conversation.

Step 2
Don't let the salesperson into your home. Sales crew members are good at working their way in the door by using flattery or asking if they can use the bathroom or have a drink of water. Don't feel bad for saying no. You are under no obligation to let a stranger into your home, and you could endanger yourself by doing so. At best, it adds to the pressure to buy. At worst, you could be setting yourself up for criminal activity.

Step 3
Know your local door-to-door solicitation laws. In most municipalities, it is either illegal or requires a permit, which magazine crews rarely have. If a salesperson pressures you, tell them that you are reporting them to the police.

Tips & Warnings

If you buy a magazine subscription from a traveling sales crew, even in the rare case that you actually receive your magazines, you'll still have overpaid for the subscription. In addition to the already inflated price, they add on a "service charge." If you're really interested in a magazine, order your subscription from a legitimate company.

Loss of money is not the only risk you could face from traveling magazine sales crews. There have been instances of rape, robbery, assault and even murder. Use the same caution with these salespeople as you would with any other stranger at your door. Don't be caught off guard because of their claims to be neighbors or local students.
Contributor
By Barb Nefer
ehow.com
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When magazine subscriptions attack
Septemmber 30, 2009
When magazine subscriptions attack
Geoff Williams
walletpop.com
Sep 30th 2009 at 2:00PM
Filed under: Extracurriculars, Ripoffs and Scams
Publishers Clearing House is known for its prizes. You've seen the commercials. The prize patrol is driving around, looking for you, hoping to give you a big fat check for entering its sweepstakes.

Well, television consumer reporter John Matarese, very well known in my neck of the woods (Cincinnati, Ohio) for looking after the little guy -- has an interesting report about how collections letters from magazines are becoming increasingly common.

Nice guy, too. As a former features writer for the now-defunct Cincinnati Post, I used to run into Matarese, who works for ABC's Channel 2, downtown occasionally. But I digress. Matarese interviewed a Cincinnati man, Matthew Roberson, who received a letter saying he owed $61.92. Roberson was puzzled, certain he hadn't ordered any magazines, and so he contacted Publishers Clearing House, only to learn that a Reader's Digest subscription of his, which had been a gift from his mother-in-law, had lapsed, and he didn't renew it -- hence, the stern letter making it sound like he owed them money.

Roberson didn't feel he owed anything else, and to PCH's credit, they did close his account and agreed to stop sending letters. And Matarese himself notes that he recently received a letter from Hearst magazines after he left his subscription lapse to SmartMoney.

Letters stating that you've let your subscription lapse is one thing -- perfectly reasonable, I think most people would agree -- but a letter that comes from a "collection manager" about your "delinquent account," as happened with Matarese, it's pretty maddening.

Not that this is that new of a development. I think just about everyone encounters this sort of thing, and have for years, and it got me to thinking...

How magazines collect their money might be even more of a problem than the influence of the Internet.

Certainly, giving away your magazine articles online does make a reader pause and think, "Why should I pay for a print version of the same thing?" But unless you have a Kindle or an equivalent reading device, it's still not easy to curl up in a chair or sprawl out on a bed and read a magazine online the way you can with a print magazine.

The reasons may be diminishing, but there are reasons why people would still want to subscribe to a glossy, paper, non-digital magazine.

But when you think you're going to be trapped, paying for a magazine indefinitely, and punished if you decide to opt out for a few months or a year, why not stop subscribing altogether? That's why I subscribe to fewer and fewer magazines these days, and I'm a long-time magazine writer. In fact, my entire career has been built on writing for magazines, although I've diversified in the last decade.

And it's not just the way magazines collect their money from their current customers that's a problem. The industry isn't being helped by the way new magazine subscribers are being recruited. For years, there have been people knocking on doors, selling magazine subscriptions. That may have worked out fine in 1950 when we all knew our neighbors and spent a lot of time hanging out on our front porch, anyway. It's not such a great idea in 2009 when we're all more than a little leery about strangers.

We're also trying to save more money than we used to, and most of the people doing the selling are teenagers, saying that they're trying to raise money for college or whatever. The prices are always inflated, at least they have been during my experiences, when I used to give door-to-door magazine salespeople the time of day. But, like many people, I suspect, I paid, figuring I was doing a good deed.

But even if you don't mind helping some affable, enterprising teenager out, it's almost impossible not to wonder if you're going to be scammed in the process. There have been plenty of magazine scams to come out of the shadows over the years, and in fact, WalletPop's Mitch Lipka wrote about this issue earlier this year.

The atmosphere for a good, reputable magazine seller has been poisoned. For instance, earlier this week, the sheriff's office in Spartanburg, S.C., released a warning to people saying that the community has had a lot of groups of young adults being dropped off and going door to door, selling magazine subscriptions. The office couldn't say for sure if the young salespeople were legit or not -- they just advised people not to buy from them. That's the type of environment the magazine industry finds itself in.

And you can't blame the sheriff's office for being wary. The Times Herald in Port Huron, Mich., just put out a story with the headline: Magazine salesman raped me.

It was a hot day when a 44-year-old woman invited the salesman into her air-conditioned home, and, well, the headline explains what happened.

A few other products and services, like lawn care, have people selling their wares door-to-door, but it's become increasingly uncommon, and maybe there's a reason for that. Like, you antagonize more people than you bring aboard.

Really, it's just time for the magazine industry to find another way to sell magazines -- and if the customer wants out, let them go without a hassle. As the hackneyed saying goes, if you love something, set it free. Let a magazine reader leave without them worrying how departing will affect their credit score, and when they miss curling up in a chair with their favorite magazine, you never know... they just might come back.

Geoff Williams has been writing for magazines since 1992. He is also the author of C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America (Rodale).
Geoff Williams
walletpop.com
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Port Huron, Michigan
Woman: Magazine salesman raped me
September 30, 2009
Woman: Magazine salesman raped me
Suspect bound over on 2 counts of sexual assault
By LIZ SHEPARD
Times Herald
• September 30, 2009
Editor's note: The Times Herald does not identify the victims of sexual assault.

Toney Lamont McRae was bound over to circuit court Tuesday on two counts of criminal sexual conduct third degree.

Police said McRae, 43, of North Carolina raped a woman in her home Sept. 18 in the 1400 block of Kearney Street, Port Huron.

The 44-year-old woman testified during a preliminary examination Tuesday morning in front of District Court Judge John Monaghan.

The woman said she was alone in her home when McRae knocked on her door selling magazine subscriptions.

She testified she invited him in after he showed her identification because her air conditioning was on and she wanted to keep the cool air inside.

McRae told her he recently had been released from prison and was working for the magazine company as part of his probation or restitution, she said.

The woman said she started feeling "edgy" when McRae got up and was looking around her home.

She said after she started feeling uncomfortable she was going to call the police to either have them come over or verify the business he was working for was legitimate but her landline phone wasn't charged. The woman said she also asked him to leave, which he wouldn't do.

The woman said she then heard her cell phone ring in her bedroom. She said she is bound to a wheelchair because of a traffic crash but is capable of walking while holding onto the dresser in her bedroom.

She testified her chair doesn't fit into the room and as she was trying to grab her cell phone, which she dropped, McRae pushed her onto her bed and raped her.

"I was traumatized. ... I said, 'No I don't want to do this,'" she said. "That day changed me for life, and I'm petrified, and I don't think it's right for anyone to go through this."

The woman testified McRae told her to stay quiet about the incident.

"His last words -- and I'll never forget -- were 'Thank you and God bless you,'" she said.

The woman said she was too shaken to go directly to the hospital but did about 5:45 p.m. where she saw Port Huron police officers and reported the incident.

During cross examination Joe Kanan, McRae's defense attorney, questioned why the woman would leave her cell phone in an area where it is difficult to access and why she would put her identification badge for Port Huron Hospital -- where she volunteers -- on before going to report the rape.

The woman said she left her cell phone with her ID badge on her dresser and she wore the badge because "whenever I go to the hospital I put it on."

After the woman's testimony, Monaghan bound McRae over on two counts of criminal sexual conduct third degree. Senior Assistant Prosecutor Mona Armstrong said the charge was decreased from criminal sexual conduct first degree because there was no personal injury found in the case.

An added count of criminal sexual conduct third degree was added because there also was digital penetration, she said.

Bond was continued at $100,000.
By LIZ SHEPARD
Times Herald
thetimesherald.com
Port Huron, Michigan
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D.M.P.G. Info Clip
September 22, 2009


DMPG research into the above crime:
Port Huron Police Case Number: 09-4540

Sales Crew: Editor and Chief Review
Magazine Clearinghouse:
Fidelity Reader Service
Owner: Belo Kellam
Website: http://www.frsnaples.com
Fidelity Reader Service is a member of the National Field Selling Association
http://www.nfsa.com
Google Search Fidelity Reader Service
Google Search Belo Kellam
Research crimes commited by Fidelity Reader Service


Note: The DMPG collects information from various sources:
police reports, court documents, media articles, and secretary of state websites.
The DMPG is not responsible for inaccurate data in any of the above sources of information.
Various company websites change over a period of time. Information and Links also change.
The DMPG cannot control this and for this reason cannot guarantee 100% accuracty of data.
If you have a question or find an error on this website please contact the DMPG WebMaster:
WebMaster
~or~ read the DMPG disclaimer: DMPG Disclaimer


Brookfield, Wisconsin
UPDATE: Brookfield residents, be on the lookout, call police
September 30, 2009
UPDATE: Brookfield residents, be on the lookout, call police
By Kyle Prast
BrookField Now
Community Blog
Sept. 30, 2009
UPDATE Friday morning: I just spoke with Lt. Millard, who helped clarify some terms and information. Changes will be in bold italics.

Last Saturday, I received an email alert concerning suspicious door to door salesmen in the Weston Hills subdivision on the southwest side of Brookfield. This was the second time these salesmen had come to that neighborhood.

Evidently, the (Town) police were patrolling and looking for an older blue van with men selling cleaning products at dusk on Friday. The salesmen were going door to door, being rude, and asking odd questions like, "Can you tell me where the cool people in the neighborhood are?"

They also asked for a bottle of water and got angry when the homeowner said they didn't have any.

Just so you know, the men were in their early 20s and were NOT ethnic minorities.

I called the City of Brookfield police number on Saturday to find out if there were other complaints. The woman who answered the phone at the office said she had not heard of any, but that I should call the Community Officer on Monday.

On Monday, I spoke to Lt. Mark Millard, Brookfield's Community Officer and asked him about the odd behavior of those door to door salesmen in Weston Hills. He said he hadn't heard about it. I said that since Brookfield changed to the combined dispatch in Waukesha, I found I was less likely to report or call to ask about suspicious behavior. He said that others felt much the same but Brookfield police do want to know about ANYTHING suspicious going on in our city. He urged that we should not hesitate to call them.

But who do we call?

For an emergency, of course, call 911. A 911 call would be for a situation that you would want a response from a squad and/or ambulance with the lights and siren on, such as a gas line rupture, robbery in progress, bad car accident that needs EMT services, or health emergencies.

If it is an less acute (my words) emergency or something is going on at the moment that needs an officer, call the Waukesha County Communications Center (Send Officer) line: 262-787-3700. If that is busy, try 262-446-5070. This is the combined dispatch number and the call goes to the Waukesha office.

If it is an inquiry or just reporting something generally suspicious that happened (like my call), call Lt. Millard on his land line at 262-787-3623 and leave a message for him to call you back. (Sorry, I had to remove Lt. Millard's cell phone number.

If you need administrative assistance to see if your accident report was filed or how do you pay a ticket, call Brookfield's Administration or Clerical phone line at 262-787-3701 or 3702.

Lt. Millard informed me that any door to door salesmen in Brookfield must be licensed. Salesmen must conduct their business during daylight hours. Once it is dark, they are not allowed to solicit.

Beware of anyone asking for water or something to eat. Often the homeowner will leave the door and go fetch the requested item. Sometimes, unscrupulous salesmen who are really there for other purposes, will barge in and rob the homeowner. The Lieutenant related a case where someone portrayed themselves as a WE Energies employee, asked to come in, and then stole from the older woman!

Sometimes door to door salesmen, who are really after something else, will ask to use your phone or say their car broke down, could they use your phone? Lt. Millard gave me a great answer to those requests. If asked if they can come in, reply: "It looks like you are in need. Let me call the Brookfield police for you, they will help you." You could suggest they just wait in their car until the officer arrives.

If they ask to use your bathroom, know where the nearest gas station or place with a public restroom is and direct them to it.

Any legitimate salesman would never ask for a snack, soda, or to use your bathroom! They also would not get angry if you didn't know where the cool people lived or give them a bottle of water.

It turns out that the men in the blue van were licensed by the Town of Brookfield. (The senders of the email warning did speak with the police later.) But even if they are licensed, if solicitors are acting suspiciously, report them!

Lt. Millard told me of one group that used to sell door to door some time ago. Although they did not commit any crimes at the time, the police noticed a rash of break ins after their visits to certain neighborhoods. They weren't selling; they were casing the homes! Their permits were revoked.

What can you do? I would say, report anything you find suspicious. Just like there is no rule that says you have to answer the phone, you don't have to answer the door either! Instruct children not to open the door for anyone. Don't open the door to anyone you don't know if you are alone. If there is a window nearby, open it to speak to the solicitors. If you do open your door, keep your screen door locked--at least it will slow them down. Keep your home well lit at night. (I have heard burglars hate a light left on in a bathroom because someone could be in there for quite some time!)

The police can't be everywhere; they depend on resident's reports. Don't be afraid to call them if you need to speak to them.
By Kyle Prast
BrookField Now
Community Blog
brookfieldnow.com
Brookfield, Wisconsin
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Stoughton, Massachusetts
Stoughton Police warn of workman scam
September 30, 2009
Stoughton Journal
By Kate Sullivan Foley
Wicked Local Stoughton
Wed Sep 30, 2009, 06:05 PM EDT
Stoughton -
An on-going scam that hit last spring appears to be back in Canton, Stoughton and other area towns, including Milton and Wellesley.

Police are warning residents, especially the elderly and those who don’t speak English, to be wary of any workman who tries to get them to step outside their home with him.

In a typical scam case, the man identifies himself as someone working at a neighbor’s house. In most cases, the man states he is working on a fence, cutting down trees or checking the water pressure.

The man tells the resident he wants to be sure he is not negatively impacting his home through his work.

For example, in one bogus case, the man wanted the resident to come outside to verify the property line so a fence could be installed within the right boundaries.

“They gain your confidence and trust by making you think they are looking out for your best interests,” Canton Police Detective Eric Wade said.

Once the man gets the resident out to the backyard, he accepts a phone call on his cell phone. He indicates to the person on the other line that everything is OK.

“Basically he is confirming that the homeowner is occupied outside and it is safe for the partner to enter the home,” Wade said.

The partner enters the home quickly and grabs small valuables, like cash, jewelry, checkbooks, credit cards and coin collections.

Wade said the men committing these crimes have been identified as part of a much larger “gypsy” group that targets victims up and down the East Coast. The detective said there are as many as 40 men involved in the scam.

In recent months, Canton Police investigated one incident where the scammers were successful and one where the resident did not allow the scammers inside the home.

Stoughton Police Sgt. Vitaly Gurevich said the latest case in Stoughton took place on Meadowbrook Lane last Thursday afternoon.

The resident reported that the men said they were from the oil company and needed to check the meter. During the scam, the resident had jewelry stolen.

Police were not able to get physical descriptions of the suspects but did learn they were driving a white van.

Prior to Thursday’s incident, the last case in Stoughton happened over the summer on Turnpike Street. All of the cases have taken place during daytime hours and have involved elderly residents or residents who do not speak English.

Police in both towns said residents should call if they feel a workman is suspicious.

“Do not go outside with them…call police right away,” Wade said.

If possible, he said, try to get a vehicle description and license plate number. If the men are turned away, they may head to another neighborhood and the information might help police locate them and stop them.

A Canton resident alerted police over the summer when a van pulled in and out of driveways in the Cedarcrest Road area. Officers located the van and identified the two men as members of the “gypsy” group. No arrests were made because the men were stopped before a crime was attempted.

A second scam has also has been taking place in recent weeks in Canton and has occurred in the past in Stoughton.

Teens usually ages 17, 18 or 19 run the scams, police said.

The teenagers say they live in the town and are selling magazines to support their school. In fact, the teenagers work for a company called Quality Subscription Incorporated.

“It is a valid company, but their practices are very shady…their sale tactics can get pretty aggressive,” Wade said.

In several cases, the teens pushed residents to pay for other services, like washing windows and sweeping stairs. The scammer, who says he will return to do the work, gets the homeowner to make out one check for the magazines and the services.

“They don’t follow through on anything,” Wade said.

Police are advising residents to call if they are solicited to purchase magazines by teens they don’t recognize. Any organization planning to solicit residents is required to register with a police department, officials said. The organizations usually are required to provide a list of the names of the persons who will be doing the soliciting and the areas in which they will be soliciting.

Stoughton Police Executive Officer Rob Devine encourages residents to report anything suspicious.

“It is better to call and have it checked out then to not call us and get victimized,” Devine said.
Stoughton Journal
By Kate Sullivan Foley
Wicked Local Stoughton
wickedlocal.com
Raynham, Massachusetts
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Chesterton, Indiana
Apartment entered by unknown person
September 28, 2009
Apartment entered by unknown person
Chesterton Tribune
Posted 9/28/2009
Chesterton Police are investigating the late-night entry by an unknown person on Friday of an apartment in the 1100 block of West Porter Ave. According to police, at 10:45 p.m. a resident in bed heard a cough in the apartment and believing it to be her husband got up. As she walked across the room, however, she heard a thud and the sound of the front door’s being shut, police said. She subsequently discovered that a chair had been knocked over. Later, when her husband returned home, the woman asked him why he had come back only to leave in such a hurry. The husband said that he had not come back earlier. The woman then called police and advised the investigating officer that she had left the front door unlocked because her husband was out and she didn’t know when he might return. The woman also advised police that, while she had no concrete suspects, earlier in the evening at 8:30 p.m. a male subject had come to her door and stated that he was selling magazine subscriptions. But he had no paperwork, brochures, or credentials and was very forward and the woman was forced to close the door on him, police said. The man was described as white man in his mid-twenties, with a medium build, shaved blond hair, and tattoos covering both forearms and upper arms, wearing jean shorts and a black tee-shirt.
Posted 9/28/2009
Chesterton Tribune
chestertontribune.com
Chesterton, Indiana
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Orlando, Florida
Door-to-door magazine sales get closer look
September 28, 2009
Door-to-door magazine sales get closer look
By Meredith Rodriguez
McClatchy Newspapers
Orlando Sentinel
8:51 a.m. EDT, September 28, 2009
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A young lady selling magazine subscriptions knocked at Lisa Lund's door last summer. She was friendly, compelling. Her pitch was personal.

"She said they were making money to help put themselves through school, to get a better job and support their family," the Olathe, Kan., woman said.

Lund handed over a $75 check for three years of Seventeen magazine. Weeks later, she had nothing but a growing suspicion that she had been ripped off.

National watchdog groups say Lund and others have opened their doors to a largely unregulated industry where unscrupulous operators can flourish. Though some companies are legitimate, experts say, others can get away with defrauding customers and victimizing young salespeople, too.

Consumer and parent groups are calling for tougher laws.

The Better Business Bureau says it has received more than 11,000 similar complaints this year against 50 magazine sales companies.

Parent Watch, a nonprofit that has helped young people who run into trouble with subscriptions, estimates that 35,000 to 50,000 young people are selling magazines on any given day.

"Its big defect is that it targets youth, and youth are too easily manipulated," said Earlene Williams of Parent Watch. "You're talking about migrant workers here."

It's unclear if the crews have any connection with the publishers. In some cases, bogus subscriptions are sold without the publisher's knowledge. Watchdog groups suspect some publishers are silently complicit with the arrangement.

A spokesman for the Magazine Publishers of America would not answer questions but issued a statement saying that the group has "long urged" its members to stop doing business with any company that does not comply with the law. He said only a small percent of subscriptions are sold door to door.

For five years, the National Consumers League has listed magazine door-to-door sales among the worst teen jobs.

For Malinda Turvey, it was deadly. Ten years ago, the 18-year-old from Wisconsin turned to a magazine sales company to raise money for cosmetology school.

Two days into her new job, Turvey and six other crew members died in a van that crashed in Wisconsin.

Authorities said the van, carrying 14 salespeople ages 15 to 25, flipped as its driver tried to switch seats with a passenger as a squad car approached. The driver, who did not have a valid license, went to prison for vehicular homicide.

Since, Turvey's father, Phil Ellenbecker, has been pushing for stricter enforcement against door-to-door magazine crews. This year, Wisconsin passed a tougher law that takes effect next April.

The law requires crews to register with the state's labor department and to post $10,000 bond. Their vans must be checked by the state. Everyone on a crew must clear criminal background checks.

"The bill is so powerful, and it is the only one of its kind in the country, that they don't want to come here," said Ellenbecker, who said he has documented 86 deaths and more than 300 felony cases related to door-to-door magazine sales companies.

"All the fly-by-night itinerant sales companies that used to come here will not come here."

But a Wisconsin state senator who voted against the bill said he saw no evidence that crews were out of control.

"Like everything else, there are good actors and bad actors," Sen. Glenn Grothman said. Grothman especially disagrees with one of the strongest provisions of the bill: that crew members must be company employees, not independent contractors.

But as contractors, Ellenbecker contends, the salespeople have no rights, no minimum wage, no benefits. And when a worker commits a crime, the company can deny responsibility.

"There's a huge crack in the legal system," he said, "and they're walking right down the corridor, and they're getting away with it."

Keys to avoiding fraud

Be careful about letting any salesperson into your home.

Ask for identification.

If your city requires itinerant crews to register, ask for proof that has been done.

Don't fall for sob stories.

High-pressure tactics often signal fraudulent activity. Don't let yourself be hurried or coerced. The seller can stay at your door only at your courtesy.

Be wary of sellers who offer cash or discounts for providing the names of friends who might buy their products.

If you want to buy, get everything in writing, including price, warranty and all conditions. Say you will check it out and get back to the seller.

Don't make any payment hastily, especially for merchandise or services you haven't received.
By Meredith Rodriguez
McClatchy Newspapers
Orlando Sentinel
orlandosentinel.com
Orlando, Florida
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Port Barre, Louisiana
Port Barre Scam Alert
September 28, 2009
Port Barre Scam Alert
KLFY-TV, channel 10 CBS
Posted: Sep 28, 2009 06:54 AM CDT
Police in Port Barre are putting out a warning about people who could be coming to your door step and scamming you out of your money. Police Chief Deon Boudreaux says they've received several complaints about people going door to door selling magazines. But, the magazines never get delivered and victims aren't able to get in touch with the company responsible. Chief Boudreaux advises you to call the police at 585- 6212 to report the suspicious activity. You can also review the company's information by logging on to www.bbb.org
KLFY-TV, channel 10 CBS
klfy.com
Lafayette, Louisiana
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Baltimore, Maryland
Publishers Clearing House: Pay Bill or Get Collection Letter
September 28, 2009
Publishers Clearing House: Pay Bill or Get Collection Letter
Reported: by John Matarese
WMAR - ABC2
abc2news.com
Last Update: 9/28 6:00 pm
You may have heard that the Publishers Clearing House prize patrol is heading out again in the coming weeks...to award some lucky homeowners a big check.

But at least one man has already had a call from the sweepstakes giant .... only it wasn't for good news.

Hey, that's not the Prize Patrol!

This is what most of us think of when someone says Publishers Clearing House: The Prize Patrol knocking on your door with big winnings.

But Matthew Roberson recently got a surprise from PCH...and it didn't come with balloons. In fact, it came in the form of an official collections letter.

Matthew told me "I got a letter that asked for $64, saying I owed that. I thought it strange cause I never ordered magazines from the company."

But the letter -- from Penn Credit Corporation-- claimed he had ordered two magazines from PCH...totaling 61 dollars and 92 cents. So Matthew called, and learned it may have been a renewal for a Readers Digest subscription he was given as a gift. "Reader's Digest was a gift from my mother in law," he says.

He called, and says Publishers Clearing House agreed to close his account, and drop all attempts at collections.

Buyer Beware

But collection letters from magazines are becoming more common.

Hearst magazines-- publisher of Cosmo, Good Housekeeping and others -- recently sent me a letter from their "collection manager" about my "delinquent account"... after I let my subscription lapse to "SmartMoney" magazine. It makes you think your credit score is about a take a huge hit.

What to do if it Happens to You

If this happens to you, and you get a collections letter regarding magazines, you should not ignore it. They can refer you to a major collections agency like Penn Credit, or others. Instead:

Call and tell the company you never ordered their magazine, and that it may have been a mistake or an order someone else placed with your name. If its a renewal notice, tell them you have decided not to renew. In most cases they will drop the charges, as PCH did for Matthew. But Matthew worries that many people -- especially seniors -- would send the money, and renew a subscription they did not want.

Do they really Send you to Collections?

A Publishers Clearing House spokesman told me the company does contract with the Penn Credit Collections agency. But he says they send an account there only after a year or more of non-payment, and several ignored bills. He doesn't know why Matthew never received any earlier bills, but says had he called to cancel at any point he would not have been referred to collections.

Could these collections agencies put a black mark on your credit? Possibly, though since they do not have your Social Security number it would be difficult. But you don't want to find out.

The bottom line: Try not to ignore magazine invoices. If you are not interested in a subscription, just call them so you don't end up in collections....and so you don't waste your money. I'm John Matarese.

Reported: by John Matarese
WMAR - ABC2
abc2news.com
Baltimore, Maryland
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Sumter, South Carolina
Selling door to door could get harder
September 25, 2009
Selling door to door could get harder
Sumter City Council considers tightening rules for peddlers
By GINA VASSELLI
gvasselli@theitem.com
Item Staff Writer
The Item
Article published: Sep 25, 2009
Bill Kealey circles the neighborhood in the middle of the afternoon. He spots a man at his mailbox.

Kealey, a salesman with Columbia-based Palmetto Alarm, stops the van and jumps out.

The man starts walking back toward the house, but Kealey catches him before he gets inside.

He hands the man a card and asks if he's interested in an alarm system for his house. The two speak for a few minutes and then make their way into the house.

Jackpot.

A few minutes later Kealey is back in the van, driving down the street. He makes an appointment to talk later with the man and his wife.

"Was he interested?" Mary Stuart, a saleswoman with Palmetto Alarm, asks from the backseat.

"He was definitely interested," Kealey says.

This is a day in the life of a door-to-door salesman.

But a new ordinance Sumter City Council is discussing will make life a bit more difficult for people who sell door to door.

The city is revising its peddler's license ordinance to require background checks for the licenses and set up stricter requirements for when and where people are allowed to solicit door to door.

And there are several factors to consider, including residents, peddlers, local businesses and the city's business license department.

But all of those factions will have a chance to speak at a public hearing for the ordinance on Oct. 6.

Fred Chewning, president of Sumter-based Palmetto Security, said he was the one who "started this whole thing rolling."

About a year ago, Chewning says he contacted several members of City Council because he had heard about a door-to-door security company trying to sell aggressively to his customers.

He says the company hired mostly college students and blanketed the area for about 13 weeks.

Peddler's badges cost about $1 apiece. Chewning said the company probably made at least $6 million from its time knocking on doors in Sumter.

"These people can come in for a few hundred dollars, stay here for a couple weeks and clean us out," Chewning said. "Business like us have to pay property taxes and all the fees."

He said he wants what peddlers have to pay to be at least close to what local businesses have to pay.

A draft peddlers ordinance differentiates between local and out-of-town peddlers with a "Class 1" license for locals and a "Class 2" license for out-of-towners, but it does not set up any price differentiation for the peddler's licenses. The ordinance does say the business license department "shall set the annual fee to be charged each calendar year." Kealey and Bill Reynolds, the director of marketing for Utah-based Pinnacle Security, both said they did not mind the security requirements because both companies already do background checks, but both were concerned about the potential for increased fees.

"If they try to price it out of the range that we can afford," Reynolds said, that would hurt business. "But if it's still affordable, if it's still within reason," he said, it would be understandable.

He said Pinnacle hires mostly college-aged people and opens offices in many states for only about four to six months. Pinnacle bought 19 peddler's badges on June 2, and the badges are good for a year.

Kealey said companies that do what he calls "slash and burn" tactics, when they come to an area for a short period of time and sell aggressively, give people like him a bad reputation.

"A few bad apples can ruin everything," he said. "I build relationships. I try to be on the up and up, legit."

Though Kealey's company is not based in Sumter, he and other representatives travel here a couple times a week, and he has a relationship with several neighborhoods where Palmetto Alarm is the preferred security company.

Tamika Ryan lives in one of those neighborhoods and had her security system installed on Tuesday.

She said she normally does not like door-to-door solicitors.

"That should not say 'Welcome,'" she said, pointing to the mat by her front door. "That should say 'Step Off.'"

But she said she was glad when Kealey knocked on her door because she wanted an alarm system.

Kealey said he thinks the ordinance should be changed to put tougher restrictions on out-of-state peddlers, rather than out-of-town peddlers.

"They can call us" if there's a problem, Kealey said. "We're not that far away."

He also suggested restricting the peddler's licenses in the summer, since that is when most people complain about aggressive peddlers.

Kealey plans to offer his suggestions at council's public hearing.

"If they want to go a little stricter to make sure people are legit, I'm all for that. (Those aggressive companies) are the ones who are spoiling the soup," he said.

But he added, "Door to door is how this business is done. We must come out to the house; you can't bring the house to us."

WANT TO GO?

What: Peddlers Ordinance public hearing

When: 6 p.m. Oct. 6

Where: City Council Chambers, fourth floor of the Sumter Opera House, 21 N. Main St.

Who: Any member of the public is invited to attend or speak
By GINA VASSELLI
gvasselli@theitem.com
Item Staff Writer
The Item
theitem.com
Sumter, South carolina

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Trivedi may end up as a victim in future
Door-to-Door Sales Company:
Amway
September 24, 2009
Trivedi may end up as a victim in future
Corporate Frauds Watch
Posted by Shyam Sundar at 06:24
Thursday, 24 September 2009
Story by: David Brear
Back in the 1990s, I complained to old the UK Dept. of Trade and Industry that 'Amway UK Ltd' was one small part of a vast US-based criminal organization running a closed-market swindle and an associated advanced fee fraud. At this time, my own brother was a fanatical 'Amway' adherent. He had undergone the classic 'us versus them' personality change and, his total conviction that he was going to make millions out of 'Amway' had persuaded my sick elderly mother to give him control of 50% of everything she owned. My brother was completely brainwashed by 'Amway.' He had given up his teaching job and was busy dissipating all my family's capital assets to benefit of racketeers in the USA. My brother had filled his home with piles of quasi-religious books and tapes (which had cost him many thousands of pounds) and he was acting under the self-righteous belief that by helping other people to achieve their dreams: he would achieve his own dreams. I clearly explained to UK government officials (and even to a Consumer Affairs Minister, John Taylor) at length how there were virually no external retail sales being conducted in the closed 'Amway' scheme (due to the banal quality, but huge prices, of the products) and that deluded de facto slaves (like my brother) were obliged to consume and to try to recruit more de facto slaves to consume and recruit, etc., in the vain hope of eventually making a profit. I also explained that there had to be a virtual 100% failure/ loss rate in 'Amway.' This type of endless chain fraud is a crime (punishable by a prison sentence) under UK Trading Schemes law. However, the 'Amway' mob were also obstructing justice in that they had prevented investigation of their criminal activities in the UK. This was initially achieved by disguising illegal payments as 'sales', and also by infiltrating government. The 'Amway' mob were employing at least two Conservative Members of Parliament, James Lester and Andrew Rowe, as lobbyists, and using the 'UK Direct Selling Association' to influence government policy in their favour. Although questions were asked on my behalf in Parliament, for more than 10 years, a group of DTI officials and at least one Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gerry Sutcliffe, blocked all investigation of 'Amway UK Ltd'. The company also employed attorneys in an attempt to discredit me. A letter was circulated by these attorneys along with a copy of another letter (hand-written by my own brother), in which it was falsely stated that I had invented all my accusations about 'Amway' being a fraud, because I was 'involved in a family vendetta.' Indeed, this letter even sought to change the nature of my specific accusations. When 'Amway UK' was finally investigated, it was discovered by UK government accountants and lawyers, that all of my accusations were, in fact, accurate. However, only a civil petition was filed against 'Amway UK' by the UK Minister for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, John Hutton. Yet, in private, one senior UK government official was comparing 'Amway' to the 'KKK' and describing its adherents as brainwashed dupes. Sadly, UK government officials are not allowed to give their honest opinions in public. The billionaire America-based racketeers who control 'Amway UK Ltd' cannot be held to account in the UK, indeed the company officers of 'Amway UK' have never faced a rigorous criminal investigation. The company survived only a civil petition to have it 'wound up in bankruptcy,' by employing attorneys (including a former Deputy Director of the UK Serious Fraud Office, Peter Kiernan), to pretend affinity with regulators and to present lies to a UK High Court Judge. In brief, the company officers of 'Amway UK' (effectively) put their hands in the air and admitted that they were running and hiding a closed-market and that an advanced fee fraud was also present in 'Amway', but they pretended that they had been completely unaware of these problems and that they would prevent them in future. Although my brother is no longer active in 'Amway,' his own ego still prevents him from facing the reality that he was deceived by a puerile lie and that he destroyed his own family. My brother is a classic example of a silent cult victim and, unfortunately, your naive young friend, Trivedi, will probably end up just like him.
David Brear
Story by: David Brear

Corporate Frauds Watch
Posted by Shyam Sundar at 06:24
corporatefraudswatch.blogspot.com
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Keene, New Hampshire
Students targeted for scams
September 24, 2009
Students targeted for scams
By Kaley DeBoer Equinox Staff
The Equinox
The Student Newspaper OF Keene State College
Published: Thursday, September 24, 2009
Updated: Thursday, September 24, 2009
While most college students are already struggling financially, they must now also take precautions against fraud. Recently Keene State College experienced a magazine sales scam. Magazine “salespeople” were seen knocking on student’s dorm room doors and offering them subscriptions that were, in fact, not real. According to Amanda Warman, Director of Campus Safety, these suspects managed to find their way into the on-campus housing and offer these alleged magazines to students. Since these subscriptions were fake, any money received by these suspects went right into their pockets, along with a credit card numbers that were given out. However, Warman said that she has yet to be informed of anyone actually giving out their card information or paying for a subscription. Ryan Yaghmoorian, a freshman living in Randall Hall, encountered the salespeople. “They looked of age,” Yaghmoorian said. James Trask, another freshman living in Randall also encountered the salespeople in his building. “They knocked on my door and wouldn’t leave,” Trask said. “They claimed to be raising money to go on a trip.” Warman said that this is not the first time people impersonating salespeople have been on campus. Warman said one suspect has been identified and were trespassed, meaning they are not allowed back onto this college campus. According to Warman, sometimes the scammers are actually being scammed. They think they are doing work for a business by selling magazines; meanwhile the boss is taking advantage of them and, in turn, scamming the scammer. “It happened last fall as well,” Warman said. “We worked on putting out information as soon as we got back.” When asked if deeply bothered or concerned about these criminals Trask said, “It doesn’t really bother me because I feel that I have enough street sense to not be scammed.” Some students are a bit more concerned about this recent scam than others. However, there are certain steps that should be taken into consideration to prevent students from becoming victims of these scams. According to Warman, there are several simple things that students can be on the lookout for when it comes to scams. “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” Warman said. Warman also said that in order to avoid these kinds of scams, students should avoid letting unfamiliar faces into their rooms. “Don’t let anyone in you don’t know,” Warman said. Warman said all students should know that no one should be soliciting door to door and if for some reason they are, they should have a permit as proof. According to Warman, Campus Safety understands that individuals who have been a victim of the scam may be afraid of saying so. Warman said that in order to compensate for this, there is a new program instated at KSC called “Silent Witness.” According to Warman, students can go online to the Campus Safety Web site and enter the link to “Silent Witness.” This forum allows students to anonymously make a report regarding a potential scam or other illegal activity that they are aware of. This also allows students to report smaller issues, such as something on campus that is making them uncomfortable. Students can fill out the information application on the Web site and send it in. Campus Safety will then receive the tip and assess the situation at hand. College students need to be prepared to defend themselves when it comes to these scams or the finances they’ll be paying off later won’t be just for school loans.
Kaley DeBoer can be contacted at kdeboer@keeneequinox.com.
By Kaley DeBoer Equinox Staff
The Equinox
The Student Newspaper OF Keene State College
keeneequinox.com
Keene, New Hampshire
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Spartabbuurg, South Carolina
Sheriff Warns Of Magazine Subscription Scam
September 24, 2009
Sheriff Warns Of Magazine Subscription Scam
Youth Go Door-To-Door Selling Subscriptions
WYFF4.com
POSTED: 4:22 pm EDT September 24, 2009
UPDATED: 4:26 pm EDT September 24, 2009
SPARTANBUURG, S.C. -- The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of a possible scam in the area concerning magazine subscriptions. A release from the Sheriff's Office said groups of young adults are being dropped off and then go door to door selling magazine subscriptions. The sales line from these individuals ranges from “I’m in a contest to see who can sell the most subscriptions and if I win I’ll earn money for college,” to "The money raised from these magazine subscriptions sales go to help support a charity," according to the release. The Sheriff's Office said that the groups have been seen all over Spartanburg County. The individuals are not usually very neat in their appearance and have little professionalism in their manner, the release said. The release warned residents to be cautious. It said: "There is a Web site, http://www.complaintsboard.com/bycompany/american-cash-awards-a59829.html, which outlines a series of complaints from across the country about one such organization that is similar to the one that has been seen in Spartanburg County. We advise the public to make sure they exercise good crime prevention techniques by always locking their doors and windows of their homes, close garage doors and secure items of value by not leaving them out in their yards. You should also lock your vehicles even when they are parked at your home and remove all items of value from your vehicles. If see these individuals in your neighborhood we ask that you report it to law enforcement by calling 911." No one has been charged in the alleged scam.
WYFF4
wyff4.com
Greenville, South Carolina
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Santa Clarita Valley, California
COC does not endorse door-to-door magazine sales
September 24, 2009
COC does not endorse door-to-door magazine sales
The Signal
Source: College of the Canyons
POSTED Sept. 24, 2009 11:36 a.m.
College of the Canyons officials have received notice from some local residents that solicitors, representing themselves as COC students, have been going door-to-door in Santa Clarita Valley neighborhoods allegedly selling magazine subscriptions and claiming that sales will help them defray the high cost of college textbooks. The high-cost of textbooks has been at the center of a multi-year debate about the skyrocketing costs of going to college and has been the topic of numerous press reports locally, statewide and nationally. College of the Canyons wants community members to know that it discourages its students from going door-to-door for any reason and residents need to know that this activity is not endorsed by the college in any way.
The Signal
Source: College of the Canyons
the-signal.com
Santa Clarita Valley, California
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Fort Worth, Texas
Cook Children’s issues fraud alert
September 23, 2009
Crime and Safety
Cook Children’s issues fraud alert
Star-Telegram
— From staff reports
Posted Wednesday, Sep. 23, 2009
FORT WORTH — Officials with Cook Children’s Medical Center are warning residents about people soliciting money door-to-door by selling magazines and books and implying that the proceeds go to the hospital. This is not true. Cook Children’s does not conduct or endorse door-to-door solicitations. Hospital officials are asking residents not to support this fraudulent activity. Contact Gary Cole, vice president for Development, Cook Children’s Health Foundation, at 682-885-4104 or Gary.cole@cookchildrens.org with any concerns.
— From staff reports
Star-Telegram
— From staff reports
star-telegram.com
Fort Worth, Texas
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Rocky Mount, North Carolina
Police advise: Be leery of door-to-door magazine sales
Magazine Sales Company:
American Circulation Enterprises
September 21, 2009
Police advise: Be leery of door-to-door magazine sales
By MIke Hixenbaugh
Rocky Mount Telegram
Monday, September 21, 2009
Rocky Mount police have ordered a group to stop selling magazines subscriptions door-to-door in the city and are warning residents against the business.

The magazine group’s leader, Paul Kristian Ferrell, was cited this weekend for soliciting without a permit, a violation of city ordinances.

Authorities said Ferrell and 16 other people who work for American Circulation Enterprises have prompted suspicious persons reports in recent weeks, and officers have several times ordered the workers to stop going door-to-door.

“We always advice people never to purchase items sold door-to-door,” Capt. Laura Fahnestock said. “I also would be leery of a business that does not go through the proper channels to obtain a permit. In the past with some companies – and I said, some companies – that sell magazines door-to-door, the magazines never come.”

Two of the American Circulation Enterprises workers – Jaime Rivera Laureano and Brant Allan Jacobs, both 21 – were charged Saturday for stealing a golf cart from The Course at Northgreen. The two men took the cart, ignoring orders of staff at the golf course, and drove away.

Police found the golf cart a few miles away on Dare Court and arrested the two men on Benvenue Road.

Laureano and Jacobs allegedly had been using the cart to speed the door-to-door sales process. Both men were charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and jailed under $1,000 bonds.

“That sort of behavior raises questions about a business,” Fahnestock said.

The Better Business Bureau gave American Circulation Enterprises, based in Michigan City, Ind., a D rating and cited more than 35 official complaints against the business, mostly for charging customers but never delivering a product.

Anyone solicited by the group to buy magazines is asked to call Rocky Mount police.
By MIke Hixenbaugh
Rocky Mount Telegram
rockymounttelegram.com
Rocky Mount, North Carolina
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Billings, Montana
Man on probation for home invasion admits to new charges
September 21, 2009
Man on probation for home invasion admits to new charges
By GREG TUTTLE Of The Gazette Staff | Posted: Monday, September 21, 2009 2:30 pm
Billings Gazette
A Billings man charged in June with possessing methamphetamine and stealing televisions from a motel while he was on probation for a 2003 home invasion robbery pleaded guilty today in District Court.

Tyson James Heisler, 24, appeared before Judge G. Todd Baugh and admitted to two counts of felony burglary and one count of drug possession. He also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of obstructing and resisting arrest.

Heisler remains in the county jail on a $25,000 bond. Baugh set sentencing for Dec. 14.

Heisler was sentenced in 2003 to 10 years in prison with two years suspended for his role in the home invasion robbery of a man on Mount Rushmore Avenue. Heisler and two others posed as magazine salesman and forced their way into the home with a gun.

In March, Heisler stole several televisions from a Billings motel. Three months later, when officers approached Heisler at a casino to ask him about the motel thefts, Heisler gave false information. When officers indicated he was under arrest, Heisler attempted to flee, throwing bar stools and running out a back door. He collapsed a short distance later and was apprehended.

At the jail, officers found methamphetamine in his shoe.

A plea agreement calls for prosecutors to recommend Heisler receive concurrent 5-year suspended prison sentences for the burglary charges and a consecutive 5-year suspended sentence for the drug charge.
Posted in Crime-and-courts on Monday, September 21, 2009 2:30 pm | Tags:
Tyson James Heisler, Judge G. Todd Baugh, Mount Rushmore Avenue, Methamphetamine, District Court
By GREG TUTTLE Of The Gazette Staff
Billings Gazette
billingsgazette.com
Billings, Montana
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Southborough, Massachusetts
Bylaw aims to help curb solicitors
September 21, 2009
Bylaw aims to help curb solicitors
By Abby Jordan/Daily News staff
MetroWest Daily News
Posted Sep 21, 2009 @ 12:00 AM
SOUTHBOROUGH — Residents could shut the door on solicitors who arrive at their doors without registering with police.

A Special Town Meeting article aims to adopt a bylaw amending regulations on door-to-door sales. Article 9, co-sponsored by interim Police Chief Jane Moran and the Board of Selectmen, asks voters to amend Chapter 133 of the town code so those wishing to solicit would be required to register with police at least seven days prior, and pay a $25 fee.

Registration would not be required for town, state or federal employees on official business, for volunteers acting on behalf of charitable organizations, or those with religious or political purposes.

Currently, registration is voluntary, with those who choose to do so providing police with their name and license plate number. Police can do a superficial background check, but have no way of knowing if the information provided is correct, Moran said.

The article comes in the wake of complaints from residents about solicitors, the chief said, and would give people the comfort of knowing the solicitors who come to their door have been checked out by police.

While the article was added to the warrant earlier this month, more recently a handful of residents reported suspected fraud to police on Sept. 9, believing solicitors saying they were raising money for youth baseball equipment and trips were not legitimate.

On Sept. 9, police activated a Reverse 911 call to report the scam to residents.

So far, a half dozen people have reported giving money to the solicitors, whose identity police do not know, Moran said. She said they may have been selling magazine subscriptions in town as early as April. The solicitors encouraged residents to pay in cash. For those who paid by check, their checks were cashed but they never received their subscriptions.

With a new bylaw in place, it is unlikely such a scam could succeed, Moran said.

"The intent is to protect the citizens of Southborough to the best of our ability," she said. "It's a lot easier to do that if they are registered."

Moran calls Southborough's current code on soliciting weak in comparison to surrounding towns that have implemented tighter restrictions on for-profit door-to-door sales. Because rules aren't tougher, police spend a lot of time fielding calls from residents.

"We get a lot of calls from people saying there are solicitors in their neighborhood, and asking if they're registered," Moran said. "It's time-consuming and taxes our resources."

If the bylaw passes, solicitors would have to apply for registration, and police would conduct a background check on each person. If a registration card is granted, it must be carried at all times and shown to residents.

"Citizens see the ID and are reassured they are law-abiding citizens," Moran said.

Registration cards will be issued for specific dates or times, and will not exceed a period of 90 days, and solicitation would only be allowed from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Those not in accordance with the bylaw would be fined $25 for each offense.

Special Town Meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 29, at Trottier Middle School.
(Abby Jordan can be reached at 508-490-7461 or ajordan@cnc.com)
By Abby Jordan/Daily News staff
MetroWest Daily News
metrowestdailynews.com
Framingham, Massachusetts
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Port Huron, Michigan
Rape suspect arraigned
September 20, 2009
Rape suspect arraigned
Times Herald • September 20, 2009
thetimesherald.com

Tony Lamont McRae
A 43-year-old North Carolina man was charged this morning on one count of criminal sexual conduct, said Port Huron Police Sgt. Duane Loxton. Tony Lamont McRae is being held in the St. Clair County jail on a $100,000 bond. Police said McRae was selling magazines door to door in Port Huron Friday when he entered a home on the 1400 block of Kearney Street. Police said he raped a woman in a home after she answered the door about 5:45 p.m. She called police and gave a description of McRae after the incident. Officers found him on foot and arrested him a few blocks away.
Times Herald
thetimesherald.com
Port Huron, Michigan
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D.M.P.G. Info Clip
September 22, 2009


DMPG research into the above crime:
Port Huron Police Case Number: 09-4540

Sales Crew: Editor and Chief Review
Magazine Clearinghouse:
Fidelity Reader Service
Owner: Belo Kellam
Website: http://www.frsnaples.com
Fidelity Reader Service is a member of the National Field Selling Association
http://www.nfsa.com
Google Search Fidelity Reader Service
Google Search Belo Kellam
Research crimes commited by Fidelity Reader Service


Note: The DMPG collects information from various sources:
police reports, court documents, media articles, and secretary of state websites.
The DMPG is not responsible for inaccurate data in any of the above sources of information.
Various company websites change over a period of time. Information and Links also change.
The DMPG cannot control this and for this reason cannot guarantee 100% accuracty of data.
If you have a question or find an error on this website please contact the DMPG WebMaster:
WebMaster
~or~ read the DMPG disclaimer: DMPG Disclaimer


Seattle, Washington
Door-to-door alerts: Magazine solicitors show up
September 19, 2009
Door-to-door alerts: Magazine solicitors show up
From Meg and Melissa:
West Seattle Blog ...
September 19, 2009 at 4:37 pm | In Door-to-door alert, West Seattle news |
We’ve received two tales of encounters with purported magazine-selling solicitors in north West Seattle over the past few hours - read on:

From Meg:

Half hour ago an African American young woman with the name “Antonio” tattooed on her neck came by our house (in the 3300 block of 49th Ave SW). She was selling magazine subscriptions for a company called D & T Connections and wanted us to do her a personal favor and “give her a hand up” by getting a subscription. She had a lot of personal questions tried to get answered: (what are your names?, what were your first jobs?, what jobs do you do now?, etc.) She spoke rapidly, said she had 3 kids and was trying to get herself straightened out and take care of them properly. My husband showed up about halfway through her schpiel. She kept referencing our nearby neighbors by calling them “Mr. Mike” or “Mr. Steve” or “that guy with the fancy little red car” saying they were all supporting her by buying a bunch of subscriptions. Anyway, she kept flashing a clipboard with a bunch of rumpled papers attached to it, asking us to sign up too.

She said she was a neighbor and lived nearby and when I asked where exactly did she live, she got flustered and said she didn’t remember what the street was but she thought the place she was staying was “Western Inn”. Huh? Then she said she really hadn’t lived in this area very long. I asked where she lived before here… she said Colorado. She said she is traveling “all over” with this D & T Connections company. Huh? I asked how her kids could go to school while traveling all over. She said they live in Houston with her mother. She got very flustered b/c the questions caught her off guard, I think. Anyway, I started to conclude that this indeed was a scam and I finally interrupted her by asking if she could leave some information with us so that we could review it more. She said “No, D & T has no printed info to leave with “customers.” I said, “Well, we can’t help you out then”. At that point her demeanor changed and she became hostile and yelled at me for wasting her time. She charged down the sidewalk, yelling at me in a loud voice.

And from Melissa:

Just thought I’d give another heads up about the magazine sellers.

We’re in North Admiral on Walnut Ave - just had a tall, handsome black kid come to the house, wearing a white oxford, blue tie and khaki pants, claiming to be selling magazines. He handed me a rumpled piece of paper and I handed it right back telling him we’re not interested and he suddenly turned rude, saying, “Yeah, NO ONE is interested in magazines.” He then just walked off. I called the cops just to let them know…
From Meg and Melissa:
West Seattle Blog ...
westseattleblog.com
Seattle, Washington
Read More Comments From West Seattle Blog


Port Huron, Michigan
Man selling magazines arrested for CSC
September 18, 2009
Man selling magazines arrested for CSC
Times Herald
thetimesherald.com
September 18, 2009
A man who was selling magazines door to door in Port Huron tonight was arrested for criminal sexual conduct, police said.

Port Huron Police Sgt. Diana Tramski said a 44-year-old North Carolina man entered a home at around 5:45 p.m. on the 1400 block of Kearney Street when a woman answered the door.

Police said the man then raped the woman, who called police and gave a description of the man.

Officers found him on foot and arrested him a couple of blocks away.

Police said he is being lodged in the St. Clair County jail and will be arraigned Sunday.
Times Herald
thetimesherald.com
Port Huron, Michigan
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Hutchinson, Kansas
Man suspected of kidnapping, battery released from jail
September 18, 2009
Man suspected of kidnapping, battery released from jail
The Hutchinson News
Friday, September 18, 2009 9 : 39 AM

The Reno County District Attorney's Office has temporarily declined prosecuting a Hutchinson man who was accused of tying up and beating another man he thought had stolen from him.

Kyle J. Poppelreiter was arrested last Friday at his home in the 100 block of East Fifth Avenue on suspicion of kidnapping, aggravated battery and aggravated assault. Joshua Schrock, 21, was also arrested on suspicion of criminal restraint.

Poppelreiter had called police to his home to take custody of Charles F. Nelson, 24, of Randolph, Vt., whom Poppelreiter accused of stealing a gun and cigarettes from his pickup. When officers arrived, they found Nelson tied to a chair with a broken nose and Poppelreiter allegedly holding a gun to his head, Hutchinson Police Lt. Clay Rothe previously reported.

The district attorney's office has temporarily declined to prosecute Poppelreiter because prosecutors are awaiting more information from law enforcement, Senior Assistant District Attorney Stephen Maxwell said.

In his first court appearance Monday before Judge Randy McEwen, Poppelreiter said he didn't kidnap Nelson and claimed Schrock was the one who tied up Nelson, who had been selling magazines door-to-door.

Poppelreiter on Monday told McEwen he needed his $110,000 bond reduced so he could manage the kitchen at Polo Sports Lounge. Employees at the local lounge, however, reported Poppelreiter was a part-time employee but no longer worked there.

Poppelreiter has since been released from Reno County Jail, however, since he is not being prosecuted at this time.
The Hutchinson News
hutchnews.com
Hutchinson, Kansas
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Rochester, New York
Abandoned in Minnesota
Magazine Sales Company:
OK Marketing
September 18, 2009
I-Team 10 investigation: Abandoned in Minnesota
By: Brett Davidsen
WHEC News 10
Posted at: 09/18/2009 3:34 PM | WHEC.com
Updated at: 09/18/2009 7:13 PM
Abandoned in Minnesota. That is what has happened to a young Rochester man, who was working for a magazine company. Once he started asking questions about his bosses, they left him there with no money and way home.

Raymond Van Voorhies of Rochester is 800 miles from home. He was working for a company, going town to town with a caravan of other young adults, selling magazine subscriptions when he decided he'd had enough.

Van Voorhies said, “They basically told us if you're not working with us no more then there's no way for you to get home. We'll leave you stranded."

With the company refusing to pay his wages or his way home, he finds himself now stuck in Albert Lea, Minnesota with no money.

"I had a stroke. I'm on a fixed income, so I don't have it and it bothers me. I can't send for my son." His mother, here in Rochester, says she's powerless to help. “What kills me is these are kids. They got a promise of travel, that's a dream job."”

The company Van Voorhies worked for is called OK Marketing. He started working for them trhee months ago. He hoped it would be the opportunity of a lifetime but he quit after seeing and hearing reports that customers were being scammed. "I thought I was going to be able to make a better way of living and it's not. If I kept going with them, I probably would have ended up in jail somewhere with them."

I-Team 10 has discovered the company has an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau, racking up 142 complaints.

On the rip-off report, an on-line consumer watchdog site, there are nearly a dozen complaints from people who claim they never received their magazines and others who say the company wouldn't refund their money.

We attempted to reach the owner of OK Marketing, but the voicemail box was full.

In the meantime, Van Voorhies has been allowed to stay at the Countryside Inn Motel in Albert Lea in exchange for general housekeeping work.

Julie Cincoski, the motel manager said, "I can't offer a lot, but at least they have beds to sleep in. I do have food to offer them. They don't have to be homeless. They don't have to be hungry."

Still, Van Voorhies feels worse for customers who trusted him. "I really want to apologize to everybody I sold the magazines to who's not gonna get their subscriptions, the people who's money has been stolen from them, people with bank accounts, I want to apologize to all of them, because I didn't mean for that to happen."

I-Team 10 has been working with our sister station in Rochester, Minnesota on this story and there is good news for Van Voorhies. After airing a story there, a business owner who was watching was kind enough to offer to pay for a bus ticket for Van Voorhies. He'll head back to Rochester on Monday.

He has been stranded in Minnesota since Monday.

For more Rochester, N.Y. news go to our website
www.whec.com.
By: Brett Davidsen
WHEC News 10
whec.com
Rochester, New York
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Bowling Green, Kentucky
Police advise caution with door-to-door sales groups
Magazine Sales Company:
Southern Marketing Group
September 18, 2009
Police advise caution with door-to-door sales groups
Several complaints made about magazine sellers posing as WKU journalism students
By JUSTIN STORY, The Daily News, jstory@bgdailynews.com/783-3256
Friday, September 18, 2009 12:09 PM CDT
They go door-to-door, claiming to be selling magazine subscriptions for a worthy cause, but authorities say these merchants are operating under false pretenses.

The Bowling Green Police Department has received a number of complaints since Tuesday about a group of people who claim to be Western Kentucky University journalism students and attempt to sell subscriptions so they can make money to finance a trip to London.

“We’ve gotten some calls and some e-mails about groups using high-pressure sales tactics that may be misrepresenting themselves,” said Officer Barry Pruitt, BGPD spokesman. “I’d never give them cash and I’d be very reluctant to give them a check.”

In addition to the door-to-door salesmen posing as WKU students, another group has reportedly been going to residences to sell cleaning supplies, employing similarly aggressive sales tactics.

Pruitt said companies that employ door-to-door salespeople do come to the city from time to time, and they must apply through the city for a license to do so.

Linda Chambers, manager of the Bowling Green office of the Better Business Bureau, said one of the best things for people to do when they are visited by a door-to-door salesman is to ask for their city-issued license to verify their legitimacy.

“Also, ask for their name and the name of the company they’re working for,” Chambers said.

The local BBB office has also received complaints this week about people posing as students and selling magazine subscriptions.

Chambers said the complaints have been focused on a Tennessee company called Southern Marketing Group.

“They have had some complaints made against them (in the past) about people not getting the magazines after they have ordered them,” Chambers said.

Those companies often employ teenagers or young adults, bringing a group of them into a city to attempt to make sales.

Chambers said the salespeople are sometimes placed in an exploitative environment.

“I’ve heard horror stories where they haven’t even gotten to eat,” Chambers said of the door-to-door merchants. “Oftentimes, these young people will just be brought into an area ... the company that has gotten them to do this gets all the money, which may be why some of them are asking for cash.”

Still, residents should be wary of the door-to-door marketers and should never let one into their home.

“If you get a bad feeling, you politely say you’re not interested and close the door,” Pruitt said. “At no time would I let these people in my house.”
By JUSTIN STORY, The Daily News, jstory@bgdailynews.com/783-3256
bgdailynews.com
Bowling Green, Kentucky
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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Officials warn students of potential scammers
Magazine Sales Clearinghouse:
Pacific Coast Clearing Service
September 18, 2009
Officials warn students of potential scammers
Charley Groth
Kirkwood Community College Communiqué
Issue date: 9/18/09 Section: News
"I should have seen the signs," recalled one Kirkwood Community College student in Cedar Rapids who last month handed over a $75 check to a young woman claiming to be selling magazines for the Kirkwood speech department.

The student, who prefers to remain anonymous, said the "sales" person pushed herself into his Village East apartment and handed him a glossy, official-looking list of magazine subscriptions to choose from. "She said she needed to earn points so that she could get a trip to Hawaii," he said.

Wanting to help out this fellow student and wanting her out of his kitchen, he agreed to a subscription of ESPN Magazine, wrote a check and received a sticker for his door, to supposedly alert other magazine "salesmen" of his purchase so they wouldn't bother him.

"I felt kinda stupid after she left," said the student. Suspicious, he called a friend to tell him about the experience and found out that the friend, too, had just written a check to the same company, Pacific Coast Clearing Services.

With a little digging, they discovered that no one affiliated with Kirkwood was selling magazines and Pacific Coast Clearing Service, based out of Gig Harbor, Wash., has a reputation of popping up all over the country peddling phony or non-existent subscriptions.

Though some people tried to call Pacific Coast Clearing Service, they reached a message announcing the office hours and asked the caller to call back later, even though the business should have been open.

"I knew it was a scam right away," said Brenda Cooley, a Kirkwood instructor who was notified of the incident by the anonymous student's mother. "This has been a problem for a couple of years."

If your trusting Iowan nature insists that you open the door for a stranger, at least keep your eyes open for these telltale signs of a rip-off artist. First, ask for the solicitor's identification and permit. Be wary of someone asking for a donation to benefit an organization or purpose. When the solicitor asks for cash or even offers a reduced price for cash, the conversation should be over.

Cooleysaid she thinks Kirkwood could include information about potential scammers in its freshman orientation. She said the apartments around campus could also warn students when they sign the lease.

Other scams that college students should be aware of, according to Scambusters.org, are, above all, identity theft. College students can be heavy Internet users and scammers are constantly trolling social networking sites like Facebook collecting data that could be used to steal your identity or put you on lists for later data mining.

Since the whole point of these sites is to divulge personal information, only complete social networking abstinence will save you here.

Also, beware of scholarship scams. Many services online will charge you a fee to match you up with a scholarship but this is totally unnecessary because scholarship information is available free online at sites like FastWeb.com or FindTuition.com.

Along with this, don't respond to offers of student loans. Your first stop should be the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Then, if you need more money, go to a bank or a source that you know is reputable.

Luckily, the two students in this story were able to cancel their checks in time, walking away from the experience unscathed monetarily but more weary of the next knock at the door.
Charley Groth
Kirkwood Community College Communiqué
media.www.kirkwoodstudentmedia.com
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Johnson sheriff not selling magazines through telemarketer
September 18, 2009
Johnson sheriff not selling magazines through telemarketer
Gazette Communications
gazetteonline.com
Posted on Sep 18, 2009 by admin.
The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office is not selling magazine subscriptions as a fundraiser, sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek said today. Pulkrabek said the sheriff’s office received a complaint from a citizen reporting that an organization was calling residents, telling them that they are selling magazine subscriptions as a fundraiser for the Johnson County Police. According to the complaint, the caller has said the fundraiser is to try and raise funds for bulletproof vests for local police agencies. The Johnson County Sheriff is not and does not raise funds through a telemarketer, Pulkrabek said. Sheriff’s deputies are provided with bullet-resistant vests through the department’s normal budget process. Pulkrabek said that if anyone receives a call, please ask the caller for a name and call back number, and report that to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office at 356-6020.
Gazette Communications
gazetteonline.com
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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Silverdale, Washington
Don’t want no stinkin’ magazines
Magazine Sales Company:
United Subscription Agency
September 17, 2009
Don’t want no stinkin’ magazines
POLICE LOG
Bremerton Patriot
Sep 17 2009, 4:24 PM · UPDATED
Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call regarding a suspicious person trying to sell magazines in Kariotis Mobile Home Park on NE McWilliams Road in East Bremerton at 12:45 p.m. Sept. 11.

Two men, ages 60 and 70, attempted to detain the 23-year-old man from New Mexico until police arrived. A van with a few people in it then pulled up and a verbal dispute ensued.

A homeowner told deputies the man was going door-to-door claiming to sell magazines. There is a “No Soliciting” sign posted at the mobile home park entrance.

The man asked one homeowner about her jewelry, looked into her trailer and started to walk around the back of it to comment on her garden.

The man told the woman he had permission from the mobile home park manager to sell magazines, but he could not describe the manager.

The woman’s 60-year-old husband followed the man and he and the 70-year-old confronted him, asking for identification. He showed them a laminated card stating he worked for the United Subscription Agency, but had a different first name than what he told the woman.

The residents told the man he needed to stick around until police arrived and he reached to grab his card back from one of them. The 70-year-old man extended an expandable baton he had in his hand and held it at his shoulder.

The van of people pulled up and the 23-year-old jumped in. The 60-year-old man got into a vehicle and blocked the van from leaving the area.

Deputies told the group the mobile home park had a “No Soliciting” sign and they agreed not to come back.

No arrests were made.
Bremerton Patriot
pnwlocalnews.com
Silverdale, Washington
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Pullman, Washington
Police suggest shutting doors to scamming salesmen
September 16, 2009
Police suggest shutting doors to scamming salesmen
Door-to-door salesmen must register two weeks in advance or risk getting a $100 fine.
Briana Alzola
- email the author
The Daily Evergreen
Published: 09/16/2009
Multiple cases of door-to-door salesmen trying to scam Pullman residents have been reported in the last week, Pullman Police Cmdr. Chris Tennant said.

“There are groups who bring people from back east, and they come into town for two or three days and go door-to-door selling magazines,” he said.

Management operations major Megan Riley was someone who reported a salesman case.

“It was a young guy in his 20s,” she said. “He said it was a point system. It is a popular scam. You can’t do much when they come around, except chase them away.” The individuals in these groups, which have no ties to the town, have traditionally had problems with crime, Tennant said.

A city ordinance that was passed because of salesmen problems in the past states that any person selling door-to-door must register 14 days in advance, he said.

Tennant said anyone failing to do so will be fined $100. He also said two or three people have been fined already, but the city only knows if people call to report the salesmen showing up at their doors.

“We encourage people to call,” he said. “You can ask if they are registered with the city, and if not, just ask them to leave. You can also call to check on the credentials of anyone at your door.” Anyone going door-to-door on university property must also have special permission from the school, WSU Police Lt. Steve Hansen said.

“Do not let them in the resident halls,” Hansen said.

Hansen said if students want to talk to the salesmen who comes to their door, they can, but they should be wary.

“You should always look at what kind of deal you are getting,” he said. “And as with anybody else, if you are not comfortable, do not let them in. Just have the conversation at the door.” Tennant said that, though similar salesmen groups in the past usually stay in town for a few days, the scam should be considered a warning for all residents, he said.

“It is really buyer beware,” he said. “Whether it is on the Internet, telephone or door-to-door, you just have to be careful.” Riley reminded students that these scammers were present, and they could be stopping by their houses next.

“Remember – they’re out there. Don’t buy from them,” she said.
Briana Alzola
- email the author
The Daily Evergreen
Pullman, Washington
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Louisville, Kentucky
Police warn of possible magazine sales scam
Magazine Sales Company:
United Circulation
September 14, 2009
Police warn of possible magazine sales scam
The Courier-Journal • September 14, 2009
Strathmoor Police Chief Joe Renzi said Monday that scam artists have approached a handful of elderly residents selling magazine subscriptions at exorbitant prices. Renzi said he suspects the solicitors are not legitimate because they have not applied for a solicitation permit from the city, and the prices being charged are “outrageous.” Louisville Metro Police spokesman Dwight Mitchell said there are two people who say they are selling the magazines for “UC” or “United Circulation” to earn money for a trip to England. Mitchell said the men ask for between $84 and $168 per subscription and claim that magazines are sent to troops overseas with each subscription sold. “They're pretty smooth talkers and usually gain entry into the homes,” Mitchell said. Renzi said that once inside, the men usually ask to use a bathroom or get a drink of water. Both departments suspect they could be scouting the homes for things to steal, although no thefts or break-ins have been reported. One man is described as having a dark tan complexion with dark hair; the other has a light complexion with strawberry blond hair. Renzi said people should call police if they are solicited.
The Courier-Journal
courier-journal.com
Louisville, Kentucky
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Don't allow crooks like Amway to loot your country
Door-to-Door Sales Company:
Amway
September 13, 2009
Don't allow crooks like Amway to loot your country
Sunday, 13 September 2009
Posted by Shyam Sundar at 22:33
Corporate Frauds Watch
Many people believe, rather ignorantly, that whatever published in newspapers is fact. They do not distinguish between Press statements, eye witness accounts, editorial articles and editors' comments. Interestingly, a sizable number of people do not distinguish between advertisements and news. This was revealed in a survey a decade ago. It seems Mr Trivedi is also no exception. I must confess that Mr Trivedi shared nothing with me so far. All he mentioned was some Press statements by a bunch of thieves who have been looting my country for the last one decade. Interestingly, he asks me to read the statements of the apologists of a fraud company. Above all, he refuses to read the judgment of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh to learn how Amway India was nailed. I have mentioned before the names of some 33 companies which indulged in illegal money circulation scheme and all of them obtained stay orders from the judicial courts even before the police filed any criminal case against them. That includes GoldQuest International. Notable point here is that most of these companies are the members of Indian Direct Selling Association (IDSA). IDSA headed and founded by Amway got GoldQuest International admitted into its fold as a direct selling company but distanced itself once it was caught red-handed. My friend Trivedi, kindly read the High Court judgement to understand how these companies are cheating people in the name of direct selling and how these companies are unjustly enriching themselves from selling starter kits, annual subscriptions and attractive commissions to lure the members to bring in more members, exorbitant price of products, etc. For example, the ex-factory price of Glister toothpaste is Rs. 16 on which the Amway India is paying tax to the government but it is selling the same for Rs. 120 to the consumer. Now tell me whether the consumer is really getting benefitted through so-called direct selling. Love your country and do not allow these crooks to make love to your country.
Posted by Shyam Sundar at 22:33
Posted by Shyam Sundar at 22:33
Corporate Frauds Watch
corporatefraudswatch.blogspot.com
Read This Story


American Fork, Utah
A.F. rape case delayed as officials argue suspect's placement
September 10, 2009
A.F. rape case delayed as officials argue suspect's placement
Janice Peterson - Daily Herald | Posted: Thursday, September 10, 2009 12:05 am

Brian Mask
PROVO SEmD A door-to-door salesman's rape case has been left in limbo as officials argue over where to send him to be restored to competency.

Despite a judge's ruling that Brian Mask is incompetent due to mental retardation, officials with the Department of Human Services say Mask cannot be treated by the department because he is not mentally retarded.

"The department has determined that Mr. Mask has a learning disability, which could be misdiagnosed and mislabeled as mental retardation, due to its severity as expressed in this case," wrote the department's attorney in the case, Stephen Mikita.

Mask, a Chicago native, was arrested last August after he allegedly beat and raped an American Fork woman in her home. Mask was declared incompetent by Judge James Taylor in May and ordered into the custody of the Department of Human Services in order to try and restore him to competency. Although two of three evaluators have previously determined Mask is incompetent to proceed at this time, the department filed a motion asking the judge to review the order because it does not have the services to support someone like Mask.

Mikita argued in the motion that Mask does not have mental retardation, but rather borderline intellectual functioning and a learning disability. The Utah State Hospital cannot take Mask if he does not have a mental illness, and the Utah State Development Center cannot take him without a diagnosis of mental retardation.

"In fact, the Department of Human Services would violate Utah law, not to mention Federal law, if it were to place Mr. Mask in a DPSD residential facility, involuntarily commit him to the USDC, or involuntarily commit him to the Utah State Hospital, Mikita wrote."

The department relied on the findings from evaluators who first found Mask incompetent, as well as its own analysis from Steve Wrigley, who is a qualified mental retardation evaluator with the department. Wrigley evaluated Mask at the Utah County Jail and determined Mask has difficulty comprehending things he has not experienced, due to drug use and a learning disability.

"It also appears that Mr. Mask's long-term drug and alcohol use, beginning at the age of 10, has impacted his overall cognitive ability," Mikita wrote.

While the Department of Human Services claims it cannot take Mask, Mikita suggested a drug treatment program through another agency or programs with the Utah Department of Education or the Provo School District could help restore competency. Mask's attorney, Richard Gale, however, called these suggestions absurd. Gale said it is important for the department to take Mask so that he can be treated correctly, even if that means he is treated at the county jail rather than one of the department's facilities.

"The charge he has is life without parole, so I'm less concerned about the immediate incarceration than the long-term disposition," he said.

Even if Mask is a risk to society, prison may not be the right place for him if he has a mental disability, Gale said. His case is difficult because he does not suffer from profound retardation, but is part of a group that often falls through the cracks. Funding for people with milder mental disabilities has reduced over the years, leaving them without the help they need to stay out of trouble, he said.

"We've done away with a lot of the services for those people, so they're ending up in the criminal justice system," Gale said.

Prosecutor Julia Thomas said the delays in the case are difficult for everyone involved. It is very hard for the victim, who wants a speedy resolution in the case, she said.

"It's very frustrating," Thomas said. "He's already been in custody for over a year now."

Thomas said the situation is puzzling, and it is difficult to tell where the case will go next. A hearing will be held Oct. 23, in which the judge will determine whether to vacate his previous order and call in more experts to determine Mask's competency. At that point, the case will likely be at the same place it was months ago.

"We're at a really difficult position," Thomas said. "Obviously we don't want to let him loose. We think he's a danger to society."

Posted in Local, American-fork, Provo on Thursday, September 10, 2009 12:05 am Updated: 1:03 am. | Tags: American Fork, Provo

Related
Judge declares A.F. rape suspect incompetent to stand trial
Salesman accused in AF rape may be incompetent
Salesman may be incompetent to stand trial
American Fork police share tips for dealing with solicitors
Salesman assaults A.F. woman
Door-to-door salesman arrested for sexual assault
Janice Peterson - Daily Herald
heraldextra.com
Provo, Utah
Read This Story


Springfield, Missouri
Marketing Scam Goes Door to Door
September 10, 2009
Marketing Scam Goes Door to Door
Written by Adam Hammons
KSMU
Ozarks Public Radio
Thursday, 10 September 2009
Over the past week, reports have been coming in to officials at Missouri State University about people going door-to-door around Springfield trying to raise money. These salesmen are reportedly claiming to be Missouri State students and to be a part of the communication department on campus. But the university says it’s a scam. KSMU’s Adam Hammons has more on how officials are reacting.

After an email she received from a student claiming to have been approached by one of these individuals, Kelly Wood, the head of the communication department, contacted the Attorney General’s office in Missouri and sent out an email to warn the faculty at Missouri State.

Wood describes her feelings about the report and why she decided to do something about it.

“It kind of set the hairs on the back of my neck about it. You know I don’t want people representing the communication department when they don’t.”

The warning that Wood sent out states that people, posing as Missouri State students, are going door-to-do or trying to sell magazines. These individuals also claim to be earning points for a trip to London, England, sponsored by the communication department. They are reportedly saying that the money raised will go to a children’s hospital in London.

Before this warning came out, Nick Addis, a senior at Missouri State, was approached at his apartment and was asked to buy a magazine subscription. Addis describes the point when he became suspicious of the situation.

“Whenever my roommate and myself kind of got a little uneasy, we started hinting that we didn’t really want to purchase it, and that’s when he started getting pushy and saying he really needed the points and he really needed to sell magazines. So, that’s when we started thinking it was a scam.”

Even though the sales pitch was suspicious, Addis really had no proof that it was a scam. Cliff Smart, general counsel at Missouri State, explains his doubts about the legitimacy of the scenario.

“Well there’s the potential that all of this is not true, that the people that are posing as students aren’t really students. We know that their sales pitch was false because the university wasn’t sponsoring this program, in fact the university never sponsors these kinds of things.”

Smart went on to say that this kind of magazine scam is not unheard of, and that it happens to many university campuses.

An investigator with the Attorney General’s office is looking into the case.

For KSMU News, I’m Adam Hammons.
Written by Adam Hammons
KSMU
Ozarks Public Radio
ksmu.org
Springfield, Missouri
Read This Story



Play The MP3 Sound Track Of This Story


Missouri State University
MSU Warns of Scammers Selling Magazines
September 10, 2009
MSU Warns of Scammers Selling Magazines
By KSPR News
Story Created: Sep 10, 2009 at 5:27 PM CDT
Story Updated: Sep 10, 2009 at 5:27 PM CDT
Missouri State University news release:
Missouri State University officials have learned of a marketing scam and are warning the public to be alert regarding contact. It has been reported that people are selling magazines by posing as Missouri State students, claiming they are earning points for a trip to London sponsored by the communication department. Moreover, they claim the magazines sales go to benefit a children’s hospital in London. “All such claims are false,” said Clifton Smart, university general counsel. “The communication department is sponsoring no such trip and the people are probably not students here.” The Missouri State Attorney General’s office has appointed an investigator who will follow up with witnesses.
For more information, contact Smart at (417) 836-8507.
By KSPR News
kspr.com
Springfield, Missouri
Read This Story


Mt. Vernon, Illinois
Officials warn of door-to-door scam
September 10, 2009
Officials warn of door-to-door scam
By TESA CULLI
tesa.culli@register-news.com
Mt. Vernon register-news
Published: September 10, 2009 07:10 pm
MT. VERNON — Residents in the city are being asked to be wary of anyone selling magazines or books door-to-door due to a possible scam, which was first identified in St. Louis and the Metro-East area last week.

“Anyone who is legitimately selling door-to-door gets a permit in the city,” Mt. Vernon Police Chief Chris Mendenall said. “Residents should be sure to know who you are dealing with when people ask for donations.”

Mendenall said the police received several calls from residents in the Webster Hills area and have been able to get the license plate numbers of those involved in selling the magazines. According to media reports from St. Louis, there were at least two youth who went door-to-door claiming to be raising money for Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center as part of a selling competition to raise funds for a trip to London, England. Some reports state those going door-to-door claim to be going on the trip with their soccer team, another for their journalism classes.

City Manager Ron Neibert said he was one of those who were solicited during the last week.

“They had a card with pictures of Europe and said they were trying to win a trip to London,” Neibert said. “When I asked them about their soliciting license, they didn’t have one, and when they found out I was the city manager, they left quickly and said they would be getting the license.”

However, no licenses have been obtained by the group. Licenses for solicitation are required in Mt. Vernon, and available in the City Clerk’s office for a fee of $75 per day. Those soliciting are then required to show the license to anyone who requests to see it, one way to protect citizens from scammers.

Police are continuing to investigate the reports.
By TESA CULLI
tesa.culli@register-news.com
Mt. Vernon register-news
register-news.com
Mt. Vernon, Illinois
Read This Story


Southborough, Massachusetts
Southborough police warn about door-to-door solicitors
September 10, 2009
Southborough police warn about door-to-door solicitors
My Southborough
Sep 10th, 2009 by susan.
Welcome to the My Southborough blog! I post new stories several times every weekday, so check back often. For an easy way to get the latest info, subscribe to the daily My Southborough email update. There's also an RSS feed for you techie types.

You probably got the reverse-911 call from the Southborough Police Department tonight warning about door-to-door solicitors using “high-pressure techniques.” (If you didn’t you may need to add your phone number to the reverse-911 database.)

Here’s the text of the message:

The Southborough Police Department would like to alert its citizens about a possible scam involving young adults soliciting door to door selling magazines using high-pressure techniques to coerce citizens into handling over cash and checks. Some successful ploys include money for my little league team or money for my school. This company has not registered with the Southborough Police Department. So use caution and contact us at 508-485-2121.

We’ve talked about pushy door-to-door solicitors before, and at town meeting in a few weeks you’ll have the opportunity to vote on a tougher bylaw that would more tightly control solicitation in town.

In a recent My Southborough poll, 93% of you said you would support such a bylaw.

But in the meantime, the unscrupulous solicitors are apparently out there, so be careful, and remember that you don’t have to open your door to anyone.
by susan
My Southborough
mysouthborough.com
Southborough, Massachusetts
Read This Story


Concord, North Carolina
Woman threatened by magazine salesperson
September 8, 2009
Woman threatened by magazine salesperson
By ANJANETTE FLOWERS / NewsChannel 36
E-mail Anjanette: AFlowers@WCNC.com
NewsChannel 36
WCNC
09:32 AM EDT on Tuesday, September 8, 2009
CONCORD, N.C. -- It started with a knock at the door, a girl selling magazine subscriptions.

"She was raising money, so she said, for teens at risk and youth at risk, for education and housing placement," said Elysia Schabel, who says she was verbally abused by a magazine salesperson.

Schabel said that story sounded all too familiar.

Several months before, she bought two magazine subscriptions from a guy who came to her door.

He worked for the same company.

It was several months later before she finally received her magazines.

Schabel told the lady at the door about her previous encounter with a magazine salesman.

"I said yeah that company, I found out from the Better Business Bureau, the address doesn't exist and the phone number's disconnected and immediately it was a 360," said Schabel.

That’s when things got ugly.

"She called me a liar. She used profanity,” she said.

Schabel went on to say, “I was nine months pregnant at the time. She actually comes stomping towards me with her fist out like this. I shut my door because she was inches away from me."

There’ve been hundreds of complaints against magazine salesmen in recent months.

And while there’ve been warnings about the lengths some will go to make a sale, the Better Business Bureau says this one takes the cake.

"That may be an extreme case, but it just shows you the kind of people involved in running this type of scam,” said Tom Bartholomy, President of the BBB.

Bartholomy went on to say, "they size up first the neighborhood, what's the age of this neighborhood."

He added, "and so they have a couple of pitches in mind when somebody answers the door.”

The best advice if a magazine salesperson comes knocking on your door, the Better Business Bureau says do your homework and check them out first.

As for Schabel, she said "I just don't answer my door to someone I don't know."
By ANJANETTE FLOWERS / NewsChannel 36
E-mail Anjanette: AFlowers@WCNC.com
NewsChannel 36
WCNC
wcnc.com
Charlotte, North Carolina
Read This Story


Bloomington, Indiana
IUPD arrests man for illegally selling magazines on campus
September 8, 2009
IUPD arrests man for illegally selling magazines on campus
By Alex Benson | IDS
Indiana Daily Student
POSTED AT 01:05 PM ON Sep. 8, 2009
Donavon Ashley Conley, 24, was arrested on Saturday for trespassing on IU property while selling magazine subscriptions in Forest Quad, said IU Police Department Capt. Jerry Minger, reading from a police report. He also had an arrest warrant out for panhandling. IU Police Department officers Shaune Davis and Matt Keithley saw Conley selling magazines to a female on the fourth floor of Forest Quad, Minger said. Davis did not have a permit from IU allowing him to sell on campus, and when police confirmed he had a warrant in Vigo County, Conley was incarcerated in Monroe County Jail.
For the full story, check out Wednesday's edition of the IDS.
By Alex Benson | IDS
Indiana Daily Student
idsnews.com
Bloomington, Indiana
Read This Story



Door to Door Magazine Sales Scam
Magazine Sales Company:
Readers Digest
September 7, 2009
Door to Door Magazine Sales Scam
By Janice Lieberman
Readers Digest.com
September 7, 2009
I rarely open the door to a stranger. A stranger who is no doubt looking to sell me something. But several months ago I did. A young man came in with a clipboard with a story about how he wanted to better himself and was selling magazines door-to-door to earn points, which would help him win a prize and collect money. He convincingly told me that all my neighbors signed up with him. Feeling the pressure I spent $50 on a magazine subscription. I finally got my first issue last week.

My cousin Rhonda in Atlanta had a similar experience. A young man came to her door with a similar story. Only it was raining and she feeling sorry for him lent him her umbrella and asked he return it when he was done. She paid him $30 for the magazines and $10 processing fee. She never received her magazines and did not get her umbrella back! I still have the receipt that he gave me!! I called the number on it countless times and kept getting the same lady, Shirley, who told me that she'd process my request for a refund in two weeks...and this went on and on and on. I finally gave up,” says Rhonda.

The Better Business Bureau says we are not alone in the last 12 months they have received 1,100 complaints from consumers in 46 states and the District of Columbia against more than 50 companies that are selling magazines door-to-door.

For my report on the Today show www.msnbc.com I caught up with a young salesman, Lawrence Beal, who admitted it was just one big scam “ I would tell them I was from a small town and was trying to give something back to my community or tell them I was going to culinary art school. It was just one big giant scam.” Beal told me he is speaking out because he is sorry about misleading so many people and wants to warn others not to fall for it.

The Better Business Bureau offers tips on how to avoid being taken by this scam:

• Always research the company with your Better Business Bureau for free at www.bbb.org before filling out a check for a magazine subscription.

• The Federal Trade Commission’s Three-Day Cooling-Off Rule gives the customer three days to cancel purchases over $25 that are made in their home or at a location that is not the seller’s permanent place of business. Along with a receipt, salespeople should also include a completed cancellation form that customers can send to the company to cancel the agreement. By law, the company must give customers a refund within 10 days of receiving the cancellation notice.

• Victims of fraudulent magazine sales can file a complaint with their Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org, local law enforcement, and state Attorney General offices
By Janice Lieberman
Readers Digest.com
rd.com
Read This Story


Titusville, Florida
Salesmen might avoid Titusville
Door-to-Door Sales Company:
Southwestern Company
September 7, 2009
Salesmen might avoid Titusville
City considers 'No Knock' list
BY AMANDA STRATFORD • FLORIDA TODAY • September 7, 2009
Vacuum salesmen, magazine solicitors and Girl Scouts may have a trickier time selling their products to Titusville residents in the future.

The city council will discuss the feasibility of creating a "No Knock" list that peddlers would be required to obtain before going door to door.

"It seems relatively simple," said Councilman Paul Secor, who learned of a town in New Jersey using the list. "I like the simpleness and the straightforwardness of the ordinance, and it seems to really make sense because it parallels the Do Not Call list."

Edison, N.J., adopted the No Knock list in 1999 and officials there said they've had few complaints.

"We have found it successful," said Jerry Barca, communications director for the township. "Residents have appreciated it here for sure."

Titusville already requires peddlers, panhandlers and solicitors to obtain a permit from the city. Titusville's city attorney Dwight Severs is researching the legality of going further and creating the No Knock list.

But City Manager Mark Ryan said if it moves forward, it would only apply to commercial entities. Trick-or-treaters and probably even Jehovah's Witnesses would be exempt.

In Edison, Jennifer Frosten said there have been some difficulties. On the list herself, Frosten also is the clerk typist in the town's license and permits department.

This year, Frosten has added 612 names. She didn't know an exact number, but said of Edison's 110,000 residents, more people are on the Do Not Knock list than not.

"I've got files and files and files and files," Frosten said. "I hate it because it's more of a hassle with all the paperwork."

The list, however, has cut down on door-to-door sales pitches. She said most solicitors don't bother anymore because it's not worth the effort of searching the long list. Titusville only has one active solicitor registered with the city, a college student selling educational books.

Southwestern Company, an organization based in Tennessee, helps students engage in the door-to-door sales through a summer program.

Southwestern's attorney Gary Pears said No Knock lists were often inaccurate and outdated. He said that a "No Solicitation" sign is all that is needed and that the No Knock list would violate the First Amendment right of free commercial speech.

But Ryan said it's worth looking into.

"I have not heard of it happening in Florida, so we may be setting new ground here," he said.

Contact Stratford at 360-1016 or astratford@floridatoday.com.
BY AMANDA STRATFORD • FLORIDA TODAY
floridatoday.com
Titusville, Florida
Read This Story


Research:
Southwestern Company:
 Southwestern Company Research


Franklin, Massachusetts
Door-to-Door Sales Scam Alert
DMPG Info:
Magazine Sales Company:
Quality Subscriptions Inc. AKA: QSI
Magazine Clearinghouse:
United Family Circulation
End DMPG Info
September 3, 2009
Door-to-Door Sales Scam Alert
Franklin Matters
Posted bySteve Sherlock at 2:30 PM
Thursday, September 3, 2009
The Franklin Police Department is warning residents about a scam involving young men and women, between 18-25 years of age, going door-to-door either trying to sell magazines subscriptions or other services, such as cleaning windows or doing landscaping. The ultimate goal is have residents write a check to a company called Quality Subscriptions Inc. (QSI) with the expectation of something in return. The salespeople often mislead residents. They portray themselves as either living in the local area or being friends of someone in the neighborhood. They are apparently contracted by a company out of Georgia called Quality Subscriptions Inc. (QSI) or United Family Circulation. Information about this company can be readily obtained on the internet. The Town of Franklin requires most solicitors to provide information and obtain a permit from the Police Department prior to conducting business. Residents are encouraged to contact this Department about anyone soliciting door-to-door to make sure they are registered.
Posted bySteve Sherlock at2:30 PM
Labels:police
Franklin Matters
Posted bySteve Sherlock at 2:30 PM
franklinmatters.blogspot.com
Franklin, Massachusetts
Read This Story


Butte, Montana
Six arrested for Butte door-to-door sales
September 2, 2009
Six arrested for Butte door-to-door sales
Laurel Staples
Reporting for KXLF in Butte
WorldNow, Montana's News Station
Posted: Sep 2, 2009 04:38 PM CDT
Updated: Sep 2, 2009 04:38 PM CDT
Six men and one woman have been arrested for selling door-to-door without a temporary business license in Butte. Police responded to a report of individuals aggressively selling magazines door-to-door on West Galena Street Tuesday afternoon just before 2 p.m., according to Butte-Silver Bow Police Captain Doug Conway. All seven were rounded up and arrested, including Jayson Jordan, 21, of Butte; Ross Nauman, 24, of Bozeman; Wesley Owens, 27, of Belgrade; Billy Martin, 26, of Belgrade; Richard Jacobs, 20, of Colorado; Meaghan Hamel, 18, of Maine; and Nathan Messinger, 28, of New Hampshire.
Laurel Staples
Reporting for KXLF in Butte
WorldNow, Montana's News Station
montanasnewsstation.com
Butte, Montana
Read This Story


Washington City, Utah
Door-to-door salesman arrested
September 1, 2009
Door-to-door salesman arrested
KSL-TV 5
Salt Lake City, Utah
September 1st, 2009 @ 12:09pm

Timothy Haas
KSL-TV 5
WASHINGTON CITY -- A hot temper landed a magazine salesman in jail.
Police say Timothy Haas was going door to door in Washington City selling magazines. When a homeowner asked if he had a business license, Haas got mad. The homeowner called police who arrested Haas for failing to have a business license, disorderly conduct and driving on a suspended license.
KSL-TV 5
ksl.com
Salt Lake City, Utah
Read This Story


Great Falls, Montana
Advice: Greet door-to-door sales offers with caution
DMPG Info:
Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Company:
Crossroads Subscriptions
AKA: Lone Star Subscriptions
Clearinghouse:
All Star Promotions
End DMPG Info
August 29, 2009
Advice: Greet door-to-door sales offers with caution
By JO DEE BLACK • Tribune Business Editor • August 29, 2009
Great Fall Tribune
Groups of young people hitting Great Falls' streets selling magazine subscriptions door to door prompted one person to call Great Falls Police this week.

"The caller reported suspicious activity, which isn't considered a criminal complaint," department spokesman Sgt. Jeff Newton said.

However, people need to be cautious when approached with such a sales pitch, said Zan Deery of the Better Business Bureau of Eastern Washington, which serves Montana.

The BBB has received six complaints about Texas-based Crossroads Subscriptions, which had people in Great Falls this week.

The complaint involved subscriptions that were paid for and not delivered or from people who wanted a refund.

The receptionist who answered the phone at Crossroads Subscriptions' Aubrey, Texas, headquarters Friday said the company currently has two teams of independent contractors in Montana.

She then said she could not answer any more questions and would have a company manager call the Tribune. The Tribune did not receive a return call from the company as of Friday evening.
By JO DEE BLACK • Tribune Business Editor
Great Fall Tribune
greatfallstribune.com
Great Falls, Montana
Read This Story


D.M.P.G. Info Clip
August 29, 2009




DMPG research has learned that Crossroads Subscriptions, AKA: Lone Star Subscriptions is a traveling magaizne sales crew that clears it's subscriptions through 'All Star Promotions' owned and operated by Russell Wood out of Pilot Point, Texas.
1017 N Hwy 377 Suite 100 Pilot Point, TX 76258
Ph: 940-686-9196 Fax: 940-686-0121
Original URL: http://allstarpromotions.com
TWiki . Edumacation:
http://edumacation.com/AllStarPromotions:
All Star Promotions

Google Search: "Crossroads Subscriptions":
"Crossroads Subscriptions + magaizne"

Google Search: "Lone Star Subscriptions":
"Lone Star Subscriptions"

Google Search: "All Star Promotions":
"All Star Promotions"

Google Search: "Russell Wood" + magazine:
"Russell Wood" + "magazine sales"

BBB - Lone Star Subscriptions

View Criminal Profiler: Profiles By Name And Company



Note: The DMPG collects information from various sources:
police reports, court documents, media articles, and secretary of state websites.
The DMPG is not responsible for inaccurate data in any of the above sources of information.
Various company websites change over a period of time. Information and Links also change.
The DMPG cannot control this and for this reason cannot guarantee 100% accuracty of data.
If you have a question or find an error on this website please contact the DMPG WebMaster:
WebMaster
~or~ read the DMPG disclaimer: DMPG Disclaimer


Camdon County, North Carolina
Sheriff closes shop on peddlers
DMPG Info:
Door-to-Door Cleaner Sales Company:
T & B
Clearinghouse/Distributor:
Austin Diversified Products
Cleaner Product: Adavange Wonder Cleaner
End DMPG Info
August 29, 2009
Sheriff closes shop on peddlers
Ga. pitchmen didn’t have permit to solicit
From staff reports
The Daily Advance
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Camden — The Camden Sheriff’s Office has arrested eight people working for a Georgia-based company, charging them with selling cleaning products without a county-issued solicitor’s permit.

The suspects, some of whom have prior criminal records, were charged Tuesday with violating Camden’s peddlers and solicitors ordinance, Camden Sheriff Tony Perry said.

According to Perry, residents of the Whitehall Shores and Danson’s Grant areas of Camden reported being approached by several of the solicitors, some of whom were “very pushy and intimidating.”

When deputies responded, the salesmen told them they were working for T & B Sales of Riverdale, Ga. Because the company did not have a permit to solicit in Camden, the eight salesmen were charged with violating the county’s peddlers ordinance.

The charged include:

• Michael David Wilson, of Smyrna, Tenn.;

• Laporche Katrice Richards, of Portsmouth, Va.;

• Perry Lewis Mitchell of Fayetteville;

• Terry Tyrone Paul of Detroit, Mich.;

• Devon Sneed Daly of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.;

• Larry D. Woods Jr., of Milwaukee, Wis.;

• Dwayne Michael Harris’Gaynor of Portsmouth, Va.; and

• Joel Herbert Helm-Moorman of Ypsilanti, Mich.

All but Helm-Moorman were released on $10,000 unsecured bonds. Helm-Moorman, who has an extensive criminal record and was uncooperative with a magistrate, was jailed on a $5,000 secured bond, Perry said.

Because Helm-Moorman and other T & B salesmen had prior arrests for burglary and armed robbery, they would have been ineligible for a solicitor permit in Camden, Perry said.

Perry said county officials adopted the ordinance several years ago after a similar group of door-to-door solicitors came through the area selling cleaning products.

The ordinance does not apply to residents going door-to-door for charitable causes, he said.

Recently, representatives of a company called Paramount Builders were also charged with soliciting without a permit.

The sheriff planned to contact T & B Sales and advise the company that permits are required to sell door-to-door in Camden County.

Perry also warned residents to be wary of door-to-door solicitors.

“Citizens need to take extra precautions in that these solicitors are from out of the state and knocking on doors to sell products that may or may not be legitimate,” Perry said. “These violators just may be looking to harm and rob citizens in their homes, and letting them in their homes may be opening an opportunity for these violators to stake out the house to come back later and burglarize it.”

He noted that 14 people have been charged with violating the county’s solicitors ordinance since May.

Camden’s apparently not the only place the T & B solicitors have been trying to pitch their products.

In e-mails to The Daily Advance, several readers in Pasquotank said they, too, had been approached by peddlers trying to sell them cleaning products.

“The two guys that came to my house were very persistent,” one e-mailer said. “They claimed to be from the Detroit area... When I told him I was not interested in purchasing his product, but would like to have one of the brochures he was carrying he told me that they only give those to customers who purchase the product.”

Perry advised citizens not to hesitate to call 911 to report solicitors working in their neighborhoods.
From staff reports
The Daily Advance
dailyadvance.com
Camdon County, North Carolina
Read This Story


D.M.P.G. Info Clip
August 29, 2009


DMPG research into the above cleaner sales company:
T&B Sales Manager: Timothy Burgess
8405 Avalon Drive
Riverdale, GA 30274
Phone (800)323-6444

T&B Sales distributes Advanage Wonder Cleaner for:

Austin Diversified Products
16615 S. Halsted Street
Harvey, IL 60426
(708) 333-7644
FAX: (708) 333-4775
cs1@advanage.com
Owner: Nathan T. Edwards
Austin Diversified Products Website:advanage.com

Austin Diversified Products is a member of the National Field Selling Association:
100 North 20th Street
4th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1443
215.564.1627
FAX: 215.564.2175
National Field Selling Association Website:nfsa.com

View other crimes: Profiles By Name And Company

Note: The DMPG collects information from various sources:
police reports, court documents, media articles, and secretary of state websites.
The DMPG is not responsible for inaccurate data in any of the above sources of information.
Various company websites change over a period of time. Information and Links also change.
The DMPG cannot control this and for this reason cannot guarantee 100% accuracty of data.
If you have a question or find an error on this website please contact the DMPG WebMaster:
WebMaster
~or~ read the DMPG disclaimer: DMPG Disclaimer


Chesapeake, Virginia
Chesapeake residents claim to be victims of magazine scheme
Magazine Sales Company:
United Circulation LLC
August 28, 2009
Chesapeake residents claim to be victims of magazine scheme
Reported by Kristina Rohall
13News
WVEC
10:53 PM EDT on Friday, August 28, 2009
Some Chesapeake residents claim they were ripped off by a man pretending to do a fundraiser for troops. Eileen Churchill said a man in her twenties came to her Greenbrier neighborhood last week. He reportedly told her he was a Tidewater Community College student selling magazine subscriptions for troops and children. “He was using other neighbors names so he seemed legitimate,” explained Churchill. “But there was just something about him that I didn’t think was legitimate.” So Churchill didn’t give him money, but at least two of her neighbors did. A TCC spokeswoman said the school is not running a fundraiser. The second time she saw the man, Churchill says she confronted him and he told her his name is Chad Levar. 13News discovered a man by the same name is accused of running a similar scheme in several Massachusetts towns. Police issued him a summons for larceny under false pretenses. The police report shows Levar has a criminal history in ten states and claims to work for the company United Circulation LLC. “The sad thing is, I don’t think people even understand that he’s not legitimate,” said Churchill. "I just felt bad that people were getting taken, thinking they were doing good.” Neighbor Mel Mill said he’s dealt with questionable solicitors several times before. “They’ll say anything to get a sale and it’s going to go in their pockets and to the company they work for,” Miller said. “Ask to see their soliciting permit. If they don’t have one, then call police.” The website listed for United Circulation LLC is under construction. 13News called the number listed in the police report, but nobody answered.
Reported by Kristina Rohall
13News
WVEC
wvec.com
Norfolk, Virginia
Read This Story



Warning--Scam!
Magazine Sales Company:
Fit for Life, Inc
August 27, 2009
Warning--Scam!
Soldiers Angels
soldiersangels.org
08/27/09
Soldiers' Angels is not involved with anyone selling magazines door-to-door, nor have we been in contact with a door-to-door magazine seller who has said they are donating a percentage of their sales to Soldiers' Angels. Individual companies may plan to donate to Soldiers' Angels, but unless they have made formal arrangements with us to do so, we cannot endorse their fundraising activities.

In general, if a company is working with Soldiers' Angels, information on their project will be found on this site. Just click "Search" on the left side of the page here and enter the name of the company or project to see if they are legit. If you ever have questions about a company, you can ask them for the name of their Soldiers' Angels contact or email angels@soldiersangels.org (sometimes local or small companies will make arrangements that don't appear on the website).

The statement above is posted in response to the following email Soldiers' Angels recently received:

I am writing to you to see if a door-to-door mail scam that promised to donate 1/2 their proceeds to the Soldier's Angels organization is really doing that.

Here's what happened: a young girl said she was going to college and works for the Fit for Life, Inc. She said for $48 a magazine, they would donate $24 to purchasing and sending a magazine to a troop through Soldiers' Angels. She then said the remainder would go to her college tuition and books, etc, directly through the school. She could not verify a 501(c)(3) standing, and when pushed said their costs were covered by a $15.00 processing fee.

We turned her away and said come back with a 501(c)(3) letter...When I did an Internet search, the only relevant item I noted about Fit for Fife, Inc. was that it was listed in door-to-door scams and magazine scams notices.

Thanks for your time,

Laura

Thank you for alerting us to this scam, Laura!
Soldiers Angels
soldiersangels.org
Pasadena, California
Read This Story


Charlottesville, Virginia
Magazine salesman charged in theft
August 27, 2009
Police Beat
Magazine salesman charged in theft
Charlottesville Daily Progress
By The Daily Progress Staff
Published: August 27, 2009
An out-of-town magazine salesman was arrested on robbery charges Tuesday, according to Charlottesville police.

Jack Gardenhire, 23, was arrested and charged with robbery after police found him with a stolen laptop blocks from the scene of the crime, city police Lt. Gary Pleasants said.

Police claim Gardenhire pushed his way past a student and into a Stadium Road

“He was one of nine people who have come in and gotten a city license to sell magazines for a company that, as far as we can tell, is legitimate,” Pleasants said. “He knocked on the door and asked this person about magazines, and when the person said no, forced his way into the residence.

Police found Gardenhire sitting in a car in a nearby parking lot soon after, Pleasants said.

The backpack and laptop were with Gardenhire, Pleasants said.

“We’ve had some pushy salesmen before, but nothing like this,” Pleasants said.

Robbers sometimes claim falsely to be salesmen, Pleasants said. This case is unique because the alleged robber was also a genuine salesman, he said.

Police suggest that when greeted with a salesman at the door, residents should:

- use a one-way peephole;

- ask for identification;

- ask for a city-issued license, but exercise reasonable caution even if there is a license; and

- contact police if the seller refuses to produce identification.
Charlottesville Daily Progress
By The Daily Progress Staff
www2.dailyprogress.com
Charlottesville, Virginia
Read This Story


Charlottesville, Virginia
Charlottesville Police Arrest Door-to-Door Thief
August 26, 2009
Charlottesville Police Arrest Door-to-Door Thief
Charlottesville Police arrested a man Tuesday after he forced his way
into a home while selling magazine door-to-door.
The suspect took a computer and cash.

WCAV/WVAW/WAHU
Posted: 9:06 AM Aug 26, 2009
Updated: 9:06 AM Aug 26, 2009

August 26, 2009
Charlottesville Police arrested a 23-year-old Philadelphia man Tuesday after he forced his way into a home while selling magazine door-to-door. The robbery happened Monday night around 8pm on Stadium Road.

Police say the person who answered the door told the man he was not interested, but the suspect allegedly entered the home and took a computer and some money.

Police found the suspect, Jack Gardenhire, a short time later off Jefferson Park Avenue. Gardenhire was arrested and charged with robbery.

Gardenhire had the required city license and was working for a company out of Chesapeake.

"We want to make sure citizens across town who have seen folks in their neighborhood engaging in these types of solicitations to be aware of this, be mindful of this and when they see someone engaged in suspicious activity, to call police and let us come out and investigate it," said Charlottesville Police Chief, Tim Longo.

As the November election and the 2010 Census get closer, police want to pass along some reminders: Don't answer the door to strangers, ask for identification and know you have no obligation to let any stranger enter your home.
WCAV/WVAW/WAHU
charlottesvillenewsplex.tv
Charlottesville, Virginia
Read This Story


Joplin, Missouri
Former door-to-door reps call magazine sales a scam
Magazine Sales Company:
Sunshine Subscriptions
AKA: Palmetto Marketting
August 26, 2009
Former door-to-door reps call magazine sales a scam
By NINA CRISCUOLO
The POWER of 7
KOAM-TV
Updated: Aug 26, 2009 08:06 PM CDT
JOPLIN, MO. - Salespeople showing up at your door to try to sell a magazine subscription. But complaints of fraud are surfacing not only from consumers, they're also coming from the people hawking the goods.

"We're kids in contests, going around doing this kind of thing - we hand out a contest card, proves who we are, it's got our name, information, height, weight, hair color, eye color, everything - picture of us and it states the contest we're doing," says Jeff Fales, one of four former Sunshine Subscription representative who were dropped off at the Greyhound station in Joplin.

Whether the contest is real is still unclear for the former traveling sales reps.

-

The former reps we spoke with say the decision to join the traveling sales team is their biggest regret.

They say they were forced to work long hours for little money in sub-standard cars and environments.

"Most of the drivers we know have driver's license, some are good, some are irrate, they go on the job intoxicated or high off whatever drug they did the night before or day of, it's a personal safety hazard," Fales says. "Most of the vehicles, we've had a lot of vehicles break down, some vehicles don't run right, it's just personal safety."

-

Donnis (D.J.) Barnes told us he thought the job would get him back on his feet.

Instead, he says he's working long hours selling magazines, often receiving $25 for his work daily.

He says the company pays workers only enough to eat, but not enough to find a way out.

"Over worked, under paid, you're working 12 or 14 hours a day, and sometimes you're getting but $10, $15, $20 a night to live off of the next day," says Barnes.

They told us some reps are even forgotten while working out on location.

"Some of the drivers forget where you're at and go pick up everybody else and leave," Junior Toppings told us.

Fales says that is what happened to his fiance and now he has no idea where she is.

"Her name is Jessica Rosentangle, she was working in Fayetteville Arkansas," Fales says. "I really need some time to find out - just call home."

-

The owner of Sunshine Subscriptions, Vincent Pitts, would not talk on camera but told us Rosentangle "ran into another sales company from Nevada and decided to join their team, and got into a white SUV. I worry when they make those decisions, but they are adults"

Pitts says he provides a safe work environment for his workers.

He also told us that he pays on a commission basis, and provides a bus ticket home for when their time with the company comes to an end.

He insists his salespersons choose their own hours and says many of them work longer because they have not made any sales.

Pitts says "the workers each have their own quota that they set themselves. Jeff, he wasn't making sales so I told him he might as well go home."

- Pitts says he bought Fales and 18-year-old Junior Toppings tickets home.

But Liz Becket and D.J. Barnes say they were left stranded.

Pitts says he provides everyone with a ticket home.

He says Becket wanted to leave with Barnes instead of heading to Michigan, so Pitts respected that request and says "if Liz would like to go back home to Michigan I will drive to the station and gladly buy her a ticket. D.J. has quit before and when I rehired him I told him 'if you decide to leave again you are on your own.'"
By NINA CRISCUOLO
The POWER of 7
KOAM-TV
koamtv.com
Cherokee County, Kansas
Read This Story


D.M.P.G. Info Clip
September 6, 2009

Wisconsin
On July 1, 2005 Brandon Green (a traveling magazine salesman employed by Gemini Subscriptions and Palmetto Marketing) brutally beat and raped a Menomonie, Wisconsin woman.

Dunn County District Attorney Criminal Complaint:
Read PDF Criminal Complaint

Lawsuit Filed Against Vincent Pitts and Palmetto Marketing
by Wisconsin Lawfirm Lawton and Cates:
Read The Civil Lawsuit Against Vincent Pitts

Dunn County Court Judge Stewart's Decision:
Read Court Decision

Wisconsin Court Of Appeals Denies Vincent Pitts Appeal:
October 30, 2007
Read PDF Wisconsin Court of Appeals Decision

Vincent Pitts is currently president of the
National Field Selling Association.
The NFSA (NFSA) is a trade group that represents many of the traveling magazine sales companies and magazine clearinghouses across the country.

The Magazine clearinghouses clear magazine subscriptions from the magazine sales crews and magazine sales companies up to the magazine publishers (Magazine Publishers of America: MPA).

Palmetto Marketing A.K.A.:
Gemini Subscriptions
Pitts Sales
PMI
Sunshine Subscription Agency, Inc.

TWiki . Edumacation . PalmettoMarketing:
http://edumacation.com/PalmettoMarketing

RipOff Report: Palmetto Marketing:
Palmetto Marketing

Research other crimes by Palmetto Marketing:
Criminal Profiler

Read Letters To The Publishers

Note: The DMPG collects information from various sources:
police reports, court documents, media articles, and secretary of state websites.
The DMPG is not responsible for inaccurate data in any of the above sources of information.
Various company websites change over a period of time. Information and Links also change.
The DMPG cannot control this and for this reason cannot guarantee 100% accuracty of data.
If you have a question or find an error on this website please contact the DMPG WebMaster:
WebMaster
~or~ read the DMPG disclaimer:
DMPG Disclaimer



READER'S DIGEST, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC AND THE CIA
August 25, 2009
READER'S DIGEST, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC AND THE CIA
By Anon
AANGIRFAN
aangirfan.blogspot.com Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The USA's top selling magazine is Reader's Digest. Apparently, Reader's Digest has links to the CIA. Reader’s Digest was reportedly used by the CIA to help create conditions for the 9 11 1973 overthrow of Chile's democratically-elected President Allende.
By Anon
AANGIRFAN
aangirfan.blogspot.com
Read This Story


Parsippany, New Jeresy
Police blotter
August 21, 2009
Police blotter
Daily Record
dailyrecord.com
August 21, 2009
--Five men were arrested Tuesday and charged with selling magazines without a license after police responded to a Smithtown Road resident's report about a suspicious person at 6:15 p.m. Craig Trautman, 24, John Flemming, 21, both of Buford, Ga., Amir Rogers, 24, of Brooklyn, N.Y., Marvin Sims, 22, of Philadelphia, Pa., and Joseph Bradshaw, 29, of Sugar Hill, Ga., all were charged with soliciting without a permit. Bradshaw also was found to have an active warrant for $150 and was charged with contempt of court. All were released pending court hearings.
Daily Record
dailyrecord.com
Parsippany, New Jeresy
Read This Story


Seattle, Washington
Warning - Heritage Marketing magazine salesman
Magazine Sales Company:
Heritage Marketing
August 21, 2009
Warning - Heritage Marketing magazine salesman
Imagine Pinehurst
pinehurstcommunity.blogspot.com
Friday, August 21, 2009
I am forwarding this from an Olympic Hills neighbor.

I just had a door to door magazine salesperson come to my door trying to sell me a magazine subscription. He claimed to be with Heritage Marketing. He told me that he lived in the neighborhood. I asked him where and he pointed to the ______'s house and said his father told him that I was a good neighbor to ask for help with his attempt to raise funds to travel to London to recreate the first four episodes of Faulty Towers with John Cleese (???). I asked what his father's name was and he said that he was not allowed to tell me. I pushed it a little further and he got irate with me and left. So, I put my shoes on and followed him up the street. I asked him some more questions to see if he would provide his identity. No go. I explained to him that he had just lied to me and that misrepresenting himself like that is not ok. He claimed to be a student at WSU, that he lived in Bellevue, and that he was a communications major. I did a quick search on line on Heritage Marketing and two scam stories popped up that are nearly identical to my experience with this guy. I called the police. They are looking for him right now.

If you see this guy, call the police. He is about 20, 5-11, roughly 180 pounds, blue eyes, black hair, blue t shirt with a screenprinted graphic, beige cargo shorts, and white basketball shoes. He is carrying a black folder with transaction slips for Heritage Marketing as well as three laminated cards - two that show the magazines available, and one that has the names of local veterans that will supposedly vouch for him.

Here is a link to the other story that is almost identical-
http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/heritage-marketing-c213736.html

UPDATE:
I have heard from many Pinehurst neighbors who have also had visits by similar magazine salespeople in the past month. Please pass on this warning regarding magazine salespeople to your neighbors who do not read the blog or who are not on the neighborhood mailing list.

Note however, that there are still many legitimate and trustworthy individuals who go door to door. For example, I understand that there are canvassers in our neighborhood working on election campaigns and on healthcare reform issues. Please use judgement and common sense and ask for identification as it seems appropriate.
Imagine Pinehurst
pinehurstcommunity.blogspot.com
Seattle, Washington
Read This Story


Southampton, New York
Bench Warrant
August 20, 2009
Bench Warrant
Southampton Town Police News
Hamptons.com
A Hamptons Online publication
Southampton, New York
Updated: August 20, 2009

Miguel Serrano, 22, of New York City, was arrested on an outstanding bench warrant and peddling without a license on Saturday, Aug. 15. According to reports, Serrano was picked up for selling magazines without a permit in the area of Bellows Terrace in Hampton Bays at approximately 5:31 p.m. Police also found that he had an active bench warrant out of New York City for a prior petit larceny charge, as well as two family court warrants. Serrano was transported to police headquarters for processing.
Hamptons.com
A Hamptons Online publication
Southampton, New York
Read This Story



Missing Young Adults Could Be Selling Magazines Door to Door
Magazine Sales Company:
Alliance Service Company
August 20, 2009
Missing Young Adults Could Be Selling Magazines Door to Door
August 20, 2009 by Dawn Hawkins
Associated Content
associatedcontent.com

Could Your Child Be in a "Mag Crew"?

Many people have had the opportunity to meet these young adults. They pose as college students trying to win a trip or some other fantastic item. They tell you that they are from the area to make you think you would be helping someone local get the prize of a lifetime. Unfortunately, the only thing you are really helping is the people who own the company for which these kids work. The kids sell magazines door-to-door. These young adults are targeted by the company because the kids have no job, no place to live and are often hungry because they simply don't have the money to eat. When a member of a "mag crew" approaches the young adult, it is difficult to pass up what is painted as a way to make a huge amount of money.

One such company is Alliance Service Company. Visiting their web page will give you some idea of the promises made to the young people who join their crews. Don't fall for it. The company has a known reputation for being abusive to the kids who join. There is a great deal of verbal abuse and physical abuse that goes on behind the scenes. Purchasing magazines from these kids assures only one thing. The company they work for will get richer and the kids who work door-to-door selling magazines won't ever get ahead or be able to break away.

It is important that people are aware of what really goes on with magazine crews. If you have a missing child or young adult, the magazine crews are a great place to begin looking for them. There are a few things that you should be aware of before heading down this path though. First and foremost, be aware that if you call the main office, it is likely that you will be told your child is not with any of the crews. It is wise to push the issue even if you aren't sure your child is with them. This will at least get them to look into it.
by Dawn Hawkins
Associated Content
associatedcontent.com
Read This Story



Selling magazines door to door for charity
Magazine Sales Company:
Fresh Start Opportunities
August 19, 2009
Selling magazines door to door for charity
Malaise Precis
malaiseprecis.blogspot.com
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Posted by malaiseprecis at 9:34 AM
We had two cases in one week - one was a mom trying to raise money for their soccer club and another to help the troops. After "subscribing" to this several times over the course of 5 years (e.g. to raise money for college, to help kids get a fresh start) I finally decided to check it out which validated what I've always suspected. This is nothing more than a scam. A scan of google searches came up with these:

1. Coal Run Police Chief Todd Akers says people are claiming they are selling magazine subscriptions for a charity or a college, but he says their stories do not check out. He says no local charities or colleges say they are selling magazine subscriptions.

2. Yes, some of the sellers are hardened dyed in the wool con artists with criminal records, but you may also want to keep in mind that an increasing number of the sellers are innocent people who have gotten trapped into this form of modern day indentured servitude/youth exploitation by unscrupulous "recruiters". Some of the sellers may be as young as 14, but are telling people they are 18.

3. Traveling Sales Crews via Absolute Write.
From the latter link:
The kids who just came to my door (all adorable wide-eyed smiles when trying to hook me, and abusive and cursing when I politely turned them down) were from American Community Services, Inc., but there are many such organizations that function like gangs and ensnare kids into a truly horrible lifestyle.

4. In Seattle, WA: If a young person knocks on your door and says they're selling magazines for a charity, wait before reaching for your pocketbook. Fresh Start Opportunities claims that money from the subscriptions will be used to help young people get a “fresh start on life,” but the company isn’t a registered charity. ... Solicitors represent that the purchase of subscriptions will help young people get off the street and back on their feet so they can earn money to go to school. ... A 19-year-old man working for Fresh Start Opportunities was arrested : in October after he allegedly broke into an Edmonds home, attacked the owner and stole her purse. The man was also a suspect in burglaries in Sammamish and Tumwater. Fresh Start Opportunities employees have also been linked to California thefts.

What if these "sales people" are also using this as a pretext to see how vulnerable a home is to burglary?

Perhaps not answering the door is the best option.

Posted by malaiseprecis at 9:34 AM

Labels: Googling, Washington DC
Malaise Precis
malaiseprecis.blogspot.com
Read This Story


Reading, Pennsylvania
Magazine 'salesman' charged in threats in Washington Township
August 19, 2009
Magazine 'salesman' charged in threats in Washington Township
Subscriptions were phony, troopers say
Reading Eagle
Last Update: 8/19/2009 12:27:00 AM

Robert Bradshaw

A frustrated "salesman" was arrested for threatening a Washington Township resident who wouldn't order a magazine subscription from him.

But things got worse for the suspect after a state police investigation concluded that his subscriptions were phony.

Robert J. Bradshaw, 23, of Gary, Ind., who had been going door to door for three days selling what police determined to be bogus subscriptions, was arrested late Monday morning after Scott Rothenberger of Laura Drive called 9-1-1 to report being harassed and threatened.

According to court records:

After Rothenberger refused to buy a subscription, Bradshaw became irate.

Before leaving he asked Rothenberger, "What would you think if you came home and your house was blown up?"

It was the second time in three days that state police were sent to Washington Township in response to Bradshaw's refusing to take no for an answer.

On Saturday, troopers warned Bradshaw that he must leave immediately if a resident told him to do so.

The warning came after Kelsey Herman of Lindy Drive called 9-1-1 about 5:45 p.m. to report that Bradshaw refused to leave her property after she wouldn't agree to buy a subscription. She told dispatchers that she felt threatened.

Following the arrest Monday, troopers determined that the Texas company Bradshaw claimed to be working for did not exist.

Bradshaw was arraigned Tuesday on charges of making terroristic threats, theft by deception and disorderly conduct in Reading Central Court by District Judge Gloria W. Stitzel.

He was committed to Berks County Prison in lieu of $10,000 bail.
Reading Eagle
readingeagle.com
Reading, Pennsylvania
Read This Story


Mount Olive, New Jeresy
Mount Olive arrests men on charges of selling magazines without a permit
DMPG Info:
Magazine Sales Company:
Coast 2 Coast: AKA:
Gemini Subscriptions
No Limit Sales
Face to Face Technologies, Inc
Performance Clearing Services, Inc
Rollout Promotions, Inc
Dynasty Technologies, Inc
Love Technologies, Inc
Magazines, Inc
Fun Sales, Inc
Youth Incentive Marketing, Inc
Creative Marketing, Inc
Prolific Marketing, LLC
Gold Coast Circulation, Inc
New Image Sales, Inc
Rainbow Sales, Inc
Southern Marketing Group, LLC
Yoli and Associates, Inc
Editorials International, Inc
Dynasty Technologies, Inc
Face Off
D2D Consulting
Reviste
Frontline Communications
Preferred Consulting Services

Magazine Clearinghouse:
Great Lake Circulation, Inc.
AKA: American Cash Award
End DMPG Info
August 19, 2009
Mount Olive arrests men on charges of selling magazines without a permit
by New Jersey Local News Service
Wednesday August 19, 2009, 6:20 PM
Local New Jersey News Covering Essex, Morris, Middlesex, Union, Somerset counties and more
nj.com
MOUNT OLIVE--Township police arrested five men Tuesday night after they were allegedly soliciting a magazine without a permit. At 6:15 p.m. officer Matthew Gumann responded to a complaint of suspicious activity on Smithtown Road. Craig Trautman, 24, John Flemming, 21, both from Buford, Ga., Amir Rogers, 24, of Brooklyn, Marin Sims, 22, of Philadelphia and Joseph Bradshaw, 29, of Sugar Hill, Ga. were all charged and released pending a court hearing. The group was working for Coast 2 Coast Magazine company, police said. Bradshaw was found to have an active warrant. He posted bail and was charged with contempt of court.
by New Jersey Local News Service
New Jeresy
nj.com
Read This Story


Erwin, Tennessee
Victims sought in magazine scam
August 18, 2009
Victims sought in magazine scam
By Lesley Hughes
News Editor
lhughes@erwinrecord.net
Erwin Record
Story published: 08-18-2009
Authorities are looking for scam victims in an effort to return money swindled by magazine salespeople on Tuesday.

K-9 Sgt. Stacy Wigand responded to the original call on a suspicious person on White Cove Road. The caller said a man came to his house and asked for money to help pay a check cashing fee so that he could cash a check for several thousand dollars.

“The man was soliciting door to door and acting very suspicious,” Sheriff Kent Harris said. Wigand found that several individuals accompanied the suspicious man and they all provided different stories about what they were doing.

“They were selling magazines to raise money for the troops, selling magazines to raise money for a children’s hospital, selling magazines for disabled individuals,” Harris said. “They were telling people what they wanted to hear.”

The scam varied from saying the money would pay for the magazines to be delivered to orphanages or a portion would be sent to the troops in Iraq. One person said they were selling the magazines to pay for college.

“None of them were in college,” Harris said.

Harris called the actions a “fraud” and Wigand took the checks along with the magazine order forms and returned the money to nine citizens in Erwin and three in Unicoi. The citizens had been told four different sales pitches in order to purchase the magazines.

All four individuals were charged with solicitation without a business license and one for driving on a suspended license.

“If anyone in Unicoi County purchased magazines on Tuesday, Aug. 11, from a door-to-door sales person and did not receive a call from the sheriff’s department, please contact me,” Harris said.

In some cases, if the buyer paid cash, the sales person pocketed the cash and tore up the order form.

“I highly recommend that if you want to order magazines that you buy it directly from the company instead of this type of sales person,” he said. “There is a high chance that you will be taken by fraud. Once they have your checking account number they can use your information to possibly steal your identity.”

Harris said when the money was returned, residents were happy, but thought they were doing something good to help out the children’s hospital and the troops.

“People were doing it to help,” he said. “I suggest, if you want to give to the hospital, go over to Johnson City or give it directly to the place that you are wanting to help.”

Capt. Rick Butler, Maj. Mike Hensley and Deputy Andy Slagle assisted
By Lesley Hughes
News Editor
lhughes@erwinrecord.net
Erwin Record
erwinrecord.net
Erwin, Tennessee
Read This Story


Rockford, Illinois
Epperson takes down magazine vendor
August 18, 2009
Epperson takes down magazine vendor
By Bob Schaper
13 WREX
Posted: Aug 18, 2009 10:15 PM CDT

Kenneth Kantner

ROCKFORD (WREX) -- You see them on the street all the time, door-to-door vendors selling everything from candy bars to vinyl siding. Most people just say no thanks, but Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson took it one step farther - and ended up in a physical confrontation.

"I had one woman come to my door every morning at 7 a.m. for four days," said Danielle Gelander, who lives near Epperson at Highcrest and Alpine.

Epperson said in addition to being a nuisance peddlers are sometimes breaking the law. He got a firsthand lesson in that around 8:45 Saturday night when a magazine salesman knocked on his door.

"They portrayed themselves as being a freind or family member of somebody in the neighborhood," he said.

That didn't ring true, so the chief called the non-emergency line of the 911 center, then followed the man outside.

"I pressed the issue about what he was doing in the neighborhood," Epperson said. "At that point the person attemtpted to leave."

That's when things turned physical. Epperson wouldn't go into details, except to say he physically restrained the vendor until backups arrived.

Kenneth Kantner, 27, from Elexria, Ohio, was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and city soliciting violations.
By Bob Schaper
13 WREX
wrex.com
Rockford, Illinois
Read This Story


Virginia
Police Warn of Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Scam
Magazine Sales Company:
Ultimate Power Sales
Magazine Clearinghouse:
United Family Circulation
August 18, 2009
Police Warn of Door-to-Door Magazine Sales Scam
Practice Victimizes Buyers and Sellers, Authorities Say
By Jacqueline L. Salmon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Authorities are warning area residents about young scam artists going door-to-door selling books and magazine subscriptions and falsely claiming they are raising money for school teams, sports clubs and other nonprofit organizations.

In the last year, police and consumer groups in Virginia and Maryland have received complaints from residents who say they have been subjected to high-pressure solicitations to buy items to benefit local kids' programs. Some salespeople claim they attend local high schools or are members of local teams.

Tom Herman, activities director at McLean High School, said he has received complaints that some door-to-door salespeople are claiming to be members of the school's baseball team. They aren't, he said.

"Our baseball team is not involved with any fundraiser of that type," Herman said. "I don't know who it is."

In recent months, the local Better Business Bureau, the Virginia Office of Consumer Affairs and Montgomery County police have issued warnings about the scams.

The Fairfax County Division of Consumer Protection and Fairfax police said they also have recently received complaints from residents who said they had been asked to buy magazine subscriptions from salespeople who claimed the money would go to a nonprofit organization.

"People are questioning their legitimacy," Fairfax police spokeswoman Mary Ann Jennings said.

The Better Business Bureau of Metro Washington recently issued a warning about the practice.

Not only are buyers being victimized but so are the young people recruited to do the selling, BBB chief executive Edward Johnson said. Many youngsters are transported long distances to sell the products and make little or no money, he said. The National Consumers League has ranked the jobs among the worst for youths.

"That's not to say that everything that knocks on your door is a scam," Johnson said. "But many people probably don't realize the potentially vicious nature of this industry -- both from the standpoint of the purported products and the means by which the sales are accomplished."

Recent complaints have centered on two Georgia companies, United Family Circulation and Ultimate Power Sales Inc., a subsidiary. Last year, Montgomery County police said residents in Chevy Chase had been asked to buy books from salespeople who falsely claimed to be collecting for charity on behalf of a University of Maryland athletic team. Buyers said they were asked to make checks out to Ultimate Power Sales.

Problems with Ultimate Power Sales have also cropped up in Virginia and other states. The Virginia Office of Consumer Affairs has issued a warning about door-to-door solicitors representing Ultimate Power Sales.

Last year in California, two United Family Circulation salespeople received 150-day jail terms for defrauding a nearly blind, 85-year-old woman who bought 210 years' worth of magazine subscriptions from them. The solicitors told her they needed the money for college, police said.

Messages left at United Family Circulation's offices in Buford, Ga., were not returned as of Tuesday.

Most area school jurisdictions say that they discourage students from going door-to- door to sell items for team fundraisers, but some booster clubs allow the practice. If someone wants to contribute to certain schools or their teams, the person can simply send a check to the school with instructions on where it should go, school officials say.

All charitable organizations are required to be registered with the Virginia Office of Consumer Affairs. Consumers who have questions about an organization or how much of their contribution will actually be used for charitable purposes can call 804-786-1343.

If salespeople claim they are representing a school or a team, residents should question them by, for example, asking them the principal's name or how well the team performed in the previous year, said Paul Jansen, director of student activities for Fairfax County schools.

"If the kid starts to waffle, you know real quick" he could be a fraud, Jansen said.
By Jacqueline L. Salmon
Washington Post Staff Writer
washingtonpost.com
Arlington, Virginia
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NEW YORK
Reader's Digest plans prearranged bankruptcy
Magazine Sales Company/Clearinghouse:
Reader's Digest
August 17, 2009
Reader's Digest plans prearranged bankruptcy
Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:22pm EDT
By Chelsea Emery
Reuters.com
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Reader's Digest Association Inc, whose namesake magazine has been a staple of dentists' offices for generations, said on Monday it planned to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for its U.S. businesses as part of a prearranged plan with lenders to cut debt by 75 percent.

The media company, known worldwide for its family magazine filled with general-interest and inspirational stories, has been trying to cut costs since it was bought in 2007 by an investor group led by Ripplewood Holdings LLC.

The bankruptcy would take the form of a prearranged filing, which comes after a company has already reached deals with lenders to reduce debt. The deal, if approved by a bankruptcy court, would allow Reader's Digest to slash its debt load to $550 million, from the current $2.2 billion.

The arrangement would also allow the company to reduce its annual interest payments on remaining debt to less than $80 million from about $145 million, said President and Chief Executive Officer Mary Berner in an interview.

"Our deal has already been negotiated and hammered out with a majority of our creditors," said Berner. The arrangement "doesn't affect our employees, it doesn't affect the vast majority of vendors, it doesn't mean we'll do mass layoffs, it doesn't mean we're going to be selling off assets. It's business as usual."

Reader's Digest, based in Pleasantville, New York, has said it is the largest selling magazine in the world. It has offices in 45 countries and sells books, magazines, recorded music collections and home videos. Among other offerings, it also publishes food magazine Every Day with Rachael Ray.

BANKRUPTCY PLAN

The company expects to file its petition in bankruptcy court within 15 days, said Chief Financial Officer Thomas Williams, and the company hopes to conclude the restructuring process within 45 to 90 days, said Berner.

The Chapter 11 filing will apply only to the company's U.S. businesses. Operations in Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia-New Zealand will not be affected.

Ripplewood will have no ownership stake going forward either in the United States or internationally.

Reader's Digest is the latest media company to be hurt by an economic slowdown that has hampered companies' abilities to repay debt.

Print media organizations have struggled to pay down debt over the past year as the U.S. economic recession has cut ad spending and readers have flocked to Internet sites for free news. Newspaper publisher Tribune Co is among companies that have filed for bankruptcy.

"I don't think this (announcement) is unexpected," said Stephanie Wickouski, co-vice chair of the corporate restructuring group for law firm Drinker Biddle. "The telecom revolution and the appeal of Internet news has put anything in print under tremendous stress."

DEBT RESTRUCTURING

Under the plan, the company will work with lenders to swap a portion of its $1.6 billion in senior secured debt for equity, and transfer company ownership to the lender group.

The agreement, which is subject to court approval, also includes a commitment from some members of the senior lender group to provide $150 million in debtor-in-possession financing, which would help fund operations during the reorganization.

JPMorgan Chase will lead the team DIP lenders, said Williams. Other lenders include GE Capital and Eaton Vance, among others.

Holders of about 60 percent of the dollar value of the bank debt support the proposed restructuring plan, according to a source familiar with the negotiations, who declined to be named since they were not cleared to speak on the matter.

(Reporting by Chelsea Emery, editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Tim Dobbyn, Matthew Lewis and Robert MacMillan)
By Chelsea Emery
Reuters.com
NEW YORK (Reuters)
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Cleveland, Ohio
Man assaults door-to-door saleswoman on Meadowlane
August 14, 2009
Man assaults door-to-door saleswoman on Meadowlane:
Seven Hills Police Blotter
Posted by Sun News August 14, 2009 21:37PM
Categories: Police Blotter
SEVEN HILLS
ASSAULT, MEADOWLANE: Police arrested a 35-year-old Seven Hills man for misdemeanor assault of an Alabama woman, 20, who was selling magazines door-to-door. The arrest occurred at about 3:30 p.m. Aug. 3 in the 600 block, where the man grabbed her arm and yanked her hair after she resisted his request for a kiss and an invitation to go on a date. The woman hit him to break free and ran from the house, owned by the man's father. Police also charged the man with unlawful restraint, a misdemeanor.
Posted by Sun News
Categories: Police Blotter
blog.cleveland.com
Cleveland, Ohio
Read This Story


Abilene, Texas
AISD door-to-door scam solved?
Door-to-Door Sales Company:
Southwestern Company
August 14, 2009
AISD door-to-door scam solved?
Daralyn Schoenewald
schoenewaldd@reporternews.com
325-676-6765
Abilene Reporter-News
Friday, August 14, 2009
A person going door to door around Abilene reportedly claiming a need to speak to parents of children in the Abilene Independent School District is apparently a college student selling study guides and other educational materials as part of an internship.

“I’m not 100 percent sure it’s our student, but we have one in the area so I’ll assume it is,” said Trey Campbell, a spokesman for Southwestern, the Nashville, Tenn. based company offering the internships. The salesman is in “no way” trying to scam anybody, Campbell added.

Abilene Independent School District Superintendent David Polnick issued a news release earlier in the week, cautioning parents that while district employees are doing in-home visits with some parents, they call in advance to make an appointment.

“We are not visiting every house in AISD,” Polnick said in the release.” Legitimate AISD employees will have a name badge and will only be checking on students that were enrolled in school last year and will call in advance.”

Campbell said he has been in contact with the Tennessee Tech University student and asked to review his introduction and sales approach.

“It was clear who he was,” Campbell said. “He was not doing anything wrong.”

However, Abilene Police, who have received numerous calls about the door-to-door visits, believe the salesman has been misrepresenting his employer.

“Some of our officers have been at home when he came by, so they know exactly how he presented himself. Our officers have identified him and warned him to stop misrepresenting his employer,” Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge wrote in an e-mail. “We do not believe he has listened to this advice, so we caution the community to not invite any door-to-door salesmen into their homes.”

Comments

Posted by hisoneandonly on August 14, 2009 at 10:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)
This person came to my house a couple of weeks ago. He did not say he was from AISD. He just asked if we had kids in Wylie or AISD and asked us if we were interested in educational books
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Posted by texasblackhawk84 on August 14, 2009 at 11:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)
It all comes down to ONE thing, DO NOT OPEN YOUR DOOR TO STRANGERS! Simple common sense will keep you, your loved ones and your property safe.
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Posted by GravityParade on August 15, 2009 at 12:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)
Door to door sales is so sleazy. These people should be ashamed of themselves.
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Posted by tb123 on August 15, 2009 at 4:15 a.m. (Suggest removal)
He didn't ask if I had kids in AISD or Wylie but was pretty forceful. He had no concept of personal space and just overall creeped me out. I think what I didn't like most was when I told him no he kept asking to come inside and show me everything...and then he came back for 3 more days in a row...
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Posted by stand1864 on August 15, 2009 at 8:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)
Criminals are known to seek out employment which will offer them a legitimate reason to ask personal questions, be allowed into your home or business, or form relationships of trust with their preferred victims. That is why pedofiles become teachers, doctors, ministers, or coaches. Door-to door sales gives any criminal the perfect opportunity to seek out victims for theft, robbery, money scams, rape or other violence. Their perfect victim is the person who is not assertive enough to firmly turn them away at the door or not answer at all. If Abilene had a city ordinance against door-to-door sales, we could simply report these unnecessary intruders to law enforcement and they could be ticketed and instructed to stop bothering people in their homes (or trolling for victims). Women and children, senior citizens, and other trusting folks woud be safer for it!
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Posted by SadButTrue on August 15, 2009 at 8:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)
I have a sign buy my door that says "NO SOLICITING" and a "NO TRESPASSING" sign. Sinse I put them up I have had no one come to my door that I don't know. And if anyone does I great them with a .45 cal pistol in my hand.
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Posted by saltydog on August 15, 2009 at 8:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)
Had a Cooper football player come to my door last night selling a Cooper Cougar discount card. Bought one. Nice kid.
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Posted by mulligun on August 15, 2009 at 2:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)
Sadbuttrue would have shot him.
Daralyn Schoenewald
schoenewaldd@reporternews.com
325-676-6765
Abilene Reporter-News
reporternews.com
Abilene, Texas
Read This Story


Ramapo, New York
3 magazine peddlers charged with having drugs, gun
Magazine Sales Company:
Urban Development Solutions
August 13, 2009
3 magazine peddlers charged with having drugs, gun
By Jane Lerner • jlerner@lohud.com • August 13, 2009
LoHud.com
RAMAPO — Three people facing felony drug and weapon charges are the latest out-of-town magazine peddlers who have been arrested in Rockland.

The three were arrested Tuesday after an off-duty Ramapo police officer spotted a customer in the Monsey 7-11 convenience store with what appeared to be marijuana, police said. The officer saw the suspect get into a car and then called police.

They are the latest people working for nationwide magazine companies to get arrested in Rockland. Nearly every summer, solicitors from out of state come to Rockland to sell magazine subscriptions door to door.

In the most recent case in Ramapo, police pulled the car over on Route 59 and began questioning the male driver and two female passengers.

Police said they found marijuana, methamphetamines and a .22-caliber handgun in the car.

The driver, identified by police as Terrell L. Williams, 24, of Haines City, Fla., tried to run away but was captured by police after a short chase.

He was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, both felonies; and fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest, all misdemeanors.

Janice Lee Moody, 20, of Jackson, Fla., and Lauri Etta Pride, 18, of Cincinnati were charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a felony, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor.

All three suspects told police that they were working for Urban Development Solutions Magazine Sellers. They were staying in the Holiday Inn in Montebello. Police said they found more marijuana and drug paraphernalia in Williams’ hotel room.

All three spent the night in the Ramapo jail and were arraigned yesterday. They are being held in the county jail. Court and bail information was unavailable.

Last week, two men were arrested in Stony Point and charged with violating the town code by selling magazine subscriptions without a permit.

Sherric Jones, 20, of Chicago and Larry Lee Linn, 23, of Ottawa., Ill., were released on $50 bail each.

In July, Ramapo police arrested a North Carolina man who was selling magazines on charges of stealing a truck in Suffern.

Also last month, a Missouri woman arrested in Ramapo on charges of peddling magazines door to door without a permit pleaded guilty in Clarkstown a week later to the same charge.

Last year, an Ohio magazine solicitor was accused of attacking his girlfriend at the Holiday Inn. He was charged with attempted murder, but the woman wouldn’t cooperate, prosecutors said.

The man pleaded guilty to a lesser assault charge and served several months in the county jail.
LoHud.com
White Plains, New York
Read This Story


Kansas City, Missouri
A sales pitch for stricter laws against door-to-door sales
Magazine Sales Company:
New Direction
August 13, 2009
A sales pitch for stricter laws against door-to-door sales
By MEREDITH RODRIGUEZ
The Kansas City Star
Posted on Thu, Aug. 13, 2009 10:54 PM
When the warm weather hits, so do they.

A young lady selling magazine subscriptions knocked at Lisa Lund’s door last summer. She was friendly, compelling. Her pitch was personal.

“She said they were making money to help put themselves through school, to get a better job and support their family,” the Olathe woman said.

Lund handed over a $75 check for three years of Seventeen magazine. Weeks later, she had nothing but a growing suspicion that she had been ripped off.

National watchdog groups say Lund and others have opened their doors to a largely unregulated industry where unscrupulous operators can flourish. Though some companies are legitimate, experts say, others can get away with defrauding customers and victimizing young salespeople, too.

Consumer and parent groups are calling for tougher laws.

Brian Frazier sees the sales crews almost every weekend in south Overland Park.

“They’re fun to talk to. They’re witty,” Frazier said.

But every time they knock, he tells them he was burned once and never again. After buying a subscription and getting nothing, he left nine unanswered messages at Kansas City-based New Direction, the same company that Lund bought from.

So far this year, the local Better Business Bureau has received 19 complaints against New Direction, which lists a Harrison Street address in Kansas City. Frazier and Lund each lodged a complaint, and others came from as far as Utah and Texas.

The Star called the company’s two listed numbers, answered by women who claimed to have no association with New Direction. And when a reporter checked, nobody lived at its listed address, an apartment.

A national publishers group says it has long discouraged such activity.

However, the Better Business Bureau says it has received more than 11,000 similar complaints this year against 50 magazine sales companies.

“When there are that many stories, they are exactly the same,” said Cherie Reese, vice president of the local Better Business Bureau. “A young salesperson came into my home saying they want to make a better life for themselves.”

Stranded in Sedalia

At 9 p.m. in the cold of November last year, a young magazine salesman from Kentucky came to James Hanson’s door in Sedalia, Mo.

He asked to use the phone because he had been stranded by his crew and said he worked for a company that was not New Direction.

The 18-year-old told Hanson that he averaged 12 hours a day, six days a week. He was given a $20 stipend per day for food and was staying in a motel across from a Northland truck stop. He had no personal phone or transportation.

The youth seemed satisfied with the job, but Hanson, a lawyer, was concerned enough that he filed a report with the Missouri attorney general.

“You’ve got a kid who really isn’t old enough to understand the darker side of life,” he said. “Here they are at the mercy of some people they don’t know that well, making all kinds of promises.”

In conversation, it became clear that he was not working for college money, as he had told Hanson’s neighbors.

Parent Watch, a nonprofit that has helped young people who run into trouble with subscriptions, estimates that 35,000 to 50,000 young people are selling magazines on any given day.

“Its big defect is that it targets youth, and youth are too easily manipulated,” said Earlene Williams of Parent Watch. “You’re talking about migrant workers here.”

It’s unclear if the crews have any connection with the publishers. In some cases, bogus subscriptions are sold without the publisher’s knowledge. Watchdog groups suspect some publishers are silently complicit with the arrangement.

A spokesman for the Magazine Publishers of America would not answer The Star’s questions but issued a statement saying that the group has “long urged” its members to stop doing business with any company that does not comply with the law. He said only a small percent of subscriptions are sold door to door.

For five years, the National Consumers League has listed magazine door-to-door sales among the worst teen jobs.

For Malinda Turvey, it was deadly. Ten years ago, the 18-year-old from Wisconsin turned to a magazine sales company to raise money for cosmetology school.

Two days into her new job, Turvey and six other crew members died in a van that crashed in Wisconsin.

Authorities said the van, carrying 14 salespeople ages 15 to 25, flipped as its driver tried to switch seats with a passenger as a squad car approached. The driver, who did not have a valid license, went to prison for vehicular homicide.

Since then, Turvey’s father, Phil Ellenbecker, has been pushing for stricter enforcement against door-to-door magazine crews. This year, Wisconsin passed a tougher law that takes effect next April.

The law requires crews to register with the state’s labor department and to post $10,000 bond. Their vans must be checked by the state. Everyone on a crew must clear criminal background checks.

As of now, traveling crews who enter Kansas and Missouri must do none of those things. They are governed by state laws against consumer fraud and hiring minors and by various city codes.

“The bill is so powerful, and it is the only one of its kind in the country, that they don’t want to come here,” said Ellenbecker, who said he has documented 86 deaths and more than 300 felony cases related to door-to-door magazine sales companies.

“All the fly-by-night itinerant sales companies that used to come here will not come here.”

But a Wisconsin state senator who voted against the bill said he saw no evidence that crews were out of control.

“Like everything else, there are good actors and bad actors,” Sen. Glenn Grothman said. “I felt like it was a legislator taking advantage of a horrible anomaly to bar a legitimate business.”

Grothman especially disagrees with one of the strongest provisions of the bill: that crew members must be company employees, not independent contractors.

“In the real world, there are salesmen who operate on a commission basis,” he said. “That’s the culture. Nobody’s forcing them to do it.”

But as contractors, Ellenbecker contends, the salespeople have no rights, no minimum wage, no benefits. And when a worker commits a crime, the company can deny responsibility. “There’s a huge crack in the legal system,” he said, “and they’re walking right down the corridor, and they’re getting away with it.”

Fragmented authority

It is no crime to play on the heartstrings of the consumer, said Capt. Bill Hisle of the Shawnee Police Department.

“I liken that to a vacuum cleaner sales guy saying this is the best vacuum or McDonald’s saying they have the best hamburger in the world.”

And more often than not, he believes, the crews are selling legitimate subscriptions.

However, his office responds every year to crimes committed by door-to-door salespeople, most often petty theft.

Rarely are they prosecuted.

“We have had multiple, multiple incidents, but many times we are not able to get the information we need before they have left town,” said Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe.

And if the magazines don’t come? Enforcement can be just as difficult. Here’s why:

•Customers may not even bother to complain if they’re out only $50 or $100.

•Crews are long gone by the time customers know they’ve been defrauded.

•When buyers do complain, it takes time to document a pattern and respond.

As one Utah man found, dealing with state investigators can be equally frustrating.

After complaining about New Direction to the Better Business Bureau and the attorneys general in Utah and Missouri, the only thing Kelly Tipton got was a letter from the Better Business Bureau saying that the company could not be reached and would receive an “unsatisfactory rating.”

Three months after the sale, the Missouri attorney general told him the same thing, adding that Tipton could prosecute but would need an attorney.

Legal fees would have exceeded the $370 he lost, so Tipton gave up.

Three years ago in Missouri, at least 60 people complained about Creek House Subscription before the Missouri attorney general’s office sued, accusing the company of failing to deliver promised magazines. The owners, from the Joplin area, agreed to pay more than $11,000 to the state and consumers.

Ellenbecker hopes that other states and Congress will follow Wisconsin’s lead, but checks in Missouri and Kansas turned up no legislative efforts.

“Unfortunately,” said John Breyault of the National Consumers League, “it will take more Malinda Turveys before this issue gets the attention it needs nationally.”

------------------------------

Avoiding fraud
•Be careful about letting any salesperson into your home.

•Ask for identification.

•If your city requires itinerant crews to register, ask for proof that has been done.

•Don’t fall for sob stories.

•High-pressure tactics often signal fraudulent activity. Don’t let yourself be hurried or coerced. The seller can stay at your door only at your courtesy.

•Be wary of sellers who offer cash or discounts for providing the names of friends who might buy their products.

•If you want to buy, get everything in writing, including price, warranty and all conditions. Say you will check it out and get back to the seller.

•Don’t make any payment hastily, especially for merchandise or services you haven’t received.

To reach Meredith Rodriguez, call 816-234-4415 or send e-mail to mrodriguez@kcstar.com.
Source: Law enforcement agencies

By MEREDITH RODRIGUEZ
To reach Meredith Rodriguez, call 816-234-4415
or send e-mail to mrodriguez@kcstar.com.
The Kansas City Star
kansascity.com
Kansas City, Missouri
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Poca, West Virginia
Poca Police Are Investigating A Group Selling Magazine Subscriptions
August 13, 2009
Poca Police Are Investigating A Group Selling Magazine Subscriptions
They're asking the West Virginia Attorney General and the FBI to look into the matter.
Story by Gil McClanahan
WOWK-TV CBS 13
Posted Thursday, August 13, 2009 ; 06:16 PM
Updated Thursday, August 13, 2009 ; 07:03 PM
Poca -- Poca Police say a group selling magazine subscriptions in town appears to be suspicious. A resident who bought a subscription from the group called police and further investigation revealed several accusations of fraud against the Florida company selling the magazine subscriptions. In addition, police say 7 of the 9-member groups are convicted felons. One member of the group asked a resident to answer certain questions so she could get a $20-thousand bonus. "That sounded suspicious to me because what's point's going to do to get you $20,000 dollars. It just didn't add up, so I told them to keep moving on," said Jim McClane of Poca. While investigators stress no crime has been committed they want to talk to those who bought a subscription. Just call the Poca Police Department at (304) 755-5102.

Investigators have also contacted the West Virginia Attorney General's Office and the FBI to look into the matter.
Story by Gil McClanahan
WOWK-TV CBS 13
wowktv.com
Huntington/Charleston, West Virginia
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D.M.P.G. Info Clip
September 5, 2009




DMPG research has learned (through the Poca Police Department) that the above magazine sales agents are employed by FLORD Agency and that checks are being made out to: Independent Contractor's Service.

Google Search: "FLORD Agency":
"FLORD Agency"

Google Search: "Independent Contractor's Service":
"Independent Contractor's Service"

Note: The DMPG collects information from various sources:
police reports, court documents, media articles, and secretary of state websites.
The DMPG is not responsible for inaccurate data in any of the above sources of information.
Various company websites change over a period of time. Information and Links also change.
The DMPG cannot control this and for this reason cannot guarantee 100% accuracty of data.
If you have a question or find an error on this website please contact the DMPG WebMaster:
WebMaster
~or~ read the DMPG disclaimer:
DMPG Disclaimer


Poca, West Virginia
Police Warn of Convicted Felons Selling Magazine Subscriptions
August 13, 2009
Police Warn of Convicted Felons Selling Magazine Subscriptions
Reporter: Will Jones
Email Address: will.jones@wsaz.com
WSAZ NewsChannel 3
Posted: 6:38 PM Aug 13, 2009
Last Updated: 7:10 PM Aug 13, 2009
POCA, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Police in Putnam County are warning people about a possible door-to-door scam involving convicted felons selling magazines. Poca Police says the people behind the apparent magazine scam are from out of state. The men and women are going door-to-door throughout the Kanawha Valley, trying to sell magazine subscriptions. Police say you won't get your magazines because they're pocketing the money. "It's a financial crime. It's basically preying on people that are elderly. The stories that they give are so outlandish that if they sell a certain number of magazines, they might get 20-thousand dollars. That's too good to be true," said Patrolman David Witherell with the Poca Police Department. If you have any information about this possible scam, please call your local police department.
Reporter: Will Jones
Email Address: will.jones@wsaz.com
WSAZ NewsChannel 3
Huntington, West Virginia
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Oroville, California
Homeowner group calls attention to increased burglaries
August 12, 2009
Homeowner group calls attention to increased burglaries
By MARY WESTON - Staff Writer
Oroville Mercury-Register
Posted: 08/12/2009 12:07:04 AM PDT
OROVILLE -- Burglaries and break-ins have increased over the last few years in Kelly Ridge, and the homeowners association wants residents to be aware of the problem. Larry Grundmann, president of the Kelly Ridge Estates Owners Association, said the group wants to alert residents so they can take safety precautions and report unusual activity.

"The thing that we are trying to get out is that the best solution for home-invasion crimes is for people to be aware of what's going on in their neighborhoods," Grundmann said.

Kelly Ridge has been hit with an unusually high level of daring, in-home burglaries in recent weeks, Grundmann stated in an e-mail.

Recently, someone broke into the house of Grundmann's 80-year old neighbor while she was asleep. Another resident found a purse on his front lawn that had been taken from a neighbor's home, he said.

In Grundmann's lakeside neighborhood, there have been more cat burglaries where intruders scale walls to upper floors to enter open windows or doors.

Grundmann said Butte County Sheriff Perry Reniff and the owners association agree that neighborhood awareness and safety precautions, such as alarm systems and locked doors and windows, are more affective at deterring break-ins than added patrols.

Residents are asked to watch for anyone suspiciously driving around or casing neighborhoods, and report suspicious activity to the Sheriff's Office, Grundmann said. He also advised residents to keep upper-story windows and doors locked.

Kelly Ridge has about 1,511 lots in a lakeside subdivision completed in 1980 as a retirement community.

However, as original property owners pass on, more mobile homes become rentals, which Grundmann attributes to the rise in crime. The slow economy has exacerbated the situation by reducing rental prices and market demands, he said.

Reniff agrees that burglaries and thefts have increased over the past few years as demographics have changed. He likened what's happening in Kelly Ridge to the changes in Magalia over the years.

"It's not your same old retirement community anymore," Reniff said.

However, Reniff doesn't think home-invasion crimes and thefts have spiked recently in Kelly Ridge.

Comparing the last two years, Reniff said spousal abuse calls have increased a lot, also due to the change in demographics. If spousal abuse is taken out of the equation, home-invasion crimes would actually have dropped by two this year.

Nonetheless, Reniff agrees burglaries and thefts have increased over the years, and residents need to report suspicious activity and activate neighborhood watches.

Additionally, Reniff advised people to report any door-to-door to solicitation or yard work, repair work or sales. People operating scams often knock on doors offering services such as roof or driveway repair.

Legitimate businesses don't solicit door-to-door, he said.

The biggest recent scam has been youths selling magazines, claiming to be in a contest. They are actually pulling a scam and should be reported to police, Reniff warned.

The Sheriff's Office Crime Prevention Unit can schedule a safety training meeting with residents.

The unit can provide all the information needed to form or activate existing neighborhood watches. Reniff encouraged participation in neighborhood watches to raise awareness and help people protect themselves and their neighbors.

The owners association has set up a Web site at http://www.kellyridgeestates.org.

Staff writer Mary Weston can be reached at 533-3135 or mweston@orovillemr.com.
By MARY WESTON - Staff Writer
Oroville Mercury-Register
orovillemr.com
Oroville, California
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Winchester, Massachusetts
Winchester Police say couple with sob story was a scamming act
August 12, 2009
Winchester Police say couple with sob story was a scamming act
The Taunton Gazette
GateHouse News Service
Posted Aug 12, 2009 @ 12:19 PM
WINCHESTER — Two out-of-towners who sold numerous magazine prescriptions by convincing Winchester residents they needed the money to put themselves through school were given criminal summonses last week after it was revealed that their stories were complete fabrications, according to police.

Chad D. Levar, 27, and Holly L. Wilkinson, 20, both of Waterloo, Iowa, went around without a solicitor’s license telling people they had moved to Winchester four years ago and were selling magazine subscriptions to put themselves through college, police said.

A woman called police at 6:33 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 4, after she had second thoughts about the magazine subscription she had just purchased.

She told police Levar told him he was trying to get enough money to pay for college courses in London through UMass, according to the report.

She said she became uncomfortable after Wilkinson asked to use the bathroom and then Levar asked for a glass of water.

When police located the subjects walking on Oak Street, they handed over their binders, which contained purchases from Winchester, Woburn and Reading, and police determined the two did not have a license to solicit in town.

After further investigation, police determined the two didn’t have licenses in any of the three towns, and, upon discovering more about their backgrounds, police learned the pair had sold the magazines under false pretenses.

The two confessed they did not go to UMass and weren’t planning to go to London. Police said Levar has a significant criminal history in 10 other states, and added to the report that Wilkinson falsely gained sympathy by telling buyers she had a brother in Kuwait.

All told, police found approximately $330 in cash and checks in the couple’s binders.

In one instance, the two walked through a man’s home uninvited and came out to his back deck to talk to him, and attempted to sell him magazines despite the fact that he told them he couldn’t afford it because his wife was ill and in a nursing home.

Police issued criminal summonses for larceny under false pretenses to both parties, and they are to appear in Woburn District Court.
The Taunton Gazette
GateHouse News Service
tauntongazette.com
Taunton, Massachusetts
Read This Story


Bristol, Rhode Island
Barrington Police: Ask peddlers for IDs, permits
August 12, 2009
Barrington Police: Ask peddlers for IDs, permits
Permit required by anyone selling items door-to-door
By Joan Warren
East Bay Newspapers
EastBayRI.com
8/12/09 12:36PM
BARRINGTON — A knock on the front door of a Riverside Drive home brought the resident face to face with a young man she had never laid eyes on before. The young man said he was a friend of a friend, and wanted to know if she would buy books to support a band trip to Hawaii.

Feeling uneasy about the situation, the resident asked for some identification. That was when the peddler became nervous and left her property. An uneasy feeling led the Barrington woman to call the local police, and an officer was dispatched to her Country Club Plat neighborhood. Within minutes, the young man who had knocked on her door was arrested for peddling without a permit.

Police say this type of situation happens from time to time in town.

The door-to-door sales approach is often times conducted by legitimate companies holding proper permits for selling books, magazines and other items. Sometimes, however, there are companies that fail to obtain the necessary documentation before conducting business in town.

Barrington Police have arrested about 20 people in the past few years for peddling without a permit. A peddlers license — which costs $25 — is required for anyone wishing to sell items door-to-door in town.

Barrington Police Chief John LaCross said the public should not be alarmed but should be cautious if someone shows up at their door acting suspiciously.

“I don’t want to alarm the general population,” he said. “We have arrested about 20 individuals for peddling without a license. One or two had criminal records, one being a first degree sexual assault. Be watchful of people acting suspiciously and call us and we will respond immediately.”

Meanwhile, a law firm from California is reportedly trying to put an end to the door-to-door sales industry because they say the young people are being exploited. In a 2004 letter written by the Cochran law firm to the Wisconsin Attorney General, it is asserted that the industry is a scam to the youth it employs and the consumers they are selling goods to.

“Many young people are being exploited by a nationwide scheme of magazine sales that are ripping off consumers, endangering youngsters and have made the owners of these companies fabulously wealthy. Teenagers and young adults have been snared by advertisements for magazine sales companies that have lured them into believing the promise of awesome jobs and lots of free travel,” stated the letter.

The letter goes on to say the young people are abused and punished for low sales by being forced to sleep on the floor and some have even endured physical and mental abuse.

The Riverside Drive resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said she wants the community to be aware of door-to-door peddlers, especially those who are unlicensed and may have criminal records.

She recalled her story, which took place July 17 at about 5 p.m.

“A young man came to my door trying to sell children’s books. He claimed he was ‘Bill and Pat Somebody’s’ nephew and he was selling the books to raise money for his school band trip to Hawaii. He said he knew I probably didn’t need books but could buy them for kids at Hasbro Hospital or the Autism Society.

“I asked if I could keep the brochure and look it over but he said no. I told him I didn’t but anything without reading it carefully so he took off. I also asked him again who his relatives were and he pointed in the opposite direction from what he had indicated the first time and even named a street in the neighborhood.

“The whole thing just didn’t set right with me so I called the police and asked if they could just send a patrolmen through the neighborhood, which they did. Later I heard that a neighbor had witnessed someone being arrested in the neighborhood and another neighbor told me that he had come to her house with a similar story and wanting $55 for the books...

“The policeman’s advise to me was to do just as I had done. Get a good description of the person, call the police station directly and ask them to send a patrolman through the neighborhood,” she said.

Another Barrington resident saw the other side of the practice of selling door-to-door.

“There is a legitimate business similar to this though... that college kids from out west ride their bikes around selling books. They have IDs, etc... we had the guy leave and come back when my husband was home and then did research online and they are legit.

“Stinks that these others are ruining it for them... we really enjoy our books, and actually ended up having the kid to dinner that night,” the resident said.

Chief LaCross said the police department is well aware of this industry — both the legitimate and illegitimate. He advises that if someone comes to your door selling something, ask for their peddlers license and some identification. If they do not comply, call the police immediately.

For more information on this issue, go to www.travelingsalescrews.info and www.parentwatch.org.
By Joan Warren
East Bay Newspapers
EastBayRI.com
Bristol, Rhode Island
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South Bend, Indiana
BBB issues warning on door-to-door magazine sales
Magazine Sales Company:
Urban Development Solutions, Inc.
August 11, 2009
BBB issues warning on door-to-door magazine sales
FOX 28
WSJV TV
Posted: Aug 11, 2009 11:48 AM CDT
Young representatives from Urban Development Solutions, Inc., claiming to be from the Detroit and Toledo, Ohio areas, are going door to door selling magazine subscriptions. Urban Development Solutions, based out of Grosse Point, Michigan, is listed as a magazine sales company. The BBB report shows an "F" rating, with 190 complaints filed against them in a three-year reporting period. Delivery issues top those complaints at 133, with 39 refund or exchange issues. "Often, companies such as this are recruiting young people to sell these magazines, who are unaware of their sales practices," said Dreama Jensen, Area Director of BBB of Northern Indiana. "Our experience is that they are dropped off in unfamiliar neighborhoods and expected to turn over pre-determined sales. In other words, these young people are often doing the 'out front' work that the people behind the scenes won't do themselves. BBB encourages homeowners and businesses to contact us for a report should you receive any solicitation for magazine sales before a commitment to buy is made."
Information provided by the Better Business Bureau of Northern Indiana
FOX 28
WSJV TV
fox28.com
South Bend, Indiana
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Abilene, Texas
Door-to-door scam posing as AISD
August 11, 2009
Door-to-door scam posing as AISD
Emily Peters peterse@reporternews.com / 325-676-6776
Abilene Reporter News
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Someone is going door-to-door posing as a representative from Abilene Independent School District looking for parents of schoolchildren. An elderly lady called the district and reported someone came to her door and said they must visit with every parent that has a child in Abilene ISD. The woman does not have any children, so the person asked if the neighbors have any schoolchildren, said Cathy Ashby, AISD associate superintendent. “We just want to make sure people know it wasn’t us.” Ashby said. Some AISD personnel are currently making some home visits with high school students, but they are calling first to make an appointment. “We are not visiting every house in AISD,” Superintendent David Polnick said in a letter. “Legitimate AISD employees will have a name badge and will only be checking on students that were enrolled in school last year.” Ashby said in the past, people have visited homes posing as booster club members claiming to be selling advertisements in football programs. Ashby didn’t have a description of the suspect and other school officials could not be reached. In his letter, Polnick warned, “Please be cautious before allowing anyone into your home or answering question from individuals just because they claim to be from AISD.”
Emily Peters peterse@reporternews.com / 325-676-6776
Abilene Reporter News
reporternews.com
Abilene, Texas
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Xenia, Ohio
Police: Magazine Salesman Assaults Woman
August 11, 2009
Police: Magazine Salesman Assaults Woman
WHIO-TV
whiotv.com
Posted: 11:57 am EDT August 11, 2009
Updated: 8:37 pm EDT August 11, 2009
XENIA, Ohio -- Police said a man claiming to be selling magazines forced his way inside a Xenia apartment and assaulted and robbed a woman inside. The man is now in jail. Police said Jason Hayes, 22, was with a group of people who claimed to be college students selling magazines. Officers said they believe the organization is legitimate, but that what Hayes did was illegal. Investigators said Hayes is from South Carolina. He was charged with burglary and is being held in the Greene County Jail on a $50,000 bond. According to police, Hayes was with a group of students on Monday night going door to door at the Kinsey Village Apartments on Kinsey Road. Police said around 9:20 p.m. they received a call from a woman who said Hayes forced his way into her apartment during his magazine pitch and then roughed her up a bit and stole a few items from her apartment. Officers caught up with Hayes about 30 minutes later a block away from the apartment complex. News Center 7 spoke with a group of residents who said Hayes and the group he was with had been knocking on doors for about a week, and said they are extremely aggressive. The manager of the apartment complex said the group should have not been at the complex. She said there are no soliciting signs everywhere on the property.
WHIO-TV
whiotv.com
Dayton, Ohio
Read This Story



Jason Hayes mug shot
Image Source: Xenia, Ohio Police Department
Xenia PD Case # 2009-26195
Charged with 1 count Burglary,
F2; and 1 count Robbery, F2
Xenia, Ohio Police Department


Xenia, Ohio
Magazine salesman charged with burglary
August 11, 2009
Magazine salesman charged with burglary
By Jeremy P. Kelley, Staff Writer
Dayton Daily News
10:28 AM Tuesday, August 11, 2009
XENIA —A door-to-door magazine salesman was arrested and charged with burglary Monday, Aug. 10, after an incident on Kinsey Drive near the north edge of the city. Police said Jason Hayes, 22, of South Carolina, forced his way into an apartment at 249 Kinsey at 9:20 p.m. and took cash and a check from a female resident. Capt. Scott Anger said the victim was not injured and gave a description to Xenia police, who found Hayes an hour later in a church parking lot on the north side of city. Hayes was in a van with a group of several other young adults who had been out soliciting subscriptions, and some of the stolen property was recovered, according to police. Anger said police believe Hayes was acting alone in the burglary, not as part of any organized effort by the sales group. But he emphasized that door-to-door salespeople are not always who they claim to be. He said Hayes is not a student, but represented himself as a college student trying to make money for the school year. “This happened just after dark, and I would caution residents to be careful about letting people into your home if you don‚t know who they are,” Anger said. “You have to make that decision for yourself on what’s safe.” Hayes is being held in the Greene County Jail and was to be arraigned in Xenia Municipal Court this morning. Anger said the county prosecutor‚s office will review the case to determine if any other charges should be filed.
Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2278 or jkelley@daytondailynews.com.
By Jeremy P. Kelley, Staff Writer
Dayton Daily News
daytondailynews.com
Dayton, Ohio
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Boonton Township, New Jersey
Call on suspicious man in Boonton Township results in Georgia man's warrant arrest
August 10, 2009
Call on suspicious man in Boonton Township results in Georgia man's warrant arrest
Recorder Community Newspapers
The Citizen
BOONTON TWP. …#8220;
Published: Aug 10th, 8:15 AM
A Georgia man was arrested on outstanding warrants after a Catherine Court resident called police to report a suspicious person selling magazines, police said. Officers went to Catherine Court in response to the call at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 6, and found Joseph Bradshaw, 29, of Sugar Hill, Ga., in the area. He was informed by officers he needed a permit to solicit in the township and a computer check on his identification revealed he had warrants outstanding from Montville township, Kinnelon and Hillsborough with a total of $880. He was arrested on the warrants, charged with soliciting without a permit and then Hillsborough Police picked him up at headquarters and placed him in the Somerset County Jail in lieu of bail, police said.
Recorder Community Newspapers
The Citizen
recordernewspapers.com
Denville, New Jersey
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Lawrence, Kansas
Book sales scammers going door-to-door
Magazine Sales Company:
First Class Sales
August 8, 2009
Book sales scammers going door-to-door
Staff reports
LAWRENCE JOURNAL-WORLD
LJWorld.com
August 8, 2009
Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson issued a warning Friday about door-to-door scammers canvassing Lawrence.

In one case, Branson said a resident was approached by a man claiming to sell books as a fundraiser for a local soccer club and that she could purchase books for Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Branson said the salesman, who represented a group called First Class Sales, does not have a license to sell merchandise at Lawrence homes.

“If these folks show up at your door, politely turn them away and then immediately call the Lawrence Police Department with a physical description and if you see a vehicle, a license tag number,” Branson said in a news release.
LAWRENCE JOURNAL-WORLD
LJWorld.com
www2.ljworld.com
Lawrence, Kansas
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Fort Wayne, Indiana
BBB: Beware of magazine sales
Magazine Sales Company:
Urban Development Solutions
August 7, 2009
BBB: Beware of magazine sales
Company has an "F" rating
WANE-TV News Channel 15
Updated: Friday, 07 Aug 2009, 8:01 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 07 Aug 2009, 8:01 PM EDT
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Young representatives from Urban Development Solutions, Inc., claiming to be from the Detroit and Toledo, Ohio areas, are going door-to-door selling magazine subscriptions in our area.

Urban Development Solutions, based out of Grosse Point, Michigan, is listed as a magazine sales company. The BBB report shows an "F" rating, with 190 complaints filed against them in a three-year reporting period. Delivery issues top those complaints at 133, with 39 refund or exchange issues.

"Often, companies such as this are recruiting young people to sell these magazines, but who are unaware of their sales practices," said Michael Coil, President and CEO of BBB of Northern Indiana. "Our experience is that they are dropped off in unfamiliar neighborhoods and expected to turn over pre-determined sales. In other words, these young people are often doing the 'out front' work that the people behind the scenes won't do themselves. BBB encourages homeowners and businesses to contact us with any information should you receive any solicitation for magazine sales before a commitment to buy is made."
WANE-TV News Channel 15
wane.com
Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Boonton, New Jersey
Solicitor Had Warrants
August 6, 2009
Solicitor Had Warrants
The Citizen of Morris County
Recorder Community Newspapers
Boonton Township Police Report
Published: Aug 6th, 8:23 AM
A report by a South Rockaway Drive resident of a solicitor selling magazines at 5:54 p.m. on Tuesday, July 28, led police to a Mississippi man who turned out to have warrants outstanding in three other towns. According to police, Andrew Hotykay, 21, also did not have a permit to solicit in the township, so he was brought to headquarters.

A check revealed he had warrants outstanding for failure to appear in Hanover Township, Chatham Township and Bernards Township. He was turned over to Hanover officers who took him to the Morris County Jail, police said.
The Citizen of Morris County
Recorder Community Newspapers
recordernewspapers.com
Boonton, New Jersey
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Glenview, Illinois
SOLICITATION
August 6, 2009
SOLICITATION
SkokieReview
Skokie-Review.com
Member of the Sun-Times News Group
Police Blotter
August 6, 2009
SOLICITATION
Darryl Michael Payne, 28, of 2758 Alameda, Baltimore, Md., and Rodricous L. Jennings of 1593 Gowan Drive, Memphis, Tenn., were cited for illegal solicitation stemming from an incident at 7 p.m. July 24 on the 8500 block of Lotus Avenue. Police said the suspects were selling magazines without a proper permit.
SkokieReview
Skokie-Review.com
Member of the Sun-Times News Group
pioneerlocal.com
Glenview, Illinois
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Cleveland, Ohio
SOLICITING WITHOUT A PERMIT
August 6, 2009
SOLICITING WITHOUT A PERMIT
blog.cleveland.com
Posted by Staff August 06, 2009 12:22PM
Categories: Police Blotter
SOLICITING WITHOUT A PERMIT: Police were called to the Parkwood Village apartment complex Saturday evening after a resident complained that two solicitors selling magazine subscriptions convinced him to buy $182 worth of subscriptions. The 20-year-old man told police that when he changed his mind about purchasing such a large quantity, the women refused to return the personal check he used to pay for the items and left the building. Fortunately for the complainant, another tenant was listening to his complaint via a police scanner and was able to point police in the direction of the suspects, who had entered another building in the complex. The 18-year-old New York woman and 19-year-old California woman were taken into custody and cited for soliciting without a permit. As for the man's check, it was retrieved by police before being cashed and was later shredded.
blog.cleveland.com
Cleveland, Ohio
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St Peter, Minnesota
Women cited for selling door-to-door without a permit
Magazine Sales Company:
Road to Success
August 6, 2009
Women cited for selling door-to-door without a permit
St. Peter Herald
Posted: Thursday, August 6, 2009 12:54 pm
ST. PETER — A report of two people selling magazines door to door without a city permit has led to citations for two women from outside of Minnesota.

St. Peter Police were notified at 8:13 p.m. on Monday, July 27, about two women going around the neighborhood on the 1700 block of Riggs Road selling magazines possibly without a city permit, which is required by outside vendors. A check with city records determined no permit for that kind of activity had been issued within the city.

When police arrived, they located the two women inside a residence in the neighborhood from where the report came. They were identified as Anna Marie Rickman, 19, of Roanoka, Va., and Nicole Dawn Barton, 19, of Conde, S.D.

They both admitted they had been in St. Peter most of the day selling magazines and did not have a permit to do so. They were both employed through a company called Road to Success out of Gig Harbor, Wash.

St. Peter Police urge city residents to be cautious when sales people like this come to their door and be sure to ask to see their permit before doing business with them. These people are required by city ordinance to register for a permit before they are allowed to sell door-to-door within the city limits.

This permit is not required for those participating in local fund-raising efforts such as through school, church and civic organizations.
St. Peter Herald
stpeterherald.com
St Peter, Minnesota
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Gloucester, Massachusetts
Opinion: City must be careful with well-intended anti-solicitation law
August 4, 2009
Opinion: City must be careful with well-intended anti-solicitation law
Gloucester Daily Times Online
Published: August 04, 2009 05:55 am
Not all scam artists or predators attack their victims with violence.

Some know that an attack of feigned friendship can be the easiest way into the wallets of some vulnerable residents, especially senior citizens. So an effort by Gloucester city councilors Jackie Hardy and Sefatia Romeo-Thaken to bar solicitors from the city's elderly housing facilities is welcome.

Everyone who has had, or now has, a relative of advancing age knows that they are at greater risk of having their bank accounts cleaned out by predatory solicitors. But, the councilors should also heed the advice from Council President Bruce Tobey: Go slow.

This is the kind of ordinance that will have to be drafted very carefully. City government has a duty to protect its citizens — especially those who are vulnerable — but it must also be careful to do so in a way that does not violate the rights of others.

The effort comes in the wake of yet another wave of young salespeople who were apparently going door-to-door with concocted stories, seeking to get into homes and to access home computers, until police, responding to complaints, basically kicked them out of town.

Police Lt. Joseph Aiello said three of the 10 young men had "terrible records," but the others could not be barred from the city unless they cause problems. "By law, we have to let them solicit," he said. "But these people are not legitimate. I would advise residents not to allow any solicitor into their house."

David Houlden, assistant executive director of the Gloucester Housing Authority, says the authority has posted signs at its elderly housing facilities banning solicitors, he also knows there is no legal force behind those signs. So he would welcome an ordinance.

But again, the councilors should proceed slowly and carefully, and not only because of the First Amendment rights of salespeople. Indeed, there is an entire industry out there insisting that older does not mean weaker, and shows elders skiing, surfing, dancing, dating and doing everything that younger people do. In short, not all elders may want government deciding who should be allowed at their doors — and, if any such city ordinance regarding solicitation is too sweeping, it may have perhaps the unintended consequence of barring non-commercial school groups or youth sports programs from legitimate door-to-door benefit sales as well.

An ordinance giving the city more muscle in keeping out "con" men should be pursued. But ordinance or no ordinance, Lt. Aiello's advice can keep young and old safe from predatory solicitors: Don't let them in your house in the first place.

If everybody does that, the con men will get the message soon enough — Gloucester is not a place where they can make money. That message should spread and send them on their way.
Gloucester Daily Times Online
gloucestertimes.com
Gloucester, Massachusetts
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Port Townsend, Washington
Port Townsend regulates door-to-door peddlers
August 4, 2009
Port Townsend regulates door-to-door peddlers
By Erik Hidle
Peninsula Daily News
Last modified: August 04. 2009 11:12PM
PORT TOWNSEND -- Door-to-door vendors now are required to undergo background checks and pay for licenses if they wish to peddle their wares within the Port Townsend city limit.

The City Council unanimously approved a peddling law on the first reading Monday night. If the law is approved on a second reading, violators could be fined up to $1,000 and sentenced to up to 90 days in jail.

Along with a background check for a criminal record and a licensing fee of $50, the ordinance also requires solicitors to carry photo identification, obey signs that say "no soliciting" and operate only between 9 a.m. and dusk.

The law was created to safeguard residents against burglars who use the excuse of business to identify houses to break into.

Earlier this year, burglars in Port Ludlow targeted homes by performing tree-trimming services prior to a break-in.

Jason Lucas, 29, and Robert Lucas, 23, were each sentenced to 50 months in jail by Kitsap County Superior Court for a string of burglaries in Kitsap and Jefferson counties earlier this month.

The two were operating a tree-trimming business as a front to steal jewelry, firearms and sports memorabilia from homes, court documents said.

In June, City Manager David Timmons said a well-defined peddler code would help protect public safety.

"It gives people a place to check on a solicitor who comes to your door," he said.

Youth given exception

Youth would be exempt from licensing and fee requirements.

Deputy Mayor George Randels said police would be unlikely to cite a Boy Scout for going door-to-door for providing services such as shoveling snow.

"I don't quarrel with that lack of enforcement, but it creates a situation where others who are not Boy Scouts [or youth], could claim that, because it doesn't apply to some, it shouldn't apply to them," he said.

Other exemptions from the licensing fee are in place for political campaigning, farmers selling produce and community-based nonprofits operating a fundraising campaign, such as Girl Scouts selling cookies.

These groups will be issued free organizational certificates allowing them to go door to door, according to the ordinance.

Port Townsend Police Sgt. Ed Green said enforcement would be on a case-by-case basis.

He said his department receives about six calls per month about solicitors.

"That includes people concerned about the legitimacy of a solicitor to people looking to learn the law on how to go about soliciting."

-------

Reporter Erik Hidle can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at erik.hidle@peninsuladailynews.com.
Last modified: August 04. 2009 11:12PM
By Erik Hidle
Peninsula Daily News
peninsuladailynews.com
Port Angeles, Washington
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Lockport, New York
SCHEME TO DEFRAUD
Magazine Sales Company:
United Circulation LLC.
August 3, 2009
SCHEME TO DEFRAUD
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
lockportjournal.com
Published: August 03, 2009 01:37 am
Barker
• SCHEME TO DEFRAUD:
A Lakeview Drive resident reported at about noon on Thursday that a white male came to his door selling magazines for the troops in Iraq. The victim reported that seller told him a story about his father being in Iraq and would like his support. The suspect told him that two of his neighbors had already given him checks for the subscriptions. The victim wrote check for $42 to United Circulation LLC.
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
lockportjournal.com
Lockport, New York
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Kosciusko County, Indiana
Magazine, check scammers hit in region
July 31, 2009
Magazine Sales Crew:
Miami Dream Team Inc.
DMPG INFO:
Magazine Sales Company:
American Cash Award
aka: Great Lakes Circulation
aka: Payne Sales
aka: Shumate Sales
aka: Magazines Inc.
aka: ACA Clearinghouse
17301 W Colfax Ave Ste 409
Golden, Colorado 80401-4892
(888) 888-9025
Customer Service 1-888-888-9025
Fax 1-303-679-9909
Web Site:
http://www.americancashawards.com
end DMPG info
Magazine, check scammers hit in region
Journal Gazette
Last updated: July 31, 2009 10:59 a.m.
Kosciusko County detectives are warning residents to be on the lookout for two potential scams.

One of the recent ones involves college-aged students, primarily woman, who go door to door saying they are selling magazine subscriptions to gain "points."

They might use a company name of "Miami Dream Team Inc.," located in Kittredge, Colo. Police said the company is apparently fictitious.

Kosciusko County residents have been scammed, the department said, and there is little possibility of restitution or arrest.

A second kind of scam involves a process of providing check for a large amount of money in exchange for a victim cashing it and keeping a large portion. The victim cashes the check, only to find later that it is fraudulent.

The sheriff's department said these kinds of cases are virtually unsolvable from a law enforcement standpoint, so members of the public should avoid such "free money" offers.

Before conducting a transaction, the department said several places on the Internet can help identify scams:

Federal Trade Commission

IC3/Internet Crime Complaint Center

Rip-off Report

Better Business Bureau
Journal Gazette
journalgazette.net
Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Fergus Falls, Minnesota
Beware of solicitors without ID
Cleaner Company:
International Sales
July 30, 2009
Beware of solicitors without ID
By Lauren Radomski (Contact) | The Daily Journal
Published Thursday, July 30, 2009
Fergus Falls residents who open their doors to solicitors should ask to see an identification card from City Hall, authorities say.

It’s a card that a recent group of door-to-door salespeople didn’t have, according to Lynne Olson, assistant to the city administrator. That group, which began selling multi-purpose cleaner in Fergus Falls late last week, elicited several complaints from residents who said solicitors used abrasive sales tactics, visited after hours and acted strangely.

Legitimate salespeople should have an identification card from the city, Olson said. Solicitors receive a card after they’ve successfully applied for a permit from the city, which involves the submission of identification, criminal history, sales product, contact and other relevant information. City staff have 10 days to review the information and conduct any background checks before issuing a permit and ID card or denying the application.

“We’re not endorsing the product they’re selling,” Olson said, “but once they’ve received the card, that’s letting residents know the city has done the investigation making sure the person is legitimate.”

This week’s solicitors, a group with California-based International Sales, bypassed the application process, Olson said. They turned in the application material but began selling before a permit had been issued, she said.

Residents should contact authorities if a door-to-door solicitor cannot produce a city-issued ID, Olson said. A call from a resident Tuesday night resulted in police citing one of the International Sales solicitors for violating the city’s solicitation ordinance.

The group was asked to stop selling in Fergus Falls Tuesday evening, and police Capt. Steve Adams said he believed the salespeople had left town by Wednesday afternoon.

A handful of door-to-door solicitors are exempt from solicitor regulations outlined in city code. Anyone going door-to-door for charitable, religious or political reasons is exempt, as is anyone selling perishable foods grown in the Fergus Falls area. The delivery of dairy products and publications on established routes is also exempt.

City code dictates solicitors must respect the wishes of residents who place a “No solicitors” sign on their property. The code also limits sales hours to the period between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
By Lauren Radomski (Contact) | The Daily Journal
fergusfallsjournal.com
Fergus Falls, Minnesota
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Hamilton Township, New Jersey
Residents encouraged to report illegal solicitation
July 29, 2009
Residents encouraged to report illegal solicitation
Shore News Today
shorenewstoday.com
Jul, 29-2009 5:18 pm
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP – A 25-year-old Connecticut man was arrested for canvassing without a permit and being a fugitive from justice for robbery after he was caught soliciting magazine subscriptions without a permit, police said.

Following the arrest of Quincy Tyler of New Britain, Conn. Tuesday, July 28, the township issued a reminder of what they should know about door-to-door soliciting in the township.

The Hamilton Township Police Department reminds citizens and business owners that the municipal clerk’s office issues permits or licenses to individuals and non-profit groups to conduct door-to-door solicitations.

Residents need to be aware that any person that approaches them selling their wares or discussing their cause should have a township permit with them. If they cannot present a permit issued by the township, the resident is encouraged to contact the authorities or the clerk’s office as soon as possible.

Unless a resident asks for proof of these documents, they will continue to go door-to-door.

The township clerk’s office provides information to solicitors, peddlers, and canvassers advising them not to go door-to-door before 10 a.m. or after dusk, carry identification on their company and the license or permit issued by the township, and to not approach homes that have a sign designating, “no solicitors.”

Solicitation, peddling and canvassing is not permitted on Sundays or during state and national holidays.

There are individuals that have been issued permits for other communities that are not aware of boundaries and do not have township permits. The township encourages residents and business owners to keep its offices informed if they have concerns about any person going door-to-door in their neighborhood in the municipality.

The municipality does not issue permits or licenses to go business to business in the township, but encourages the reporting of peddlers or canvassers operating without a permit in the business district as well.

The Hamilton Township Police Department is available to assist with any protection and privacy issues that residents or business owners might have.

For information, call the clerk’s office at (609) 625-1511 or the police department at (609) 625-2700 to report illegal solicitation in your neighborhood.
Shore News Today
shorenewstoday.com
Hamilton Township, New Jersey
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Gering, Nebraska
Neb. man guilty in disappearing-ink forgery case
July 29, 2009
Neb. man guilty in disappearing-ink forgery case
Associated Press - July 29, 2009 12:15 PM ET
KMTV Action 3 News
GERING, Neb. (AP) - A 21-year-old man who had been using a pen with disappearing ink in altering checks is scheduled to be sentenced in September.

Cody White of Scottsbluff pleaded no contest on Tuesday to second-degree forgery and two misdemeanors for attempted felonies.

Court records say he and another man, 22-year-old William Knight, had been selling magazine subscriptions or books door to door in the western Nebraska city of Scottsbluff, allegedly to raise money for a youth basketball team.

A warrant affidavit says Knight and White would have the buyers use the pen to write their checks. Later, after the ink "disappeared," the two changed the dollar amounts and payee so they could cash the checks.

Knight's sentencing on similar charges also is scheduled for Sept. 1.

Information from: KNEB-AM, http://www.kneb.com
Associated Press
KMTV Action 3 News
action3news.com
Omaha, Nebraska
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Gering, Nebraska
Disappearing Ink Case in Twin Cities
July, 2009
Disappearing Ink Case in Twin Cities
KSID Radio
1340 AM/98.7 FM
ksidradio.com
Sentencing will be in September for fake fund raiser
GERING, Neb. (AP) - A 21-year-old man who had been using a pen with disappearing ink in altering checks is scheduled to be sentenced in September. Cody White of Scottsbluff pleaded no contest on Tuesday to second-degree forgery and two misdemeanors for attempted felonies. Court records say he and another man, 22-year-old William Knight, had been selling magazine subscriptions or books door to door in Scottsbluff, allegedly to raise money for a youth basketball team. A warrant affidavit says Knight and White would have the buyers use the pen to write their checks. Later, after the ink "disappeared," the two changed the dollar amounts and payee so they could cash the checks. Knight's sentencing on similar charges also is scheduled for Sept. 1.
KSID Radio
1340 AM/98.7 FM
ksidradio.com
Sidney Nebraska
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South Bend/North Central Indiana
Door to Door Magazine Salesman Scam
Magazine Sales Company:
Omni Horizons
July 29, 2009
Door to Door Magazine Salesman Scam
July 29, 2009
Filed under: Uncategorized — northshoretriangle @ 9:23 pm
North Shore Triangle's WebBlog
There is a guy going door to door selling magazine subscriptions and books for Omni Horizons. I googled them and there were several sites indicating this is a scam.
For example – http://www.counton2.com/cbd/news/local/article/scam_alert_magazine_door-to-door_sales_in_ charleston/21003 and http://thenewsdispatch.com/main.asp?SectionID= 1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=23061&TM=37585.55

The young man who came to my door asked a lot of person questions, against my better judgement I let him come in the foyer of my home. Then he told me he wanted to give me a hug and tried to hug me. I sent him out. If you google Omni Horizons Scam you will read some pretty scary stuff about this group. Be careful.

I have already called the police, but if you see this guy you can give them a call too. The SBPD’s 24-hour number for non-emergency calls and general information is (574) 235-9201.
North Shore Triangle's WebBlog
northshoretriangle.wordpress.com
South Bend/North Central Indiana
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Northfield, Minnesota
Cops: Beware of solicitors
July 29, 2009
Cops: Beware of solicitors
By: SUZANNE ROOK, Managing Editor
Northfield News
Posted: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 12:22 am
NORTHFIELD —Police are reminding residents to be wary of solicitors who come to their door after a local woman reported having her purse stolen by a salesperson she says broke into her home.

Amy Hollerung, who lives on the west side of town, reported that on July 16, shortly after she she sent a teen-age girl purportedly selling magazine subscriptions on her way, she was contacted by someone saying that they had found her cell phone. Hollerung then realized her purse and cell phone were missing. The phone has been turned over to police who are investigating the reported theft.

Hollerung believes that the solicitor saw her purse through the front doorway and came in through an unlocked door while Hollerung went out back with her children to play.

Police Chief Mark Taylor believes the salesperson did not have a solicitation permit as the city requires. Permits are available at the police department. Those soliciting without a permit can be cited by police.

“If you feel uncomfortable, it’s OK to ask if they’ve gone through the city and gotten a permit,” he said.

There’s nothing wrong, he said, with a resident stepping outside their home to talk to a solicitor face-to-face, as Hollerung did, if they’re unsure of the person’s intentions.

Hollerung says she has since posted a “No soliciting” sign at her front entryway and locks her doors even when she is home.

— Suzanne Rook is the managing editor. She can be reached at srook@northfieldnews.com or 645-1113.
By: SUZANNE ROOK, Managing Editor
Northfield News
northfieldnews.com
Northfield, Minnesota
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North Tonawanda, New York
CRIME:
Men accused of sales scam
Magazine Sales Company:
United Circulation
July 28, 2009
CRIME: Men accused of sales scam
Published: July 28, 2009 11:19 pm
By Daniel Pye
E-mail Dan
The Tonawanda News
Two out of town men are being held on fraud charges after a North Tonawanda resident caught them rifling through her home.

Donald R. Williams, 23, of Indianapolis, Ind., and Kenneth S. Offman, 20, of Canton, Mich., were out after 9 p.m. Monday selling magazine subscriptions, a common site this time of year according to North Tonawanda Police Detective Rob Kolata. But at a certain point the salesmanship took a criminal turn.

“They were able to talk their way into a house to go to the bathroom, and one person found them going through their cupboards,” Kolata said.

While interviewing other residents in the area, police were given several different accounts of the stories used by the men to peddle their wares. They allegedly told people they were local college students, that they had recently moved to the area, that their father was in Iraq and several other scenarios.

“They were pretty much using whatever story they could think of to sell these magazines,” Kolata said.

When they were finally taken into police custody after the cupboard incident, the men told officers they work for a company called United Circulation. But the receipts bearing subscribers names and financial information didn’t bear the company’s name, and Kolata said police aren’t sure the men are working for a company at all.

“One of our officers got a hold of someone at the number they gave for their boss, but he hung up on them,” Kolata said.

Town of Tonawanda police have been making arrests after similar complaints, but their detainees are usually bailed out for $100 dollars after being charged with peddling without a permit. Williams and Offman have been charged with taking part in a scheme to defraud and are being held at the Niagara County Holding Center in lieu of $10,000 bail.

If any residents think they may have been the victim of these men or a similar crime, they are encouraged to call North Tonawanda police at 692-4111.

Contact reporter Daniel Pye at 693-1000, ext. 158.
By Daniel Pye
E-mail Dan
The Tonawanda News
tonawanda-news.com
North Tonawanda, New York
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Bristol, Virginia
Con Artists Targeting Obliging Older People
July 25, 2009
Con Artists Targeting Obliging Older People
By cgalofaro
Police Beat Reporter - Bristol Herald Courier
Published: July 25, 2009
TriCities.com
In April, an old Bristol man died penniless because Tom Cruise called three years ago to tell him he won the Jamaican lottery.

All he had to do was send $500 to clear up some paperwork and he’d get $2.5 million in return.

Then Andre Agassi called: They needed just a little bit more to get the check through customs. The man borrowed money from friends. James Bond was on the phone. He hawked his car. Took out a mortgage. Three months and $30,000 later, Bristol police convinced the man to give up and stop mailing checks.

“That poor old guy, they sold it to him with a silver tongue,” said Bristol Virginia Police Detective Sgt. Steven Crawford. “They seem to always pick on the elderly – talk fast, sound legit and make them feel like they’re obligated. It’s rampant in this area.”

Area senior advocates say Bristol’s aging population makes it an easy – and often profitable – target for con artists. And law enforcement officers are warning residents to be wary because scams are on the rise.

“It really pushes my hot button,” said Allen Slagle, a retired Bristol, Va., sheriff’s deputy and senior advocate and educator. “Seniors are being taken advantage of. The elderly population is lonesome and they like to talk to these friendly young people who know exactly how to push the right buttons. The older generations are not going to insult someone who shows up on their porch. They were taught to be nice and courteous and offer them something cold to drink. And the next thing they know, they’ve bought an alarm system that isn’t going to work, or signed a contract for a year’s worth of magazines that’s going to cost $800.”

Sadly, the examples continue: a 91-year-old man with an unexpected $500 bill for driveway sealing; a man in an assisted living center who lost $28,000 this year in a Canadian lottery mail scam; and, just this week, a couple of older women on Shelby Street in Bristol, Tenn., convinced by a door-to-door salesman to buy alarm systems they never wanted to begin with.

A bad economy mixed with warm weather brings them out in spades, police said. Some are legitimate. Others are pushy and rude, knock on doors at inappropriate hours of the night or berate people for declining their goods. On some days, the city is crawling with people selling magazines, roofing services and washing machine repairs.

Despite the nuisance of door-to-door cons, police on both sides of the city say Internet, phone and mail scams – mostly based overseas – are a far more expensive problem.

“It’s kind of like fishing,” said Lt. Debbie McCauley with the Bristol, Tenn., Police Department. “If you drop your hook in the water enough times, eventually you’re going to catch a fish.”

McCauley said scams go in cycles and there are now four major ones circulating the city.

The first is an e-mail from an self-declared assassin who tells the recipient that for a mere $70,000 they will not be killed.

The next, also an e-mail, claims to be from the Federal Bureau of Investigation who requires personal information to exonerate the recipient from a money-laundering scheme.

Another is a phone call from someone claiming to be with the telephone or electric company who requires immediate checking account or credit card information before discontinuing service.

Finally, a group sends letters to elderly people who have grandchildren serving in the military. They identify themselves as their grandchild who needs money sent immediately to an emergency post office box.

People have fallen for the latter two, McCauley said.

Most of the door-to-door salesmen are from out of town, and meander around the county in vans, crashing in motels and hawking their goods to whoever will give them an inch.

Crawford said residents should report salesmen in the neighborhood to police.

“Do not write a check at the front door unless you know for sure who is standing in front of you,” Crawford said. “And call us. We really need to know who’s walking the streets of these neighborhoods.”

Slagle warns that as soon as you buy one thing, your name will forever be on an easy-prey list, bought and sold, and bought and sold again for future solicitations.

He said people must stop being nice: if a salesman calls, hang up; if they stop by, don’t answer; if you get a letter, put it in the paper shredder.

“If it sounds too good to be true,” he said, “it is.”

cgalofaro@bristolnews.com| (276) 645-2531
By cgalofaro
Police Beat Reporter - Bristol Herald Courier
www2.tricities.com
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Seattle, Washington
Door-to-door magazine sale scams out in full force
July 21, 2009
Door-to-door magazine sale scams out in full force
Story Published: Jul 21, 2009 at 11:57 AM PDT
Story Updated: Jul 24, 2009 at 8:41 AM PDT
By Herb Weisbaum
KOMONEWS.COM
SEATTLE -- A heads up that deceptive door-to-door magazine sales crews are out in full force.

They're mostly high school and college-age kids who seem nice enough, but they tell you a pack of lies to rip you off.

Crystal Downes of Snohomish fell for the pitch.

"(The girl) seemed really sweet. She seemed really sincere."

At the door was a young woman selling magazine subscriptions.

"She said she was a young single mom, and there was a company in Seattle that would help her get on her feet," Downes said.

The company was Fresh Start Opportunities.

"She seemed very legitimate," Downes said. "She wore a badge around her necklace, that had some sort of badge, and on the back, she had a picture of her young son."

So crystal paid $54 for a two-year subscription to Prevention magazine. But the magazine never came, and Fresh Start Opportunities never returned her calls.

Because of all the complaints, the Better Business Bureau gives Fresh Start Opportunities' an "F" rating.

"(Customers) are either receiving nothing, they're receiving something they didn't order, or they're receiving it so far out that their subscription is pretty much expired," said Niki Horace with the BBB.

State attorney general Rob McKenna sounds a similar warning:

"Many of these kids are recruited by organizations that train them in a sales pitch, much of which is fabricated."

McKenna wsays the sellers have also been trained to look and sound legit.

"The ID can be faked, the paperwork they show you that tries to demonstrate that they're legitimate can be faked," McKenna said. "Some of these organizations are very sophisticated."

For instance, 'Fresh Start' has a Web site, it shows the company is located in Downtown Seattle at 93 South Jackson Street. But all we found there was a post office. "Suite 8135" is just a mailbox inside.

I called the company several times, but my messages were not returned.

Something else: Fresh Start Opportunities is not registered as a charity in our state. So they should not even be out trying to raise money.

My advice: Unless it's a kid you know who lives down the street, steer clear of all door-to-door sales. If you can't say no to someone face-to-face, don't open the door. Never let any door to door salesperson inside your house. They could steal something of value -- like your checkbook. Sadly, it happens all the time.

For more information:

BBB Warns Against a Summer Scam Going Door-to-Door Nationwide
http://www.bbb.org/us/article/bbb-warns-against-a-summer-scam-going-door-to-door-nationwide-10305

Magazine Subscription Scams
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/telemarketing/tel03.shtm

By Herb Weisbaum
KOMONEWS.COM
Seattle, Washington
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Phoenix, Arizona
Ex-Con Who Traveled to Virginia to Meet Girl
Says He was "Door-to-Door" Salesman in Valley
July 20, 2009
Ex-Con Who Traveled to Virginia to Meet Girl Says He was "Door-to-Door" Salesman in Valley
By Ray Stern in Crime Blotter, News
Phoenix New Times
Monday, Jul. 20 2009 @ 8:56AM
We just found a reason to support Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio's proposal to regulate door-to-door salespeople:

Jesse Lee Wise.

As we reported Friday, Wise was arrested last week in Chesapeake, Virginia, and accused by police of taking a bus from the Valley to meet a 13-year-old chat-room buddy for sex. The girl was actually an undercover officer.

Last night, a Virginia TV news station interviewed Wise, who told it he had been working in the Phoenix area as -- get this -- a door-to-door magazine salesman.

As our July 17 report mentioned, Wise recently spent a few years in the slammer for burglary, forgery, and trespassing. Hardly someone for whom you'd want to open the door, much less hand a personal check for a lousy subscription to Newsweek.


Image: Arizona Department of Corrections
Wise's prison mug shot

Wise also told the TV news crew he had traveled from Scottsdale, leaving his 1-year-old son behind, to meet his "dream girl," and that he didn't know the age of the "girl." We assume Virginia State Police can prove otherwise, but we haven't heard back yet from Michelle Cotten, the agency's public information officer.

Whether Wise wanted to have sex with a minor, or not, we'll be thinking of this case the next time we hear a knock on the door.
By Ray Stern in Crime Blotter, News
Phoenix New Times
blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com
Phoenix, Arizona
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Erie County, Pennsylvania
Fugitive no more
July 18, 2009
Fugitive no more
The Erie Times News
Editorials
Published: July 18. 2009 12:01AM
Fugitive no more: Good work by the Bradford County Sheriff's Office, southwest of Jacksonville, Fla., for checking the identity of a door-to-door magazine salesman and discovering that the man calling himself Richard Thomas was actually Chrisopher Doty, who failed to report to prison for an assault. Doty's case called attention to the fact that Erie County had largely neglected to force forfeiture of bonds when suspects fled. The Erie County District Attorney's office went to court last week seeking forfeiture of Doty's $50,000 bond. It sounds like money talks.
The Erie Times News
Editorials
goerie.com
Erie County, Pennsylvania
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Gloucester, Massachusetts
Cops boot solicitors pressing for money
July 18, 2009
Cops boot solicitors pressing for money
10 sought access to homes, computers
By Patrick Anderson
Staff Writer
Gloucester Daily Times online
Published: July 18, 2009 05:40 am
Ten young men from a variety of southern states were kicked out of Gloucester on Thursday morning after several residents complained that the men were going door-to-door with concocted stories meant to extract money and gain access to homes.

The men, all in their early to mid-20s, alerted Gloucester Police that they were in town soliciting and selling magazines Wednesday morning shortly before the complaints from residents in Riverdale and downtown began coming in.

According to Gloucester police Lt. Joseph Aiello, they hailed from states including Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Arizona and Missouri. Background checks run Wednesday indicated that three of the 10 are convicted felons.

"By law, we have to allow them to solicit," Aiello said. "But these people are not legitimate. I would advise residents not to let any solicitors in their house."

Dishonest solicitors and traveling salesmen are nothing new here or elsewhere in the country, and a Gloucester policy to require identification and run background checks on anyone going door to door was devised as a deterrent.

In this case, the callers told police that the young men knocking on doors would gather the names of neighbors and use them in their stories convince people to give them money.

"They would say that so-and-so neighbor told me to come over and ask for money," Aiello said. "The residents were asked to give out blank checks."

One tale was that the young men were attending Boston College and needed money to continue their studies. In addition to asking for money, the men also asked to come inside some homes and use the resident's computer under the auspices of showing them products they were selling on the Internet.

Police suspect the men had designs on transferring personal information by the Internet once they had access to a resident's computer.

Calls about the solicitors came from Juniper Road, Cherry Street and Forest Street, among others. The men are known to have visited the McPherson Park and Sheedy Park senior housing developments.

Aiello said he did not know that any residents had lost or had given away any large sums, but one visiting Massachusetts state trooper reportedly gave one of the men a check for $10.

After fielding complaints Wednesday, police revoked the group's permission to solicit and cruisers were told to get rid of them Thursday morning.

But by that time Aiello said, there was no sign of the group and they appeared to have left the island for parts unknown.

"In today's world, there is no reason to let a salesman into your house," Aiello said. "Times are not the way they were in the 1950s or 1960s."

Police Chief Michael Lane yesterday had this advice for residents confronted by solicitors:

"Don't let these people brow-beat you," Lane said.

Patrick Anderson may be contacted at panderson@gloucestertimes.com.
By Patrick Anderson
Staff Writer
Gloucester Daily Times online
gloucestertimes.com
Gloucester, Massachusetts
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Macon, Georgia
Seven arrested for selling magazines without license
Magazine Sales Company:
Atlantic Circulation
July 18, 2009
Eric Newcomer - enewcomer@macon.com
News - Crime & Courts
macon.com
Saturday, Jul. 18, 2009
Bibb County sheriff deputies arrested seven individuals, who were from across the country, accused of selling magazines without a license July 8.

The seven — from Florida, Pennsylvania and Arizona, and driven by a Macon man — solicited magazine subscriptions in the Sandusky Circle and Rogers Road areas on the night of their arrests, according to a Bibb County Sheriff’s Office press release.

The individuals were discovered after a Macon resident, who had previously written a check for a subscription, researched the company they claimed to represent. That company, Atlantic Circulation, had what the news release called “less than flattering reports.”

After the Macon resident confronted two of the accused, they fled with the check, according to the release.

A Bibb County ordinance requires that door-to-door solicitors obtain a permit from the county and that the permit is visible during the sales practices,” according to the press release.

The names of the seven people arrested for soliciting without a license are John Richardson of Macon, Joshua Smith, Todd Rayno, Genevieve Gibbs, Amber Kincaind, Courtney Goodman and Jesus Meza.
Eric Newcomer - enewcomer@macon.com
News - Crime & Courts
macon.com
Macon, Georgia
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Township of Randolph, New Jersey
Illegal solicitors spur warning from police
July 17, 2009
Illegal solicitors spur warning from police
Randolph Reporter
Published: Jul 17th, 7:12 AM
recordernewspapers.com
RANDOLPH TWP. – Police are asking residents to be on their toes and report door-to-door sales people who may not be permitted. The request was made after four solicitors were issued summonses earlier in the month.

Desmond Moore, 19, of Moss Pont, Miss., was issued a summons at 8:19 p.m. on Tuesday, July 7 as he solicited door to door in the township’s Shongum Section.

Meanwhile, three other men — Quadir T. Bethea, 22, of Newark, Nelson Harris II, 27, age unknown, of Philadelphia, Pa., and Ricky Bryant, 33, of Waco, Texas, were each issued a special complaint summons for soliciting without a township permit on Monday, July 6, after complaints of solicitors going door to door in the Mount Fern, Shongum and Millbrook sections. Bethea was also arrested on the charge of an active warrant out of Newark.

The police department has been responding to calls from residents regarding people going door-to-door soliciting magazine sales. In many cases, the people going door-to-door do not possess the required Randolph has an ordinance regulating door-to-door solicitors and peddlers, both profit-making and nonprofit ones. Legitimate solicitors who have adhered to the requirements will possess an identification card issued by the Township Clerk. Those who sell items or services for profit may engage in door-to-door soliciting Monday through Saturday, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Nonprofit organizations whose members solicit for charitable purposes may conduct this activity Monday through Sunday, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Police ask residents who are approached by such persons to call them immediately at (973) 989-7010.
Randolph Reporter
recordernewspapers.com
Township of Randolph, New Jersey
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Pasco, Washington
Selling Cleaning Products Door-to-Door, Altering Checks Received
DMPF Info:
Door-to-Door Cleaner Sales Company:
Young Enterprises aka RNC Sales
Clearinghouse:
Austin Diversified Products, Inc.
end dmpg info
July 17, 2009
Selling Cleaning Products Door-to-Door, Altering Checks Received
KNDO-TV / KNDO.com
Posted: July 17, 2009 02:15 PM CDT
Updated: July 17, 2009 02:15 PM CDT
Selling Cleaning Products Door-to-Door, Altering Checks Received

Young Enterprises aka RNC Sales, Inc.
(800) 214-1444
PO Box 340346 Tampa, FL
33694-0346
www.advanage.com


Today, a regional bank in Pasco contacted the BBB to report that two of their customers have been victimized by a Florida door-to-door cleaning product sales company called Young Enterprises aka RNC Sales.

Reps for this company are selling jugs of an all-purpose cleaner door-to-door. Consumers are writing checks for the amount of the jug, for example, $48. The reps are then altering the check amounts by placing a "1" in front of the original amount, making it $148, and then cashing the checks ASAP.

Shawn Aminoes is the name of the rep going door-to-door and Rena McGhee is the name placed on the back of the check as to whose account the money should be deposited to.

This company has the BBB's lowest rating of F:
http://www.bbb.org/west-florida/business-reviews/cleaning-compound-suppliers/rnc-sales-in-tampa-fl-90043536
BBB ADVICE
It PAYS the check out door-to-door companies FIRST with BBB before doing business with them. If you are a victim of this type of sale and have compromised your checking account in any way, contact your bank ASAP to report it. If someone has altered your personal checks in any way, file a police report with your local police department. If you have an unresolved complaint, file with BBB at: www.bbb.org
KNDO-TV / KNDO.com
kndo.com
Kennewick, Washington
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Greensburg, Indiana
Police: Mag salesman molested girl, 13
July 16, 2009
Police: Mag salesman molested girl, 13
Man kissed and touched girl, police say
Joe Hornaday
WISH-TV Channel 8
Updated: Thursday, 16 Jul 2009, 4:02 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 16 Jul 2009, 4:02 PM EDT

Adam Goff, 22
GREENSBURG, Ind. (Daily News) - Adam D. Goff, 22 of Greensburg, allegedly used his job as a magazine salesman to make his way into the home of a 13-year-old girl and sexually molest her, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Decatur Circuit Court Monday.

Goff was arrested on Saturday, July 11 and initially booked at the Decatur County Jail on charges of sexual battery. His charges were later changed to one count each of child molesting and child solicitation.

At 3:17 p.m. on Saturday, the Greensburg Police Department received a report of an incident that occurred at the residence of the 13-year-old victim, according to the police report. Officers were informed by one of the victim’s parents that a magazine salesman had touched and tried to kiss the girl and then left the area. The GPD acquired a description of a white male wearing a baggy gray shirt and shorts. Officers responded to the victim’s address and checked the area for the suspect. There they learned that the female and her 12-year-old brother were home alone when the alleged incident took place.

The children told the police that they had been home watching television when Goff knocked on the door trying to sell magazines to pay for college. According to the police report, Goff asked if their parents were home before asking if there was someone more than 18 years old in the house. The kids reported that Goff asked if he could flirt with the female, and told the boy to leave the room, offering money if he would do so, according to the police report.

The boy walked out of view of the man, but remained nearby so he could see what was happening. Both children reported that the man led the 13-year-old girl into the hallway where he began touching her, including her breasts and genitals. They stated he kissed her hand and cheek and attempted to kiss her several times. The boy told Goff he received a text from his mother that no one was to be at the house while she was not home, and Goff reportedly left.

When two GPD officers arrived, the kids gave them the description, including information on messy hair and a missing front tooth. Fifty-eight minutes after the call was received, the GPD located a person of interest in the area of North Park. Despite wearing black pants, which did not match the initial description, the officer kept observing him. According to the police report, the man was picked up by a Jeep Cherokee. Following them, the officer noticed two individuals in the front and four individuals in the backseat, which left one without a seat belt.

The officer pulled the Jeep over near Carver and Sixth streets. The occupants explained that they were part of a magazine sales crew, and the officer noticed a male subject in the backseat that matched the description, including the tan shorts, gray shirt, messy hair and missing tooth.

Goff reported that he had been in the area selling magazines, and initially stated that he had not had any contact with juveniles. He then stated that he had spoken with a young girl but upon learning that she was not 18, he left the area, according to the police report. Goff said that he had not touched the girl and had only been there for five minutes, after being told he was going to be detained for investigation. Though he wasn’t under arrest, Goff was handcuffed and read his Miranda rights.

Goff was taken to the victim’s residence where he was positively identified.

At the GPD, Goff said he was a door-to-door salesman, according to the police report. He stated that he is a homosexual and is not attracted to females. Regarding the alleged incident, Goff said he did speak with the victim, but upon learning she was not 18 and could not purchase magazines, he thanked her for her time and tried to leave. Goff reported that the 13-year-old victim told him to come back later, and later said he showed the girl the magazines before leaving.

The police report states that Goff went into great detail regarding all of the people he tried to sell magazines to, even providing specific times. The officer performing the investigation noted that Goff had no watch or phone or other type of device to verify the time while he was working.

During the interview, Goff became agitated, screaming obscenities but never requested that the interview end. The officer attempted to conclude the interview before being called back in by Goff.

According to the police report, Goff then stated the 13-year-old female was pulling on the papers he was trying to show her while the 12 year old male was nearby. Goff said that he tried to sell the magazines to the girl, and initially lied about it because he was afraid of his boss finding out. Goff reported that, as part of his sales pitch, he was flirting with the girl, and she flirted back, telling him she did not have a boyfriend. According to Goff, the female told him she was actually 15, and when he saw she was getting the wrong idea, he left. Goff said he never tried to touch or kiss the girl, and that the girl was probably upset because he rejected her, the police report states. Eventually, he told police he kissed her hand. Following the interview, Goff was arrested and charged with child solicitation and child molestation.

Child molestation is a Class B Felony. If convicted, Goff could face up to 20 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. Child solicitation is a Class D Felony, which can result in a prison sentence of up to three years and a fine of up to $10,000.
Joe Hornaday
WISH-TV Channel 8
wishtv.com
Indianapolis, Indiana
Read This Story


Dedicated Memorial Info Clip:

Regarding the above article:
Police: Mag salesman molested girl, 13
July 16, 2009


Greensburg Police Department: 812-663-3131
Greensburg Police Department Web Site
Greensburg Police Case # (Adam Goff: 09-0658)
Information from the Greensburg police department indicates that Adam Goff was employed by Flord Agency doing business out of Delray Beach, Florida.
According to the Greensburg police checks were to be made out to: Independent Contractor's Service.





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Research:
Magazine Clearinghouse:
American Community Services, Inc.
American Community Services Website: americancommunity.com
Indiana Secretary of State:  American Community Services
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Consumer Advocacy Archive on American Couumnity Services:
Employer of man who killed Knoxville woman has other employees accused of same
ACS Member of National Field Selling Association: nfsa.com
ACS Sells Magazines For The Magazine Publishers of America:
magazine.org

View ACS Magazine Selling List In PDF Format


Lincoln, Nebraska
3 More Arrested in Magazine Scam
Magazine Sales Company:
United Circulation
July 16, 2009
3 More Arrested in Magazine Scam
Lincoln
Posted: 11:33 AM Jul 16, 2009
Last Updated: 12:40 PM Jul 16, 2009
Reporter: KOLNKGIN
Email Address: desk@kolnkgin.com
Police say three more people were arrested involving a magazine scam in Lincoln, bringing the total to 5 this week.

Police Chief Tom Casady said 2 people were arrested Monday for selling magazines door to door without a permit. Wednesday 3 more, Erica Fredson, Alex Stickler and Grant Behrens, were arrested after residents asked them for their permits, and called police when they said they didn't have any.

Casady said there have been many complaints about United Circulation, the organization the group says they work for. Police say there have been a number of arrests in a number of states for people selling magazines with no intention of delivering the subscription.

Many times the suspect will sell the magazine at an inflated price and if you say you are not interested, they ask you to buy a magazine for troops overseas or for sick children in hospitals.

Casady said stopping this scam can be difficult because the suspects are typically from out of town and post bail and leave, never to be seen again. He hopes Lincoln can at least build a reputation of a place that won't tolerate the scam and will arrest any peddler without a permit, then eventually he hopes the organizations behind the scam will avoid Lincoln.

Sheriff Terry Wagner said his deputies received another similar complaint Tuesday in Waverly.
KOLN/KGIN
kolnkgin.com
Lincoln, Nebraska
Read This Story


Eugene, Oregon
Sneaky Eugene con artists turn CAS into CASH
July 16, 2009
Sneaky Eugene con artists turn CAS into CASH
KOMO RADIO & TV
Story Published: Jul 16, 2009 at 12:11 PM PDT
Story Updated: Jul 16, 2009 at 12:11 PM PDT
By KVAL.com staff EUGENE, Ore. -- College-aged salespeople going door-to-door in Eugene, Ore. selling magazine subscriptions for you -- or for our troops in Iraq, if you would care to help out our men and women in uniform.

Better yet: a portion of the proceeds supports a scholarship program for the BBC in London, England.

Now that is a tough deal to beat.

Except with a dose of reality.

Folks who go for the deal make out checks to CAS, which isn't an acronym for College Associate Sales -- it's a way to modify the check with the three swift slashes that form the letter H.

This scam has hit Eugene in recent weeks. Police said the scammers were last seen driving a blue, late 1990s Chevy Suburban.

Police said scams are cyclical in nature. Scammers enter an area, "fish it out" and move on to fresh territory.

Tips to Prevent Falling Prey to Scam Artists

You have a right to say 'no,' and have the person leave if you don't wish to participate.

If you are interested in giving, get more information and make your own contact. For instance, if it is for a charity activity, the person approaching you should supply you with the name of the charity and the name of the program for which they are raising funds. Then, you can contact the charity during working hours to find out if the program is legitimate. The charity can arrange further participation if you are willing to give.

Beware of high pressure techniques, such as the need to give on the spot.

Don't pay up front. Most legitimate organizations or businesses, including magazine sales, will only ask you to pay upon receipt of the items ordered.

If you have already paid up front for an item and feel concerned about it, monitor your bank account closely for any suspicious activity and contact police if you see anything

The person knocking on your door should be willing to have you contact other sources to verify the program's legitimacy.

Do not invite a stranger inside your home. Conduct all business in a safe place, in view of passersby and neighbors.

There should be legitimate forms, paperwork and receipts provided.
KOMO RADIO & TV
komonews.com
Seattle, Washington
Read This Story


Eugene, Oregon
Police urge residents to watch out for magazine scam artists
July 16, 2009
Police urge residents to watch out for magazine scam artists
KMTR NewsSource 16
Last Update: 7/16 4:21 pm
Eugene (KMTR) – Eugene police are reminding residents to beware of magazine scam artists. Since police notified the media about a magazine scam earlier this month, investigators have received more reports about fraudulent magazine sellers going door-to-door.

According to EPD, victims report that college-age individuals come to their door selling magazines. If the residents don’t want a subscription, the scam artists allegedly offer to send the magazines to the troops in Iraq. According to police, the scammer tells the customer a percentage of the proceeds will fund a scholarship program for the BBC in London, England. If the customer agrees, the scammer then asks him or her to write out a check to “CAS”. And then later, the scammer adds an "H" and makes a trip to the bank to cash the check. Police say the scam artists were last seen driving a blue, late 90’s Chevy Suburban. If anyone is contacted by these scammers, they are asked to call Eugene police.

Police say this serves as a reminder on how to avoid becoming the victim of fraud. Scams are cyclical in nature. Scammers enter an area, 'fish it out' and move on to fresh territory. Unfortunately, scammers, who can be locals or traveling criminals, hurt all the legitimate charities, organizations and businesses that also knock on doors of willing residents.

Tips to Prevent Falling Prey to Scam Artists

* You have a right to say 'no,' and have the person leave if you don't wish to participate.

* If you are interested in giving, get more information and make your own contact. For instance, if it is for a charity activity, the person approaching you should supply you with the name of the charity and the name of the program for which they are raising funds. Then, you can contact the charity during working hours to find out if the program is legitimate. The charity can arrange further participation if you are willing to give.

* Beware of high pressure techniques, such as the need to give on the spot.

* Don't pay up front. Most legitimate organizations or businesses, including magazine sales, will only ask you to pay upon receipt of the items ordered.

* If you have already paid up front for an item and feel concerned about it, monitor your bank account closely for any suspicious activity and contact police if you see anything

* The person knocking on your door should be willing to have you contact other sources to verify the program's legitimacy.

* Do not invite a stranger inside your home. Conduct all business in a safe place, in view of passersby and neighbors.

* There should be legitimate forms, paperwork and receipts provided.
KMTR NewsSource 16
kmtr.com
Springfield, Oregon
Read This Story


Chicago, Illinois
Missing Person

Mary Ann Switalski missing forty-six years

Mary Ann Switalski
Today is the forty-sixth anniversary of the disappearance of Mary Ann Switalski.

Above is a picture of Mary.
If you have any information as to her whereabouts
please contact the Chicago Police Department at 312-746-6000.
forthelost.wordpress.com

Mary Ann Switalski
Missing since July 15, 1963 from Chicago, Cook County, Illinois

Mary Ann attended a carnival at St. Priscilla's Catholic Church on July 15, 1963. Two days after her disappearance her parents received a short letter postmarked from Oak Park, IL. In the letter, Mary Ann stated that she was fine and that she was going to earn some money to take care of them. No further contact was ever made. It is believed that Mary Ann may have joined a magazine door-to-door sales group that was headed to California. The husband and wife owners of the sales organization gave conflicting statements. The wife stated that Mary Ann left with the sales group and the husband stated that Mary Ann never left Chicago.
doenetwork.org

For additional information on Mary Ann Switalski
DMPG Cold Cases
illinoismissing.blogspot.com


Lincoln, Nebraska
Magazine Scam Warning
Magazine Sales Company:
United Circulation
July 15, 2009
Magazine Scam Warning
Reporter: KOLNKGIN
KOLN
kolnkgin.com
Email Address: desk@kolnkgin.com
Posted: 10:37 AM Jul 15, 2009
Last Updated: 3:30 PM Jul 15, 2009
Police have arrested two people for selling magazines without a permit. Investigators believe the entire operation may be a scam.

Officer Katie Flood said 21 year old Ashley Kelly of Iowa and 22 year old John Turner of Minnesota were arrested Tuesday evening for solicitation without a permit near Jefferson and Sewell after they left a home in the 2600 block of Rathbone Road.

Flood said a caller bought magazines from the pair but when they left he looked up the organization, United Circulation, on the internet and saw dozens of negative comments about scams involving the group.

Officers received 6 different calls from people who were approached by this pair and by other young adults trying to sell magazines under the name of United Circulation.

Flood said there is no proof of fraud yet, but a law enforcement agency in Iowa arrested several people for selling with no intent to deliver and contacted LPD warning of possible scams with United Circulation. Flood said several of the subscription offers were extremely overpriced, the average subscription was $42.00.

Flood said the story differs with each complaint in Lincoln, sometimes the pair said they were raising money for a soccer trip, other times it was for the UNL School of Journalism.

Flood said the victims also were told they could buy subscriptions for troops overseas or sick children at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital.

Police say if you are approached by someone selling magazines, you should ask to see their permit. If they don't have one you should call 9-11.

If you think you are a victim, police advise canceling the check used to purchase the subscription.

All of the homes involved with Tuesday's arrest were in southeast Lincoln, but Flood said there is reason to believe there are other suspects making their way through the city.
Reporter: KOLNKGIN
KOLN
kolnkgin.com
Email Address: desk@kolnkgin.com
Lincoln, Nebraska
Read This Story


Morganton, North Carolina
Letter: Watch out for uninvited sales
people in Burke
Door-to-Door Sales company:
Southwestern
Trade Group:
Direct Selling Association
July 15, 2009
Letter: Watch out for uninvited sales people in Burke
Nicki Riley
The News Herald
Published: July 15, 2009
Morganton, NC - This is a warning to parents and teachers.
Last Thursday a young man came to my house to "discuss" educational issues because he claimed to be doing a project for a college internship. He said he was sent to my house by one of my good friends who is also a teacher. As a teacher and since he was "sent" by a friend, I let him in. He then proceeded to show some very bizarre behavior (standing in the dark in my bathroom, making me repeat his name, asking for food, etc.). Of course, he wasn't a friend of a friend at all. He was a salesman selling educational software for children. I told him I wasn't interested and then he pulled out these lists of teachers and their associated schools. Apparently he has some access to our information that I find alarming. Most alarming, however, was that he also had a hand-drawn map of my neighborhood and where all the children lived. He knew my neighbors' names and that some were on vacation. He showed back up a couple days later and was told by my friend to never use his name again in his sales pitch. This guy has now continued to use my friend's name to pitch his product anyway. He lied to get in my door. He is misrepresenting himself by claiming to know all these teachers and now he has maps with names and addresses of where little children live. I am writing this to try and warn our community. Do not give this guy any information about your neighbors. He is not a friend of any teacher in this county. I have reported him to the sheriff's department and I have filed a complaint with the company. There are others like him in Morganton selling the same product. Apparently it is a common practice for this company to make these maps. The company's name is Southwestern and they sell educational software. You can easily look them up on the internet and file a complaint if you are so inclined. We must look out for our neighbors and, more importantly, our children.
Editor's note: According to the Southwestern Company, students who sell its products are independent contractors who buy the company's products at wholesale and resell at retail. They are not employees of the company.
Nicki Riley
The News Herald
www2.morganton.com
Morganton, North Carolina
Read This Story


Londonderry, New Hampshire
Police: Student's sales technique led to alert
Door-to-Door Sales company:
Southwestern
Trade Group:
Direct Selling Association
July 13, 2009
Police: Student's sales technique led to alert
By ALEC O'MEARA
Union Leader Correspondent
unionleader.com
Monday, Jul. 13, 2009
LONDONDERRY – A college student from out of state who sells books door to door has been identified as the likely source of a home invasion scare that forced police and school officials to place families in town on alert last week.

On Wednesday, Londonderry Superintendent Nate Greenberg sent an e-mail to all families following a report of an individual or individuals identifying themselves as representatives of the school district. In the message, Greenberg said the suspects were displaying false identification and were using it to try to gain entry to homes in the area. Fearing the worst, Greenberg advised parents to call the police immediately if the suspect appeared at their home.

Later the same evening, police identified the person believed to be responsible for the scare as Maggie Scrantom, a college student working with the Southwestern Company, a Tennessee based publishing company, selling books and other education materials. Police said the student produced a valid Londonderry permit to solicit door to door in town, but the permit, obtained in May, expired on July 1.

Scrantom was given an order to cease and desist her businesses operations in Londonderry and was sent on her way with no further penalty.

Following the interview, Londonderry police and school put out their second joint press release on the week crediting the response from local families "for bringing the situation to a rapid closure."

Multiple residents responded to the initial e-mail, Greenberg said, saying they had been visited by Scrantom. The parents said the student gave the impression she worked with the schools, but if asked directly, she would tell the truth regarding her affiliation, Greenberg said.

Following the incident, Trey Campbell, communications director for the Southwestern Company, expressed regret over the confusion and defended Scrantom, a theater major for the University of Iowa, as a two-year intern of the business's sales program. Scrantom was selling children's books and computer CD's to be used as homework aides for school work, the "Volume Library" package at Southwestern.

"Maggie has a stellar record with Southwestern throughout her two-year tenure of running her business," Campbell said. "In my experience, there is sometimes a miscommunication or a confusion due to an assumption made regarding a student's affiliation. This is easy to do, as the nature of the products is education."

Following the order to cease and desist, police said Scrantom indicated she would not return to town.
By ALEC O'MEARA
Union Leader Correspondent
unionleader.com
Manchester, New Hampshire
Read This Story


Ramapo, New York
N.C. magazine salesman arrested on burglary charges
July 11, 2009
N.C. magazine salesman arrested on burglary charges
By Hema Easley • heasley@lohud.com • July 11, 2009
LoHud.com
RAMAPO - Police have arrested a North Carolina man who was here to sell magazines on charges of stealing a truck from Suffern.

Franklin D. Shields, 34, of 3532 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte, was arrested at about 7 a.m. after police responded to a caller who said he found a man breaking into his truck at the Holiday Inn off Airmont Road. The man, a car-carrying tractor-trailer operator, told police he was delivering a car at the address when he saw Shields inside the tractor section of the truck with the doors closed.

Shields was charged with third degree burglary, a felony, as the truck is an "enclosed motor truck" as specified under state penal law, police said in a statement. He was also charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Shields, who was arraigned in Town Court before Judge Arnold Etelson, told police he was staying at the Holiday Inn while selling magazine subscriptions.

He was sent to Rockland County jail without bail for a court appearance Thursday.

Police in Rockland have arrested several people in recent years on charges of soliciting magazine sales door-to-door without a peddler's permit.

Nearly every summer, solicitors from out of state come to Rockland to sell door to door. They typically stay at the Holiday Inn.

The would-be sellers are usually affiliated with one of several nationwide magazine selling companies.

Over the years, there have been reports of the sellers getting involved with violent crimes.

Last year, an Ohio magazine solicitor was accused of attacking and choking his girlfriend at the Holiday Inn. While he was first charged with attempted murder, the woman declined to cooperate because she loved him, prosecutors said.

The man pleaded guilty to a lesser assault charge and served several months in the county jail.
Staff writer Steve Lieberman contributed to this report.
By Hema Easley • heasley@lohud.com • July 11, 2009
LoHud.com
White Plains, New York
Read This Story


New Hampshire
Salesman arrested on felony charges
July 11, 2009
Salesman arrested on felony charges
– Andrew Wolfe
The Telegraph
nashuatelegraph.com
Published: Saturday, July 11, 2009
A magazine salesman is going back to Indiana, because that’s where he and his pending felony charges are from, Pelham police report. Keylon Andrews, 23, of Indianapolis was arrested Tuesday, police report, after a routine background check turned up warrants for possession of cocaine, robbery and assault battery by means of strangulation, Sgt. Michael Pickles reports. Andrews was working as a door-to-door salesman in Pelham and Windham for Dynasty Sales, police report. As required, the company had sent its roster to police, and Andrews’ name rang bells in the records, Pickles wrote. He was arrested on a fugitive charge and arraigned Wednesday in Salem District Court.
– Andrew Wolfe
– Andrew Wolfe
The Telegraph
nashuatelegraph.com
The Telegraph Publishing Co.
Hudson, New Hampshire
Read This Story


Davenport, Iowa
5 arrested in magazine scheme targeting Quad-Citians
July 11, 2009
5 arrested in magazine scheme targeting Quad-Citians
By Ann McGlynn | Posted: Friday, July 10, 2009 10:45 pm
The Quad-City Times
A magazine scam where door-to-door solicitors say they are raising money for local sports teams to travel by selling magazines that will be sent to troops in Iraq has resulted in several complaints and five arrests, police in Davenport and Bettendorf said.

Michael David Stewart of Youngstown, Fla.; Oliver Orion French of Loon Lake, Wash.; Roseann Janene French of Batavia, Ill.; Jonathan Ray Charles Meeker of Ottumwa, Iowa; and Justin Mitchell Harris of Copperas Cove, Texas, were charged by Bettendorf police with failure to have a solicitor's license. All are in their late teens and early 20s.

The solicitors use feigned familiarity - saying their grandmother lives down the street, that they play on a local high school baseball team or that a neighbor has already supported their fund-raiser - to encourage people to give. They are clean-cut, wearing polo shirts and baseball hats, to help with their efforts, said Marie Hoffmiller, a social worker who works for the city of Davenport.

The scam, she said, has periodically hit the area for years, she added, saying that the company the solicitors say they work for is listed on www.ripoffreport.com.

The company, with several different names, has no working phone number or Web site.

Officials in Bettendorf and Davenport received several complaints from people who gave the solicitors money or who turned them away. They believe there may be more victims.

The complaints received in Davenport indicated the solicitors said they were raising money for the Davenport Central baseball team to go to Hawaii. The magazines sold would be sent to troops in Iraq. Some of them offered to return to do yard work if they doubled their donation.

Hoffmiller believes they have left the area, but that they may return.

"Don't be fooled by their familiarity," said Davenport police Capt. David Struckman. "They're con people. They're smooth."
By Ann McGlynn
The Quad-City Times
qctimes.com
Davenport, Iowa
Read This Story


Des Moines, Iowa
Urbandale police cite Ottumwa man
July 10, 2009
Urbandale police cite Ottumwa man
By L. LARS HULSEBUS • lhulsebu@dmreg.com • July 10, 2009
Des Moines Register
An Ottumwa man was cited for soliciting without a permit after allegedly posing as a member of the Urbandale High School baseball team to sell magazines, Urbandale police said.

Todd Downing, 18, was arrested after Urbandale residents reported that someone was selling magazine subscriptions for as much as $240 each.

According to an e-mail from Bill Watson, activities director for the Urbandale school district, school officials received two reports Wednesday from residents who had been contacted as part of a fundraising scam.

Watson's e-mail said there are no fundraising activities under way by any Urbandale athletic teams.

Summer is the preferred time for many door-to-door scam artists, who often claim to be raising money for a good cause.

An Urbandale ordinance requires all peddlers to have a permit.

"Often people show up from out of town, and they bail out of the vans and start going door-to-door, which is a violation of Urbandale city code," said Detective Dan Stein.

Stein said residents can ask peddlers to see their permits, which they should have with them.

One tell-tale sign of scam artists is that they are often rude and bullying, Stein said. He added that all door-to-door salespeople are not scam artists.

"We just want people to be alert when peddlers come to the door," Stein said. "Be careful about giving any personal information. Be careful about bringing them into your home and leaving them unattended."
By L. LARS HULSEBUS • lhulsebu@dmreg.com
Des Moines Register
desmoinesregister.com
Des Moines, Iowa
Read This Story


Pelham, Massachusetts
DOOR-TO-DOOR ... TO HANDCUFFS:
DMPG Info:
Magazine Sales Company:
Paragon Sales
Owner: Andre M. Walker
Clearinghouse:
Midwest Sales
Owner: Andre M. Walker
Website:
http://www.midwestclearing.com
Midwest Clearing, Inc.
3649 W 183rd St.
Suite 101
Hazel Crest, IL 60429
phone (708) 206-2001
fax (708) 206-2005
end dmpg info
July 10, 2009
DOOR-TO-DOOR ... TO HANDCUFFS:
Salesman nabbed in Pelham on Indiana drug,
robbery, assault charges
By Bridget Scrimenti , bscrimenti@lowellsun.com
The Sun
lowellsun.com
Lowell, Massachusetts
Updated: 07/09/2009 06:35:23 AM EDT
PELHAM -- From door to door he went -- a clean-cut young salesman pitching magazine subscriptions with a smile.

But this salesman was different. He was a wanted man.

Keylon Andrews, 23, of Indianapolis, was arrested Tuesday after Windham, N.H., police alerted Pelham police that he might be passing through town.

Pelham officers found Andrews and ran his name through a national database, discovering he had three outstanding warrants out of Indiana.

The charges: possession of cocaine, robbery and carjacking, and assault and battery by means of strangulation.

Andrews was also arrested last year in Lowell for allegedly punching two police officers.

"Those are very serious charges," Pelham police Lt. Brian McCarthy said. "The reality is, you don't know who you're dealing with. That's why we try to get as much information as we can to ensure residents' safety."

Lowell police arrested Andrews in June 2008 on Rae Street in the city's Belvidere section after Andrews told officers he didn't need a permit to sell magazines.

When the two officers corrected him, Andrews allegedly punched them in the head.

Last month, Pelham police found another salesman with a felony arrest record out of Georgia. Pelham police had to let him go, because authorities wouldn't extradite him, McCarthy said.

Andrews told Pelham police he was working for Dynasty Sales, but last year he told Lowell police he was working for Paragon Sales.

Andre Walker, the owner of Paragon Sales, based in Flossmer, Ill., said Andrews was working for him this year, while Dynasty Sales is owned by another Paragon employee.

Walker said Paragon contracts with another company, I.C.U. Inc., to perform background checks on employees, and nothing came up under Andrews' background check.

"We wouldn't have a person selling for us if they had those charges," Walker said.

Asked about Andrews' alleged assault against the two Lowell officers, Walker said he knew nothing about it, and that Andrews is a "good person."

Last month, another Paragon employee, Shawn Woodward, 26, of Chicago was charged with setting off a false fire alarm and vandalizing 15 cars on Market Street in Lowell.

Walker said Woodward did that after work hours, and it shouldn't be a reflection on Paragon Sales.

"Shawn was drunk and left the hotel and did something wrong," Walker said. "We have 60 people here and if one person does something wrong, it's not a reflection on our entire group."

In 2004, another magazine salesman, Benjamin E. Turner, who worked for Paragon Management Inc., allegedly raped and urinated on a 34-year-old mentally retarded woman in Plymouth after he went to her house selling magazines, according to The Patriot Ledger of Quincy.

Walker said yesterday that Turner was not a Paragon Sales employee, and his company is not affiliated with Paragon Management.

In Pelham, Lowell and other surrounding communities, police have kept a close eye on magazine salesmen in recent years.

"They've been on everybody's radar since they came into the area," said McCarthy, the Pelham police lieutenant. "We go through this every year and we end up running into someone with an arrest warrant."

The Massachusetts Attorney General's Office has no record of any consumer complaints against Paragon Sales, according to a spokesman.

Andrews, who is charged as a fugitive from justice, was arraigned yesterday in Salem District Court.

He's being held on $10,000 cash bail. Authorities from Indianapolis are expected to pick him up in the next week.
Staff writer Robert Mills contributed to this report.
By Bridget Scrimenti , bscrimenti@lowellsun.com
The Sun
lowellsun.com
Lowell, Massachusetts
Read This Story


July 9, 2009
IBOFB's mystifying lies are funnier
Posted by Shyam Sundar at 08:54
Thursday, 9 July 2009
Corporate Frauds Watch
http://corporatefraudswatch.blogspot.com
Read This Story


Malden, Massachusetts
Malden Police warn of magazine salespeople in area
July 9, 2009
Malden Police warn of magazine salespeople in area
wickedlocal.com
Wicked Local
Thu Jul 09, 2009, 03:59 PM EDT
Malden - Malden Police, as well as several area police departments, have been investigating numerous reports of people selling magazine subscriptions door to door, in violation of local city ordinances. Intelligence gathered by both local and out of state law enforcement agencies has shown an indication that these individuals are using deceptive sales tactics. Some individuals have even unknowingly attempted their strong aggressive sales pitches at the homes of off-duty officers. At this time no magazine company has any permits to solicit door to door in the city of Malden. Residents need to be vigilant when providing any information to door-to-door salespeople. The Malden Police will not condone any salesperson who does not abide by the city ordinances, and conduct themselves in an ethical manner. At this time every indication points to current magazine agencies that are operating in the North Shore area not abiding by either. Local law enforcement agencies are keeping a close watch on these persons and will deal with them accordingly.
Wicked Local
wickedlocal.com
Lexington, Massachusetts
Read This Story


Pelham, Massachusetts
Pelham police arrest magazine salesman on outstanding warrants
Magazine Sales Company:
Dynasty Sales
July 9, 2009
Pelham police arrest magazine salesman on outstanding warrants
Jo-Anne MacKenzie
jmackenzie@eagletribune.com
The Eagle Tribune
Published: July 09, 2009 12:17 am
PELHAM — Pelham police arrested magazine salesman Keylon Andrews, 23, of Indianapolis Tuesday night on three felony arrest warrants out of Indiana.

Andrews was working as a sales representative for Dynasty Sales and had been selling magazines door-to-door in Pelham and Windham Monday and Tuesday, police said.

Andrews' name was run through a national database after Dynasty Sales forwarded the names of its sales staff to the two police departments.

Local police discovered Andrews was wanted on charges of cocaine possession, robbery/carjacking, and assault and battery by strangulation, all of out Indianapolis.

Police tried to locate Andrews during the day Tuesday, but couldn't find him. A Windham police officer did find most of the Dynasty Sales staff working in the area and was told they were on their way to Pelham to pick up Andrews in the area of Mammoth Road and Monument Hill.

"We were told by Windham PD; they learned he was wanted," Pelham police Lt. Brian McCarthy said. "He had left Windham and was in Pelham, and we arrested him."

Pelham police arrested Andrews just after 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. He was charged as a fugitive from justice and was arraigned yesterday in Salem District Court.

Andrews is being held on $10,000 cash bail. He did sign a waiver of extradition to go back to Indianapolis, which will happen as soon as local police hear from their counterparts in Indiana.

McCarthy said Dynasty Sales does have a hawkers and peddlers license, as required. He said local ordinances vary from town to town. Pelham has the companies come in, give police a list of the streets they will be selling on and a list of their employees, McCarthy said.

Magazine sales teams descend on Southern New Hampshire every summer. McCarthy said Pelham police try to work with the companies to avoid problems.

"As long as they have all the legal credentials and are operating within the law, we're fine with them," he said.

Residents are encouraged to call police if they are uncomfortable or have an issue with a specific salesman. Patrol officers make a point of being visible in the areas the sales teams are operating in, McCarthy said.
Jo-Anne MacKenzie
jmackenzie@eagletribune.com
The Eagle Tribune
eagletribune.com
North Andover, Massachusetts
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New City, New York
Magazine peddler arrested in Ramapo charged again in Clarkstown
July 8, 2009
Magazine peddler arrested in Ramapo charged again in Clarkstown
By Jane Lerner • jlerner@lohud.com • July 8, 2009
LoHud.com
NEW CITY - A Missouri woman who was arrested in Ramapo on Sunday on charges of peddling magazines door-to-door without a permit was arrested in Clarkstown yesterday on the same charges, police said this morning.

Enjoli Wilson, 30, from St Louis was issued a ticket to appear in Clarkstown court today on charges that she violated town regulations by going door-to-door selling magazine subscriptions. A resident of Brentwood Drive in New City called Clarkstown police yesterday to report that a suspicious person was in the area.

When police got there, they discovered that Wilson was going door-to-door selling magazine subscriptions.

Police said that Wilson didn't have identification or a town peddler's license.

Wilson was one of three people arrested Sunday on the same charge in Ramapo.

She was stopped by police in Sloatsburg, along with Derrick Shackelford, 45, of Kansas City, Mo.

A third person, Eugene Ceasar, 32, of Wilmington, Del., was arrested in Hillburn, according to Ramapo police.

All three were released on $100 bail each with summonses to appear in local courts.

The three told Ramapo police that they were staying at the Holiday Inn in Montebello as part of a traveling crew of magazine sellers.

Thousands of solicitors - mostly ranging in age from 18 into their early 20s - travel the country, living in motels under the control of handlers who pay them a small amount based on daily sales and even hold their earnings, authorities have said.

Over the years, there have been reports of the sellers getting involved with violent crimes.

Last year, an Ohio magazine solicitor was accused of attacking his girlfriend at the Holiday Inn, choking her. While he was first charged with attempted murder, the woman declined to cooperate because she loved him, prosecutors said.

The man pleaded guilty to a lesser assault charge and served several months in the county jail.
By Jane Lerner • jlerner@lohud.com • July 8, 2009
LoHud.com
White Plains, New York
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Pelham, New Hampshire
Check Those Salesmen!
Magazine Sales Company:
Dynasty Sales
July 8, 2009
Check Those Salesmen!
Massachusetts Law Enforcement Network
masscops.com
MASSCOPS
Inspector
Subscribing Member
MassCops Commissioner
07/08/09
PELHAM, N.H. -- Police arrested a door-to-door magazine salesman on three felony warrants for possession of cocaine, robbery and carjacking, and assault and battery by means of strangulation. Keylon Andrews, 23, of Indianapolis, Ind., was traveling door-to-door selling magazines in Pelham and Windham over the past two days. Andrews, a sales representative for Dynasty Sales, was arrested on Tuesday, after the company, forwarded the names of their salesmen to local police departments. Police then ran the names through a national database, and found Andrews had three outstanding warrants. Andrews is charged as a fugitive from justice, and is being arraigned Wednesday in Salem District Court.
Home - Lowell Sun Online

Massachusetts Law Enforcement Network
MASSCOPS
Inspector
Subscribing Member
MassCops Commissioner
masscops.com
Massachusetts
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Winchester, Massachusetts
Front door scam
Magazine Sales Company:
Prestige Sales USA
July 8, 2009
Front door scam: ‘Solicitors’ collect for fake soccer trip
By Staff reports
Staff Writer Andy Metzger
Wicked Local
Wed Jul 08, 2009, 12:03 PM EDT
Winchester, MA - Police believe two young men going door-to-door in Arlington and Winchester, soliciting donations for a purported soccer trip, were actually scamming residents. Last Wednesday, an Arlington resident on Hutchinson Road became suspicious after giving the men two checks for $98. The checks were supposed to pay for a soccer trip to London and children’s books for Iraqi children and a local hospital. After giving the men the checks, she did some online research on the company they were written out to, Prestige Sales USA, and discovered that it had been linked to several scams. The woman then called police, who found the two solicitors a little way down the hill on Old Mystic Street. Though one of the men had reportedly told the resident his grandfather lived in the Arlington neighborhood and both reportedly said they were Temple University students, the two men told police that they don’t go to school and have no ties to the town. They denied telling the Arlington woman those stories. The men said they were from “The South” — Tennessee and West Virginia, though the West Virginia man later said he was from North Carolina — and said they were staying at a hotel in Tewksbury. When their manager arrived, however, he said they were staying in Lowell. There was no soccer trip, one of them told police. Earlier in the day, the two had told Winchester Police that they worked for a company called Hot List Titles. According to the police report, they are both 22 years old. Police discovered that the two men and their manager all had prior arrests for alleged crimes including theft by deception and soliciting without a permit in several states Police confiscated the two $98 checks and an additional $716 in checks made out by three Winchester residents, and told the three men not to conduct business in Arlington again. The two had been asked to leave Winchester close to two hours before the Arlington woman called police, because Winchester has a law that door-to-door solicitors must register with police. Arlington passed a similar law during this year’s Town Meeting, but it has not yet gone into effect. The Better Business Bureau gave Prestige Sales and F, its lowest rating, because of unresolved complaints about sales tactics, complaints about the product and complaints about refunds. The principal owner of the Phoenix-based magazine distributor, Robert K. Spruiell, owns another magazine distributor, Integrity Sales LLC, which also has an F rating for similar problems, according to the Bureau. There is no record of Hot List Titles in the Better Business Bureau or in the secretary of the commonwealth’s corporate database.
Staff Writer Andy Metzger can be reached at ametzger@cnc.com.
Staff Writer Andy Metzger
Wicked Local
wickedlocal.com
Lexington, Massachusetts
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MLM - Network Marketing,
DIRECT SELLING, and the DSA
mlm-thetruth.com
http://www.mlm-thetruth.com
Read This Story


July 7, 2009
Next to the Amway Mob,
Madoff is an Amateur - He Got Caught!
by QCI contributor David Brear:
Copyright David Brear July 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Quixtar Cult Intervention
http://quixtarisacultintervention.blogspot.com
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Pelham, Massachusetts
Magazine subscriptions are getting dangerous
July 7, 2009
Magazine subscriptions are getting dangerous
mrmillcity.com

Hello? Is anyone home? Would you like a subscription to Time or Newsweek?


Lowell Sun

PELHAM — From door to door he went — a clean-cut young salesman pitching magazine subscriptions with a smile.

But this salesman was different.
He was a wanted man.

First off, who even wants a magazine subscription? Everyone knows that your friendly neighborhood blog is all that you could ever want for your reading needs.

I am glad that the Lowell Sun is bringing attention to door-to-door magazine sales. I have encountered them frequently in the past. Some seem like nice mixed up kids, while others seemed slightly sociopathic. All of them no doubt are stuck in a bad situation.

If you have ever read up on these magazine sale scams, it is kind of heartbreaking. A company will post an ad promising money and travel. Kids with no work experience will answer the ad, be crammed into a van and will travel from location to location to sell magazines. The money they make barely covers their food and motel expenses. Many of them are trapped once they are out on the road. They can’t get back home. They don’t have the money to do so. It takes them weeks just to manage to buy a bus ticket. So they continue along to sell more magazines.

That is the case with many of them. Just sort of sad kids that got lost along the way. Then there are the dangerous people like the one that is mentioned in the Sun article above. Those are the ones to avoid. Of course it is hard to tell who is dangerous, so it is probably best to avoid them all.

Of course I am too friendly (okay, I am too stupid) and I answer the door and listen to them drone on instead of telling them just to go away. And I am convinced I have encountered a few magazine sellers in the past with criminal records. One encounter left me a little nervous, the magazine seller ripped up an order form in front of me out of frustration. There were two of them that time too. Hopefully with this exposure they have been getting, I will not encounter any more.

They usually come to your door with some rap on how they are raising money to take a trip. Ask them questions about their trip and you will quickly see it is made up. They have sales techniques that try to make you seem like they are your friends. They ask you to do things like high five them. I don’t usually high five friends. They ask you if you like to read. I usually say I hate it. They ask you if you want to buy magazines. I usually say I can’t afford it. Or I say I am really eco-friendly and despise paper goods. I point to my Prius in the driveway and say “See, I drive a hybrid, I don’t have time for your tree torture!” I think one time I may have told them I didn’t know how to read and then began to break down and cry. Well maybe that didn’t happen, but I am guessing it would have been fun to try. I am sure nothing would get rid of a magazine sales person faster than a grown man on his knees yelling, “Why can’t I read?! Why????!!!”
mrmillcity.com
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Iowa City, Iowa
Police warn of door-to-door scam artists
July 6, 2009
Police warn of door-to-door scam artists
the Press-Citizen • July 6, 2009
Iowa City Press-Citizen press-citizen.com
Iowa City Police are warning area residents about scam artists selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door for bogus fundraisers. Police say that door-to-door sales typically increase in the summer, and that it is often a legitimate way to raise money for charities and other groups. Police have determined, however, that at least two salesman offering magazine subscriptions in the area are misrepresenting themselves. According to a police news release, on the afternoon of July 3, a magazine salesman called on a home on Kirkwood Avenue. The salesman claimed to be selling magazines for soldiers as part of a fundraiser for the Regina baseball team and for distributing subscriptions to soldiers in Iraq. Any money earned by the team would be used for a trip to Hawaii. Police later determined that none of those claims are true. Police described the salesman as a heavy-set white man with a pock-marked face. He said his name was Mike Davis. The complainant purchased several hundred dollars worth of magazine subscriptions but became suspicious when a second salesman arrived a short time later. This one claimed to be affiliated with the University of Iowa Communications Department. He said he was selling magazine subscriptions to fund his studies with John Cleese. This salesman was described as a heavy-set white man with light-brown curly hair. Police have contacted both Regina and the University of Iowa Communications Department. Both confirmed the salesmen were not affiliated with their programs and that their claims were untrue. Police warn that genuine salespersons should have identification and informational materials so that you, the buyer, can easily verify the legitimacy of the organization and fundraising effort. Police say that If in doubt, don't buy or consider donating directly to the local fundraising organization.
Iowa City Press-Citizen
press-citizen.com
Iowa City, Iowa
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St. Louis, Missouri
Police: Beware of solicitors
Salesman allegedly accosted girl
July 4, 2009
Police: Beware of solicitors
Salesman allegedly accosted girl
By Kalen Ponche
Suburban Journals
Saturday, July 4, 2009 1:18 AM CDT
Police are reminding residents to be careful when answering their doors after a 15-year-old St. Charles girl reported being accosted and grabbed by a door-to-door magazine salesman.

Last week a salesman from Michigan was arrested after he allegedly approached the Brookdale Drive home and offered the teen girl drugs and alcohol in exchange for a sexual act, said Piasecki.

The man, 21-year-old William Bishop, was arrested and charged with possessing Xanax, a controlled substance. The girl's father, who allegedly chased down the salesman and hit him with a metal pipe, was charged with assault.

Summertime often brings out more door-to-door sales representatives, said St. Charles Police spokesman Lt. Derek Piasecki. While most don't pose a danger, people should use caution when buying from anyone they don't know, he said.

Under St. Charles city ordinances, solicitors are required to register with the city, pay a $50 fee and obtain permits before they go door to door. Before issuing permits, police do local background checks on applicants.

Neither Bishop nor the company he works for obtained a permit, Piasecki said.

"Most legitimate companies do come and (get a permit)," Piasecki said.

Piasecki said all residents, including children, should have a plan for what to do if a stranger comes to the door.

Residents should not ignore knocks at the door or pretend they are not home, said Lt. Craig McGuire, a spokesman for the St. Charles County Sheriff's Department. Burglars often knock on doors before entering homes to see if anyone is inside, McGuire said.

Instead, residents should call out, "Not interested, please go away," through the door, McGuire said.

Other police suggestions about solicitors include:

- In the city of St. Charles, a solicitor who has registered with the city should be wearing a photo ID tag issued by the city.

- Solicitors in St. Charles are not allowed to go to a door between the hours of 7 p.m. and 8 a.m. They are also not allowed to approach homes on Sundays or holidays.

- It is illegal for a person in St. Charles to solicit at a residence where a sign is displayed that says "no soliciting" or "no solicitors." Violations can result in a fine of $100 to $500.

- If a solicitor does something inappropriate, get a description and contact police.
By Kalen Ponche
Suburban Journals
suburbanjournals.stltoday.com
St. Louis, Missouri
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Ormond Beach, Florida
Police warn of door to door scam
Magazine Sales Company:
Greater Image, Inc.
July 3, 2009
Police warn of door to door scam
Updated: Friday, 03 Jul 2009, 12:36 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 02 Jul 2009, 10:42 PM EDT
SHAY HARRIS | FOX 35 News
ORMOND BEACH, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Ormond Beach Police warn of possible scam involving the door to door sale of magazines subscriptions. A complaint was filed on July 1 by a victim who reported that he paid $62 for a subscription to a car magazine that was sold by a young man approximately 18-20 years of age who came to his door back in February of this year.

Robert Nichols said he had no idea he was about to get duped when a teenage boy came to his door back in February selling magazine subscriptions.

"He had a lanyard with a id on his front that looked like they had the permit," Nichols explained.

Thinking the company was licensed Nichols bought a subscription to Hotrod Magazine. He noticed the receipt indicated that the order would be delivered in 90 to 120 days. So Nichols waited, but the magazines never showed. The receipt instructed consumers to call the company, Greater Image, Inc. in Memphis, Tennessee, with any questions.

"So, I called the number and no such number, so I called directory assistance and asked for this greater image in Memphis no listing for that, so I figured, 'okay, I just got screwed,'" said Nichols.

Nichols got his bank involved in tracking the company down. Then he filed a police report.

"The check itself actually got cashed in Miami so the operation apparently comes out of Miami," said Nichols.

Nichols said he does not believe his home was the only one hit that day, adding that he'll think twice before giving again.

"I probably won't be doing it anymore unless I know them by neighbors kids or something like that, otherwise wouldn't be responding to anymore solicitation at the door at all," he said.

Nichols also said parents should check out the company if their kids are selling things door to door, by calling police or the Better Business Bureau.

So far, the Better Business Bureau has received 1,100 complaints from consumers in 46 states and the District of Columbia about this scam.
SHAY HARRIS | FOX 35 News
FOX 35 WOFL
myfoxorlando.com
Lake Mary, Florida
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Eugene, Oregon
Beware of fraudulent door-to-door “magazine” sellers
July 3, 2009
Eugene residents:
Beware of fraudulent door-to-door “magazine” sellers;
Learn the latest scam and helpful tips
by Jaculynn Peterson on July 3, 2009
in Advice and Tips, Crime, News
MyEugene
Community Stories, Voices and Happenings
The Eugene Police Department is receiving reports of fraudulent activity regarding door-to-door magazine sales.

Most recently, a victim reported that college-age individuals came to the door and were selling magazine subscriptions. While pushing for a “sale,” the suspects also offered to send the magazines to the Troops in Iraq should the victim not personally want the subscription, but still wish to help with their cause. In addition, the victim was told that a percentage of the proceeds would fund a scholarship program for the BBC in London, England. The victim agreed and wrote a check to the alleged company.

It was later discovered that the victim’s check was altered and deposited for cash.

The scammers were last seen driving a blue, late 90s Chevy Suburban.

Scams are cyclical in nature. Scammers usually enter an area, ‘fish it out’ and move on to fresh territory. Unfortunately, scammers, who can be locals or traveling criminals, hurt all the legitimate charities, organizations and businesses that also knock on doors of willing residents.

Tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud:

You have a right to say ‘no,’ and tell the person leave if you don’t wish to participate; you don’t have to answer any questions either.

You don’t even have to open the door. Tell the visitor – through the closed door – that you’re not interested. Or, if you are interested, tell the visitor to leave a business card or information under your door mat.

If you choose to engage one-one-one with the sellers and you are interested in giving, get more information and contact the organization on your own. For instance, if the sales do benefit a charity, the person approaching you should supply you with the name of the charity and the name of the program for which they are raising funds. Then, you can contact the charity during working hours to find out if the program is legitimate. The charity can arrange further participation if you are willing to give.

Beware of high pressure techniques, such as the need to give on the spot.

Don’t pay up front. Most legitimate organizations or businesses, including magazine sales, will only ask you to pay upon receipt of the items ordered.

If you have already paid for an item and feel concerned about it, monitor your bank account closely for any suspicious activity and contact police if you see anything.

The person knocking on your door should be willing to have you contact other sources to verify the program’s legitimacy.

DO NOT invite a stranger inside your home. Conduct all business in a safe place, in view of passersby and neighbors.

Legitimate forms, paperwork and receipts should always be provided.
by Jaculynn Peterson on July 3, 2009
in Advice and Tips, Crime, News
MyEugene
Community Stories, Voices and Happenings
myeugene.org
Eugene, Oregon
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Door to Door Magazine sales is a dangerous scam
July 3, 2009
Door to Door Magazine sales is a dangerous scam
Posted by Barrudaki-Thunderchick at 7/03/2009
listofscams.blogspot.com
Is it a scam?
Friday, July 3, 2009
The summertime is mostly associated with great childhood memories; that unbelievable baseball game, that awesome vacation, hanging out with friends. Though ear marked for fun summertime for some is sadly known for fraud, scam, and tragedy. Every year reports about fraudulent door to door sales raise. The companies that perpetrate this scam aren't only trying to scam consumers, they scam their field associates as well. These companies also are not concerned about their field associates safety or for that matter the safety of anyone. The only thing these companies care about is how much money can they get out of everyone. Often times these companies will drop their field associates off in a high crime area and expect them to go door to door selling putting their own field agents at risk.

These door to door magazine sales companies hire a variety of people. Young teens looking to work for the summer, young adults wanting to travel, older adults looking to start a new life, criminals on the run, convicted criminals looking to not get caught again. These companies put everyone together on a sales team, whisk them away to another state, place them in a hotel 2 or more people in a room, drop them off in an unknown neighborhood and attempt to sale magazines. Now I have to ask would any parent in their right mind want their 18 year old son or daughter hanging out with a 20 or 30 something convicted criminal or someone on the run from the law? If you allow them to take a job like this that is exactly who they will be hanging out with on a daily basis.

There companies ply young teens and young adults with the easy money line. Make great cash and we pay you for it! Travel the country on our dime and make money doing it! Sale magazines for us and win a trip or $5,000 dollars. Sound Familiar? To a teen easy money for the summer, to a young adult easy money and sales experience, to a criminal easy access to a variety of unsuspecting victims who kindly answer their door to them.

For example:

Liberator Sales Inc. (also known as Imperial Sales both companies owned by Pacific Coast Clearing Serviecs Inc.) in 2004 when Kristina Moore one of their young field associates was murdered the magazine sales team didn't stick around or care about what happened to her. The team supervisor called her in as not showing up and when she was found murdered moved the sales crew out of the state. Liberator Sales hired Walter W. Collier the traveling sales job as their magazine field associate gave him roaming access to rape a 9 year old girl. Liberator Sales Inc., routinely hire people who have outstanding warrants and in addition this company violates local city and town laws by not getting solicitation permits. In 2005 Liberator Sales was banned from the state of Maine, but in Maine they probably operate under Imperial Sales.

Charles Crawford committed a home invasion while selling magazines door to door hired by American Community Services, Inc.

Renard Amos committed burglary, sexual battery and rape while selling magazines door to door for Paragon Dynasty.

Of course these are not the only door to door magazine sales companies out there but most of these companies have numerous things in common. The companies don't do background checks which is why it is so easy for someone with outstanding warrants to work for them, thus putting anyone who answers the door to their field agent at risk. These are the people companies like Liberator Sales Inc., hire to represent them. Is it any wonder why this industry is plagued with crime and fraud?

Is this the type of company you would want to hand over your hard earned money to, one that violates local laws and puts their customer at risk? Of course these aren't the only complaints there are also non-delivery complaints, stolen payments complaints. The number one complaint over charging for the magazines. The magazine prices of these companies are outrageous, the subscription prices can be marked up as much as 300 percent! The sales pitch to justify the prices, it's for charity, it's for a scholarship, it's for a contest to win a trip.

Door to Door sales company don't stop by scamming customers they also do it to their field agents as well. These companies take their sales teams all over the country to different states far away from home. If the sales associate performs poorly, they may have to sleep on the floor of the hotel room, be denied the daily money the company promises them for expenses like food, be verbally or physically abused. If they continue to under perform well then they can be abandoned in any state or town, causing their family expense in getting them home or worse they never arrive home.

The commission and prizes are a scam too. The company usually takes advantage of their field teams by charging them the expense of the hotel room and maybe other things. The prize is only offered once a year and to sales agent who happen to live through the hell of working for this company for that year and sometimes they can be disqualified for something as minor as the lack of a sale for one day out of that year. Also, many of these door to door sales companies are constantly being investigated for breaking child labor laws.

So, these companies get a huge profit off the back of unsuspecting young people and the communities they scam. Not only that but they teach their field associates to lie. For instance Liberator Sales Inc., their door to door sales people don't give the companies full name if asked they only give the companies initials. They tell their field agents not to say they are making money that they are only trying to win a contest. The field agents are also told to lie about having a solicitors permit and to lie to the customer about why the magazine prices are so high.

Of course the crowning fraud of all this, if someone happens to buy magazines and give up some of their hard earned cash, the magazines never arrive. The receipt are usually generic with no company information on it. By the time the consumer figures it out the traveling sales team is gone from the area and the check has already cleared their bank or worse. Fraud has been committed on their bank account because the check contained their banks routing number and their account number.

These traveling companies change their names or start a new door to door magazine sells company all the time which makes it hard to track them because of the multiple offenses in soo many different states.

Some tips to avoid such door to door scams:

1. The best way to not get caught by this scam don't answer the door. If you aren't expecting anyone ask who it is through the closed door. If it's a door to door sales person tell them to leave.

2. Putting a No Solicitors sign is one way to go but it doesn't stop them. At least if they do knock on your door, you have every right to tell them in a not so nice tone if you choose to get off your property.

3. If you chose to answer the door, don't open it wide and don't invite them in. Even if they say can I use your phone to contact my sales manager or can I get a glass of water or can I use your bathroom, it's really hot out here and I sit inside where it's cool? Once inside this stranger can steal, hurt, or do worse to you.

4. If you do open the door and they won't leave or they try to stick their foot in the door, scream. Yell at them, yell "Fire!", or anything that will get attention.

5. If you live in an apartment complex with a security door remember don't buzz someone you don't know in. Door to Door sales people are known for buzzing everyone in the building to see if anyone will let them in without checking to see who it is.

6. If you see a neighbor being harassed by a door to door sales person call the cops.

7. If you happen to talk to a door to door sales person and don't feel comfortable, call the cops chances are they don't have a solicitors permit and are breaking the the law by just knocking on your door.

8. Don't buy anything! Don't give them a check or credit card information. A check has your bank account and your routing number on it, if you don't use gel ink on the check, the check can be washed in an acid wash making it a blank check with your signature on it, how scary is that!

9. Don't take the door to door sales person word that they have a permit or that the company they name is reputable.

10. If you do call the police try to give a good description like identifying marks, tattoos, scars, hair color, type of clothes the door to door scammer is wearing.

Want to find out more?
Related research links:

http://www.travelingsalescrews.info/door%20to%20door%20sales%20profiles.html
http://www.travelingsalescrews.info/index.html
http://edumacation.com/PacificCoastClearingServices
http://edumacation.com/MagazineSalesScams
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/17/AR2005081700684.html
http://loudounextra.washingtonpost.com/news/2009/jun/16/sheriffs- office-warns-against-door--door-sales-fra

List of key words:

Pacific Coast Clearing Services Inc aka Classic Sales aka Creator Sales aka Elite Sales aka Explorer Sales Inc aka Family Reading Program aka Imperial Sales aka Infinite Enterprises Inc aka Island Sales aka Jaguar Sales aka K T S Inc aka Liberator Sales Inc aka Magazine Rewards aka North American Clearing Corporation aka North American Subscription Services aka Northwest Clearing Corporation aka NCS aka Pacific Northwest Clearing Corporation aka Pacific NW Clearing Corp aka Pacific Sales aka Platinum Sales aka Prince Sales Inc aka Road Runner Sales aka Roadrunner Sales aka Signature Sales Inc aka South Pacific Sales aka Starfleet Subscription Services Inc aka Storm Enterprises aka Success Express Sales Inc aka Superior Sales aka Super Star Sales Inc aka Superstar Sales Inc aka Superstars Sales Inc aka Tnt Sales aka Tornado Sales aka Travel USA aka Universal Sales aka Unlimited Sales aka Untouchable Sales

AHP – Always Helping People Alliance Service Company AllStar Promotions American Cash Awards American Circulation American Circulation Enterprises, Inc. American Circulation Services American Community Services, Inc. American Global Services Aristocrat Sales ATM Sales Atlantic Circulation, Inc Atlantic Periodical Sales Inc Beyond Our Dreams Chapel Sales Circulation 1 Circulation I, Inc Circulation II Inc Circulation II LLC Circulation 2 Inc Classic Sales Coast to Coast Circulations, Inc Colvin Sales Condella Sales Divine World-Wide Ministries Double Douce Subscription Inc DP Sales Dynasty Sale Dynasty Technologies, Inc Editorials International, Inc Elite Circulation Inc Elite Sales Empire Sales, Inc Entrepreneurs Across America, Inc Explorer Sales Inc Extreme Marketing Face to Face Technologies, Inc Family Reading Program Farmers Publications Inc Fidelity Readers Service, Inc First Class Sales FLLRD FNT Force Foster Sales Free X Press Freedom Sales Inc Fresh Start Opportunities Fun Sales, Inc Furman Future Gemini Sales Gemini Subscriptions Global American Solutions Go For More Inc GoDoers Enterprise, Inc Gold Coast Circulation, Inc Gold Key Company Greater Image, Inc Great Lakes Circulation, Inc Heartline Foundation, Inc Hoosier Magazines Subscription Service Ice Publications Imperial Sales Infinite Enterprises Inc Infinity Sales Integrity Sales Intercontinental Subscription Service, Inc Intergity Program International Clearance Exchange Interstate Subscription Service IP Marketing Island Sales Jaguar Sales Jamison Sales K & S Enterprises K T S Inc Lamb Sales Inc Liberator Sales Inc Love Technologies, Inc Lrumar Publacations LLC

M.O.S.E.S. Inc. Magazine Fulfillment Corporation Magazine Fulfillment Services Magazine Rewards Magazines, Inc Mag Fun LLC Mags R Us Marketing Associated Group Inc.McLemore Sales Midwest Clearing Inc Momentum Sales Money Train Express Mountain Subscriptions MSI MTX My Travel Job National Circulation Services LLC Nation Wide Travelling National Community Clearing National Community Clearing, Inc National Magazine Exchange National Publishers Exchange NCS New Beginning Association, Inc New Direction New Edition New Generation New Generation Reader Service New Image Sales, Inc New River Subscription Service New Vision No Limit Sales North American Clearing Corporation North American Subscription Services Northwest Clearing Corporation NPE – National Publishers Exchange NRSS Offbeat Services Oh New Generations Old World Elegance Omega Sales Inc. Omni-Droppers Omni-Horizons Inc Otis Sales Overachievers Overachievers Enterprises

P.C.C. - Publishers Consulting Corporation Pacific Coast Clearing Service Pacific Coast Clearing Services Inc Pacific Northwest Clearing Corporation Pacific NW Clearing Corp Pacific Sales Palmetto Marketing Paragon Dynasty Paragon Management Paragon Marketing Group Paragon Sales Paramount Sales Payne Sales PCCS Performance Clearing Services, Inc Phoenix Imagery, Inc Pitts Sales Platinum Plus Platinum Sales PMA Sales PMA, Inc. Points Across America Powerhouse Sales Precision Sales Prestige Sales Prestige Sales, LLC Prince Sales Inc Proformance Clearing Services, Inc Prolific Marketing, LLC Pubco Printing Public Marketing Association Publishers Certified Service Publishers Consulting Corporation Publishers Entry Service Pure Platinum Raiders Rainbow Sales, Inc Red Hot Sales Regulator Sales RLA, INC. Roadrunner Sales Robinson Sales Rollout Promotions, Inc Ron Szitas Sales Roussaw Enterprise SB Magazines Inc Schaefer Sales Schaefer Sales Scoropions Second To None Inc Seedtime Publications Senner Sales Services Unlimited Plus Shirley's Globetrotters Shumate Sales Sierra Solutions Signature Sales Inc SKS Services South Pacific Sales Southcoast Circulation Inc Southern Marketing Group, LLC Southwestern Company Starfleet Subscription Services Inc Storm Enterprises Strictly Business Inc Stubbs Sales Subscriptions Plus, Inc Success Express Sales Inc Success Unlimited Associates Inc Summit Publishers Service Summit Sales Sun Circulation Sunshine Subscription Agency Superstars Sales T&B Sales Team USA Team Xtreme Teamsterz Sales The Experience Company The Real Deal Threedom Sales, Inc Ticoa Corp Titan Sales, Inc - 046 TKO Sales Tnt Sales Tomohawk Sales Tork & Associates, Inc Tornado Sales Torque Power Sales Total Dedication Inc Tower of Power Sales Travel USA Trinity Public Relations True Vision Inc. Tsunami Sales

Ultimate Empire Sales, Inc Ultimate Power Sales, Inc Ultra Kleen Unified Unified Family Circulation Unified Gold Key Inc Unified Producers Unified Stars Union Circulation Co United Entrepreneurs United Family Circulation United Reader Services United Subscription Agency United Subscription Service Corp United Subscriptions Bureau, Inc Unity Management Universal Sales Universal Subscription Agency Unlimited Sales Unlimited Sales Inc Untouchable Sales Urban Development Solutions, Inc Urban Nation Vadar Sales White Sales Wilson Sales Wood Sales Inc World Media Inc World Media International, Inc World Wide Circulation World Wide Readers Service World Wide Reader's Service World Wide Reader's Services WorldWide Circulation Worldwise Subscriptions Corp WOW Industries Xtreme Marketing, Inc Y & S Magazine Y.E.S. Yingst Sales Yoli and Associates, Inc Youth Employment Service Youth Incentive Marketing, Inc Youth Incentive Promotions Youth Incentive Promotions of America Youth of America Program Inc

Posted by Barrudaki-Thunderchick at 7/03/2009
Labels: door to door fraud, door to door sales, door to door sales scams, Imperial Sales, liberator sales inc., LSI, Pacific Coast Clearing Services Inc
Posted by Barrudaki-Thunderchick
Is it a scam?
listofscams.blogspot.com
Read This Story



Just say no to door-to-door magazine sales
Magazine Sales Companys:
Prestige Sales
Fresh Start Opportunities
July 1, 2009
Just say no to door-to-door magazine sales
Better Business Bureau inundated with complaints about shady operations
By Herb Weisbaum
msnbc.com contributor
MSNBC
updated 1:14 p.m. CT, Wed., July 1, 2009
It starts with a knock on the door. The nice young man or woman standing there wants you to buy magazines. You’ve never seen them before, but they have a convincing story about why they’re going door-to-door. They may have ID and seem on the up-and-up.

Just say no.

That may sound harsh, but it’s the smart thing to do. The fact is you can’t tell if that person on your doorstep is for real or a con artist. There’s a very good chance you’re being set up for a scam.

“They seemed like nice people. It sounded like a reputable company,” says Stacey Harley of Olympia, Wash. She paid for $70 worth of children’s magazines and never got a thing.

This summer, like every summer, deceptive door-to-door magazine sales crews are out in full force across the country. They are mostly high school and college-age kids who are taught to use a number of phony pitches. They say they’re raising money for a local hospital, school or charity. They’re earning points toward a school trip. Some even claim to be supporting the troops in Iraq.

In the last 12 months, the Better Business Bureau has received 1,100 complaints against more than 50 companies that sell magazines this way. Many of the victims were so moved by the fictitious pitch they paid hundreds of dollars for subscriptions.

BBB spokesman Steve Cox says some complaints are about high-pressure and misleading sales tactics. Other victims say they never got the magazines they paid for.

Prestige Sales

Last year, a young man knocked on Dina Varao’s door in Sacramento. He wanted her to buy magazines or children’s books that would be donated to local schools and hospitals. He said this would help him earn a high school trip to Europe.

“He was good,” Varao remembers. “He made a lot of references to living in the neighborhood and going to a local high school. That’s how he roped me in.”

She paid $49 and got a receipt. After the young man left she noticed the receipt said Prestige Sales of Arizona. That seemed strange, so Varao talked to her neighbors and nobody knew the young salesman.


Scams come in many forms

Phony invoices: These solicitations are deliberately made to look like bills or renewal notices to trick you into buying. If you already subscribe to the magazine it’s easy to be fooled. Look carefully to see if the letter is from the publisher or some other company. If you’re not sure, call the magazine’s toll-free customer service line.

Telemarketing calls: Be extremely skeptical when someone offers you a free subscription if you pay a “small” one-time processing fee. Chances are that fee is more than the retail price of the magazine. From my experience, publishers don’t sell magazines this way. I’d say no and hang up.


Afraid she’d been scammed, she decided to cancel. There was no phone number on the receipt, just an e-mail and mailing address. After writing numerous times with no response, Varao threatened to go to the Better Business Bureau. That’s when she got a message that Prestige would destroy her check.

Varao was lucky. Her check was never cashed. Even so, she feels what they did was “really slimy.”

A Prestige crew hit Eileen Lyle’s neighborhood in Carlsbad, Calif. Same pitch; they were friends of someone in neighborhood.

“They would have a different story at each house,” Lyle tells me. “We’re this person’s cousin or that person’s brother or we’re staying with someone in the area.” When a neighbor challenged them, they took off running.

People from 12 states have filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau about Prestige Sales, LLC, which has a PO Box in Phoenix. The unhappy customers say they never received their orders or had to wait up to six months for them to arrive.

The BBB in Phoenix gives the company an “F” rating.

The bureau there says it’s requested basic information from the company but has not received any response.'

I e-mailed Prestige Sales, but they did not respond.

Dealing with a seasoned criminal?

In New Jersey, Lt. John Schwartz of the Kinnelon Borough Police Department knows all about door-to-door magazine scams. He’s been going after these con artists for years.

“Many of them have criminal records,” he says.

Two weeks ago, Kinnelon police arrested a salesman with Prestige Sales. He told potential customers his name was Jamie Peters. A fingerprint check shows “Peters” was really a 29-year-old whose last known address was in Texas. It turns out he was wanted for parole violations connected to a burglary there. His arrest warrant said he had violent tendencies.

He was part of a crew of about 40 staying at a local hotel. Every day they would be dropped off in different neighborhoods to see how many magazines they could sell.

“Don’t invite them into your house,” cautions Lt. Schwartz. “Some of them look pretty clean cut. But these are not Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. They are not selling cookies.”

Many of them are after your valuables. Lt. Schwartz tells me that when they arrest members of these magazine sales crews they often find stolen checkbooks in their pockets.

The emotional appeal

Crystal Downes of Snohomish, Wash., doesn’t normally buy things from door-to-door salespeople. But the woman who showed up at her house selling magazines had a compelling story.

“She was a very nice, friendly, chipper young lady,” Downes recalls. “She said she was a single mom, she showed me a picture of her son, and that she was working with Fresh Start Opportunities.”

The prices were high, but Downes figured she could spare the money to help this mother get back on her feet and take care of her son. She ordered a two-year subscription to Prevention magazine for $54.

The check was cashed but the magazine never came. Downes called the company many times but never got anything but voicemail.

The Better Business Bureau of Western Washington has received dozens of complaints about Fresh Start Opportunities, which lists a mail box in Seattle as its business address. Because of all the complaints, the BBB gives the company an “F” rating.

The BBB’s Niki Horace says the Fresh Start Opportunities uses kids “who really know how to tug at your heartstrings.”

I called and e-mailed Fresh Start Opportunities, but did not receive a response.

The bottom line

Unless it’s a kid you know who lives down the street, door-to-door sales are always risky. ID badges can be faked and receipts can list a bogus address or phone number. If there is a problem, it may be impossible to contact the company to get a refund.

The fact that someone shows up at your house without an appointment is a high-pressure sales tactic. If you have a hard time saying no to someone face-to-face, just don’t open the door. They’ll go away.

And consider this: If you give your money to a crook, not only do you lose, but so does the charity you think you’re helping.

Finally, never let an unexpected salesperson in to your house – not to use the bathroom, get a glass of water or make a phone call. It’s just not safe.

More info:
FTC: Magazine subscription scams
By Herb Weisbaum
msnbc.com contributor
msnbc.msn.com
MSNBC
Read This Story


Saratoga Springs, New York
Nationwide magazine subscription scam strikes locally
DMPG Info:
Magazine Sales Company:
Atlantic Circulation Company
Clearinghouse:
Atlantic Circulation Inc.
Web Site:
http://www.atlanticcirculation.com
A.K.A.:
Atlantic Periodical Sales Inc
Berlingeri Sales
Condella Sales
Double Douce Subscription Inc
Foster Sales
G T Sales
Jamison Sales
King Sales
Lamb Sales Inc
McLemore Sales
Platinum Plus
Red Hot Sales
Robinson Sales
Strictly Business Inc
Stubbs Sales
Success Unlimited Associates Inc
United Subscription Service Corp
White Sales
Yingst Sales
end dmpg info
July 1, 2009
Nationwide magazine subscription scam strikes locally
Published: Wednesday, July 1, 2009
By EMILY DONOHUE, The Saratogian
SARATOGA SPRINGS — A teenage sales crew, a car horn and pre-paid magazine subscriptions that never deliver — the Atlantic Circulation Company has a tried and true method of scamming money from the public and they tried it again Monday night in the Geyser Crest neighborhood. The sales pitches were likely part of a nationwide scam, according to the Better Business Bureau. Kerry and Mark Mincher live on Geyser Road near Geyser Crest. Mark answered the door Monday night to a teenage girl who said she was selling magazines as a school fundraiser. The girl told Mark that his friend “Kim” had recommended she go to his house. They have a friend name Kim, so initially Mark trusted her. He wrote her a $39 check for a subscription. “He just thought, ‘I’ll be generous; I’ll help someone out,’ ” Kerry said. They soon became suspicious, though, and Kerry Googled “Atlantic Circulation Company.” “As soon as I started looking at it online, I was like, ‘I got scammed,’ ” she said. Several Web sites tell consumers’ stories identical to the Minchers that resulted in no magazines and no refunds. While doing their internet search, the Minchers could still hear a car horn beeping throughout Geyser Crest. Kerry believes the driver beeped to round up the teenage salespeople. The van stopped in front of their house and Kerry heard its occupants cheering, “We got more!” Kerry ran toward them, trying to get the check back and cancel Mark’s order, but the salesgirl quickly jumped in and the van drove off. The couple now worry their names could be used to dupe their neighbors. “I hope they’re not dropping my name as a contact name,” Kerry said. Peggy Penders, public relations manager for the Upstate New York Better Business Bureau, was surprised to hear Atlantic salespeople had traveled as far north as Saratoga Springs. “Nationally, we’ve gotten many complaints,” she said, but the company and others of its ilk generally stick to southern states where the warm weather — and the door-to-door sales season — lasts longer. This year alone, she said, the BBB has received more than 1,000 complaints about similar door-to-door sales scams. The companies mainly use teens and young adults to present similar pitches — some even say they are raising money for the troops in Iraq — then they take a customer’s money, preferably cash, and the promised magazines never arrive. “Because of (the salespeople’s) age, the victims often believe these fictitious claims,” Penders said. Penders said the salespeople are often victims as well because they are rarely paid for the hours they work. Consumers who suspect they’ve been scammed should immediately request a refund, Penders said. These types of companies are subject to the Federal Trade Commission’s three-day “cooling-off rule” if the sale was for more than $25 and made in their home. Refunds are legally required within 10 days of receiving a cancellation note, she said. After reading about other consumers’ struggle to get refunds from Atlantic, Kerry decided to just stop payment on the check. April Hartman, an office manager, answered Atlantic’s York, Penn.-based customer service number. “We’re hired by independent sales contractors for a fee to process orders and provide customer service,” Hartman repeated as an answer to several questions. She said she had no “in-depth information” about who hired her or what the fee was. She also had no comment about reports by the BBB and others about fraudulent activity. Sheila Brooks, assistant city clerk, said that door-to-door magazine sales operations like Atlantic’s are exempt from obtaining a permit but encouraged to register with the city; Atlantic did not register. “We try to keep track of it as best we can, but sometimes it’s not possible,” she said. Kerry hopes her experience will make others aware of possible scams. “Thirty-nine dollars doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s $39 without receiving any kind of product,” she said. “If everyone just spent $39 with this, that’s a lot of money that they’re getting from us.”
By EMILY DONOHUE, The Saratogian
saratogian.com
Saratoga Springs, New York
Read This Story


St. Louis, Missouri
Magazine salesman
offers drugs to teen girl,
father hits magazine salesman
with metal pipe
DMPG Info:
Magazine Sales Company:
New Generation
A.K.A.:
New Generation #001
New Edition #003
Team USA #009
Momentum Sales #010
Summit Sales #015
Next Generation Sales #017
Prospector Sales #018
TKO Sales #019
Magazine Clearinghouse:
United Subscription Agency
Website: mytraveljob.com
http://www.mytraveljob.com
Click here for additional info
on United Subscriptions Agency

United Subscriptions Agency
is a member of the National Field Selling Association (NFSA)
http://www.nfsa.com/
end dmpg info
June 30, 2009
06.30.2009 6:29 pm
St. Charles police:
Magazine salesman offers drugs to teen girl,
father hits magazine salesman with metal pipe
By Shane Anthony
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Update 6:51 p.m. Wednesday: Court records show McCormack was on probation for a felony drug possession case involving a prescription painkiller.

St. Charles police say a magazine salesman offered a teenager drugs, prompting the girl’s father to hunt him down and beat him with a metal pipe.

Both men have been charged with felonies.

It started last Thursday, police said, when William J. Bishop, 21, knocked on the door of a home in the 200 block of Brookdale Drive. He was working for a traveling magazine sales company called “New Generation,” they said.

Bishop later told police he was homeless and gave them an address for his father in Honor, Mich.

Detective Derek Piasecki said a 15-year-old girl answered Bishop’s knock, and he offered her an anti-anxiety drug if she would let him perform a sexual favor. The girl told police Bishop also offered to buy her beer, and he touched her inappropriately. Then, he left.

The girl called her father, Daniel S. McCormack, 41, of St. Charles, police said, and he tracked down Bishop in the 100 block of Paula Drive. McCormack hit Bishop with a two-foot-long metal pipe.

McCormack admitted to using the pipe, although he told police he only hit Bishop in the leg. Police said Bishop had several head injuries, and McCormack bragged to them about Bishop “getting what he deserved.”

Police said they found prescription drugs on Bishop, who admitted he wasn’t supposed to have them. He has been charged with possession of a controlled substance.

McCormack has been charged with assault.
By Shane Anthony
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
stltoday.com
St. Louis, Missouri
Read This Story



Magazine Death Spiral
June 30, 2009
Magazine Death Spiral
Aric Mayer Studios
aricmayer.blogspot.com
Posted by Aric Mayer at 6/30/2009 12:06:00 PM
Yesterday a door to door salesman came to my house to try and get me to 'sponsor' him in a magazine selling contest. Should he be able to accrue 5,000 points by selling magazine subscriptions, he will receive a trip to Europe. Had I been to Europe? How was it? It sure must be nice. The pitch had nothing to do with the magazines and everything to do with helping this young gentleman achieve his dream of wooing the continental ladies (I'm paraphrasing here, but that was the exact gist of it.) The list of magazines to choose from showed about 120 middle-tier magazines, each marked with points rather than a price. Should I choose one title, it would get him 350 points closer to his dream. Another gets him only 200, and so on. The value in making the purchase had nothing to do with what the value of magazine might be to me and everything to do with helping this young man get out and see the world. In other words, the magazines had become mere props for a tax deductible donation. What really happens to the money and to the points is beyond my ability to know, but I do know exactly what the purpose of his visit was. It existed simply as an effort to bait me into subscriptions to bolster the rate base of a series of publications that can't get the boost they need any other way. To demonstrate just how fubar this exchange is, let's imagine the conversation went in a completely different way. "Hello sir, I'm a young entrepreneur and I am here to convince you to buy one or more of these fine publications, that will, on their own merits, enrich your life and be worth every penny that you spend." Yeah, hilarious. No, the purpose of this exchange was to eke out a bump in subscriptions by any means necessary so these magazines could continue to justify to their dwindling advertisers the value of advertising with them. But let's look more closely at that. Let's say for instance, that I had decided to take three subscriptions, one for me, one for my wife and one for a gift. Even though I am constantly bombarded with exposure to these titles, I haven't so far subscribed to them. I see them on magazine stands, in airport book stores, in doctors offices, but so far I have felt no need to spend the nearly nothing they are charging for the privilege of having them delivered to me. In other words, I don't really want them. But I buy them anyway. And thousands others like me buy them too. And the kid gets his trip to Europe. And in large part the magazines are a waste of effort and resources. They sit in my car unread. My wife barely opens hers. I send the gift to my mother, who already subscribes to her favorite titles. The net result here is an utter waste of time. The magazines get made but we're not reading them. At least not in any way that is significant. But, there was a small success here, right? The publications got that bump in subscriptions that kept them alive another season. Is that a success? I don't care for the publication. I don't read it loyally so I don't see the advertising. The advertisers don't get what they are paying for which is exposure to me. The edit keeps getting watered down to try and keep subscribers like me. And when it comes time to renew, I won't re-up and I won't ever subscribe to them again. In fact, under one of my car seats right now is a copy of the February 2008 issue of a magazine that I subscribed to on a lark. It was free and it still hasn't been read. But it keeps at least one of my two-year-old children happy as they slowly shred it or stick the pages together with milk and raisins. The real crime here is in the damage it does to entire industry. I love magazine publishing. It is an amazing thing to be a part of an incredible publication with devoted and loyal readers. Standing next to a massive web offset press as the paper flies through a process almost the length of a football field at a pace that can produce a million books in a 24 hour period has to be one of the marvels of the world. When it is your team that made the book, it is even more incredible. Working all night on an issue to get on a plane in the next few days and find a copy of it in a distant airport... beautiful. Color theory. Design. Market research. Audience loyalty. Good editing. Great photographs. The tactile quality of a well designed product in tune with its readers. All are amazing things. But dumping your subscriptions masked in a charity case does nothing useful for anyone in the industry. If the kid gets the European vacation, I hope it changes his life. At least some good might come out of it. What I really dream is that he might come back and try and sell me something from a list of 120 magazines that are worth buying outright, just because they are so important to have.
Posted by Aric Mayer at 6/30/2009 12:06:00 PM
Aric Mayer Studios
aricmayer.blogspot.com
Read This Story


AARP - Scam Alert!
Scam Alert: Door-to-Door Sales Scams Heating Up
June 29, 2009
Scam Alert: Door-to-Door Sales Scams Heating Up
By: Sid Kirchheimer | Source: AARP Bulletin Today | June 29, 2009
Summer’s here, and it’s the season for young scammers to start making their neighborhood rounds. In central Ohio, a charmer calling himself James Williams falsely claimed to be raising money for new uniforms for his high school football team. He collected not only cash at the houses he visited but also the names and phone numbers of his victims.

In West Virginia, a salesman sold coupon books offering discounts at area businesses to benefit a youth achievement program at an area college. At $5 each, they seemed to be a great deal. Unfortunately, the coupons—like his story—were bogus.

But the most common scheme is a summer classic: door-to-door deceivers selling subscriptions for magazines that never arrive.

Since May 2008, the Better Business Bureau has received some 1,100 complaints from consumers in 46 states and the District of Columbia about student-age scammers selling magazines door to door.

‘Prices of magazine subscriptions sold door to door, for instance, are often marked up about 300 percent.’

This season is expected to be a banner year for these young con artists, who often bilk their victims of hundreds of dollars.

“The sales reps might claim to be a neighborhood youth trying to raise money for charity, a school trip, or even for troops in Iraq,” explains BBB spokeswoman Alison Southwick. “The victim pays with a check on the spot, but the magazines never arrive.” Neither do any refunds requested from the 50 companies employing those sales crews.

What’s more, your signed check provides the dupers with your bank account and routing number. Or, if you don’t use fraud-preventing gel ink pens, cellophane tape can be placed over the front and back of your signature and the check can be “washed” with acetone to remove everything else you’ve written—leaving a blank, signed check that can be used to steal more of your money.

Practice these defensive strategies:

• Don’t buy. Whenever strangers come knocking, don’t buy their stories or their products. Prices of magazine subscriptions sold door to door, for instance, are often marked up about 300 percent. If you really want a magazine, ask the salesman for an order form and investigate the company at the Better Business Bureau’s website.

Although rip-off vendors often change their names, some to avoid include Trinity Public Relations and Seedtime Publications in South Carolina, Prestige Sales in Arizona, Omni Horizons in Indiana, True Visions in Virginia, Greater Image Inc. in Memphis, Tenn., and Seattle-based Fresh Start Opportunities. All have generated dozens to hundreds of complaints and have an “F” rating with the BBB.

• Cancel quickly. If you make a purchase at your door or elsewhere and want to cancel it, act quickly: The Federal Trade Commission dictates a three-day cancellation allowance for a full refund on purchases over $25. (Legitimate salesmen must reveal this rule during their pitch; if they don’t, assume it’s a scam.) If you have a receipt, the company must provide a refund within 10 days of receiving your mailed cancellation notice. Report violators to the FTC, the BBB and your state attorney general.

• Close the door. Never allow a hot and sweaty “sales rep” into your home. “While the resident is in the kitchen getting them a glass of water, often the solicitor is stealing their medication, checkbooks and wallets,” says Phil Ellenbecker, who runs a website that tracks door-to-door scams and other crimes. So far this decade, at least 300 felonies—including rape and murder—have been committed by traveling sales crews against residents and fellow crew members.

--------------------------------

Sid Kirchheimer is the author of Scam-Proof Your Life (AARP Books/Sterling).
By: Sid Kirchheimer | Source: AARP Bulletin Today
http://bulletin.aarp.org
Read This Story


Lewiston, Main
Suspect in Auburn attack worked for magazine company, police say
Magazine Sales Company:
Tower of Power
Clearinghouse:
Pacific Coast Clearing Services
June 27, 2009
Suspect in Auburn attack worked for magazine company, police say
By staff report
Sun Journal
Jun 27, 2009 12:00 am
LEWISTON - A Missouri man accused of a home invasion in Auburn earlier this week may be linked to a group of people selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door, police said Friday.

Police are investigating a group of people who have been peddling magazine subscriptions for a company known as Tower of Power. Investigators belive that 20-year-old Mark E. Eliot, accused of assaulting and robbing a woman on Cook Street in Auburn, was working for the group.

Eliot, arrested early Wednesday morning, came to Maine from Missouri and was believed to be staying in a local motel while working for the company.

Police here and in other parts of the country have been investigating links between that company and violent crimes committed by people who work for them.

Earlier this month, federal agents in Portland arrested seven people on charges of selling magazine subscriptions without a license. One of those caught later proved to be wanted for the May kidnapping, burglary and robbery of an elderly couple in Ozark, Ala.

The seven arrested in Portland were linked to a company in Washington State. It was not immediately known if those seven were working for Tower of Power.

Police are, however, advising anyone who is approached by someone offering subscriptions to contact them. Anyone with related information is asked to contact Lewiston police Detective Brian O'Malley at 513-3138 ext. 3
By staff report
Sun Journal
http://www.sunjournal.com
Lewiston, Maine
Read This Story


North Tonawanda, New York
BLOTTER: Police reports published June 27
June 26, 2009
BLOTTER: Police reports published June 27
The Tonawanda News
City of Tonawanda
Published: June 26, 2009 10:00 pm
Town of Tonawanda

PEDDLING: Dwight S. Jakes was charged with peddling without a permit at 5:40 p.m. Thursday. Jakes allegedly went door to door selling magazines without the proper permit. Jakes in being held in lieu of $100 bail.

PEDDLING: Willy L. Bounds was charged with peddling without a permit at 7:19 p.m. Thursday. Bounds allegedly went door to door selling magazines without the proper permit. Jakes in being held in lieu of $100 bail.
By Josh Bickford
EastBayRI.com
eastbayri.com
East Bay Newspapers
Bristol, Rhode Island
Read This Story


Clinton, Iowa
Trial dates set in two civil cases
June 26, 2009
Trial dates set in two civil cases
By Charlene Bielema
Herald Editor
Clinton Herald
Published: June 26, 2009 09:47 am
CLINTON — Trial dates have been set for two civil lawsuits filed in Clinton County District Court.

The parents of DeWitt teen Marshall Roberts, who was killed in a van accident 10 years ago, are suing an insurance company as they seek damages in connection with their son's death. The trial is set to begin 9 a.m. Feb. 8, 2010, with a settlement conference slated for 10:30 a.m. Jan. 8, 2010.

In the lawsuit filed in February, Albert and Deanna Roberts, who are administrators of their late son’s estate, are suing Iowa Mutual Insurance Company and are seeking a jury trial.

Marshall was a passenger in a vehicle that was being driven by Jeremy Holmes, of Clinton, near Janesville, Wis., on March 25, 1999. Holmes was attempting to switch places with another passenger when they lost control of the vehicle and the vehicle barrel rolled several times, killing seven people and injuring five. They were working for a company selling magazine subscriptions.

At the time of the accident, Albert and Deanna Roberts were insured by Iowa Mutual Insurance Co. for bodily injuries caused by the fault of an owner or operator of an underinsured motor vehicle. In the lawsuit, they state that Jeremy Holmes was the owner or operator of an underinsured motor vehicle and that as a direct result of Holmes’s negligence, careless and reckless conduct, Marshall Roberts incurred expenses and experience pain and suffering mental anguish and loss of future earning capacity. The couple state that as the parents, they also incurred expenses on behalf of their child and they have a claim for loss of society and companionship and for the loss of value to his estate.

They state that Holmes is legally liable for the teen's bodily injuries and the couple’s damages. While the Robertses had settled with Holmes for the policy limits of his insurance policy, they say their damages exceed the amount of the recovery from Holmes.

The couple state they are entitled to recover from Iowa Mutual Insurance Co. the amount by which their damages exceeded the policy limits of Holmes up to their policy limits of $100,000.

Also set is a trial dated concerning a lawsuit filed by the husband and children of a Clinton woman who are suing three local medical facilities and three doctors, claiming they all played a role in her premature death.

Robert Mowery Jr., as administrator to the estate of Connie Mowery, and Connie Mowery’s children, Trina Holman, Dewayne Patterson and Starlena Patterson, are suing Drs. Jeffrey Hallman, Joseph Monahan III and Oduah Daniel Osaro, Medical Associates, Mercy Medical Center-Clinton and Clinton Urgent Care.

The lawsuit was filed in February. That trial is set to start at 9 a.m. June 7, 2010. A settlement conference is scheduled for 1L:30 p.m. May 6, 2010.

According to court documents, Connie Mowery died March 21, 2007, six days after Hallman, a radiologist, interpreted imaging files of her left knee. At that time, Mowery had gone to Mercy’s emergency room with significant left knee pain and a history of arthritis. She told the medical staff that she had been sick for the past couple of days with body aches, chills and vomiting. Court documents state that even though her blood work came back with a very high white blood count, she was not admitted to the hospital but released to go home with instructions to see her family physician.

On Friday, March 16, 2007, she went to see Osaro, her family physician. The lawsuit claims that she was turned away by Osaro’s office because of an alleged unpaid medical bill.

She went to Medical Associates on March 19, 2007. While there, Mowery had a neurological event and was rushed to Mercy Medical Center then transferred to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for further treatment. She remained there until her death.
By Charlene Bielema
Herald Editor
Clinton Herald
clintonherald.com
Clinton, Iowa
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Auburn, Main
Arrest made in home invasion
June 25, 2009
Arrest made in home invasion
By Mark LaFlamme, Staff Writer
Sun Journal
Jun 25, 2009 12:00 am

Mark E. Eliot, charged with robbery, aggravated assault in alleged attack on 85-year-old woman in Auburn. - Auburn police


AUBURN — An 85-year-old woman robbed in her home late Tuesday night was recovering from her injuries on Wednesday. Police arrested a 20-year-old drifter from Missouri and charged him in the crime.

Mark E. Eliot was in the Androscoggin County Jail on Wednesday charged with robbery and aggravated assault. Police said Eliot beat the elderly woman with a metal pipe inside her Cook Street apartment before he fled with a small amount of cash.

The victim spent the night in the hospital with injuries suffered in the attack.

As police with tracking dogs searched for the suspect early Wednesday morning, Androscoggin County Sheriff's Deputy Moe Drouin spotted Eliot walking along Canal Street in Lewiston.

Police said the physical description and other evidence linked Eliot to the attack. He was being held Wednesday on $10,000 cash bail.

It was unknown on Wednesday whether that home invasion was related to another reported in Lewiston over the weekend.

In that attack, a woman in her 70s was confronted by two young men who broke through a door to enter her home on Lincoln Circle. Police said the attackers shoved the woman to the floor before fleeing with her purse.

The assault and robbery was still being investigated by Lewiston police.
By Mark LaFlamme, Staff Writer
Sun Journal
http://www.sunjournal.com
Lewiston, Maine
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Barrington, Rhode Island
Peddlers beware in Barrington — permit needed
June 25, 2009
Peddlers beware in Barrington — permit needed
Two more out-of-towners arrested for selling magazines without a permit
By Josh Bickford
6/25/09 10:14AM
EastBayRI.com
BARRINGTON — The message seems pretty clear from the Barrington Police Department: If you’re going to try to sell magazines door-to-door in this town, you better get a permit. On Tuesday, June 16, police charged two men, Matthew Edward Shipman, 22, of Gig Harbor, Wash., and Christopher Neil Mercer, 25, of Circleville, Ohio, with hawking or peddling goods without a permit. The two men were on Annawamscutt Road. Local police have responded to a number of calls for people selling items door-to-door. Officers have charged five people — all from outside the state — and issued warnings to two others. According to Barrington Police Chief John LaCross, the problem is that the individuals or the companies that hired them failed to receive the proper permit from the town hall. He said the permit costs $25 and provides local officials with the names of those going door-to-door and the neighborhoods they plan to visit.
By Josh Bickford
EastBayRI.com
eastbayri.com
East Bay Newspapers
Bristol, Rhode Island
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Lowell, Massachusetts
Police: Door-to-door salesmen can be subscription for trouble
DMPG Info:
Magazine Sales Company:
Paragon Sales
Owner: Andre M. Walker
Clearinghouse:
Midwest Sales
Owner: Andre M. Walker
Website:
http://www.midwestclearing.com
Midwest Clearing, Inc.
3649 W 183rd St.
Suite 101
Hazel Crest, IL 60429
phone (708) 206-2001
fax (708) 206-2005
end dmpg info
June 24, 2009
Police: Door-to-door salesmen can be subscription for trouble
By Robert Mills, rmills@lowellsun.com
Updated: 06/24/2009 06:38:05 AM EDT
The Sun
lowellsun.com
LOWELL -- They are just door-to-door salesmen, asking people to buy magazine subscriptions. But in the past two years, one was arrested for allegedly assaulting two Lowell police officers, and another charged with vandalizing 15 vehicles downtown.

In 2004, one was accused of raping and urinating on a 34-year-old Plymouth woman after walking into her home.

Last year, in Cook County, Ill., one was charged with home invasion and aggravated sexual assault for attacking an 86-year-old woman.

Scary stories emerge when you research door-to-door magazine salesmen. This week Lowell police sent out an internal memo warning officers that salesmen are once again canvassing the city.

Attempting to sell door-to-door without a permit violates state law and city ordinances, according to Lowell Police Capt. Randall Humphrey, and that makes for easy instructions for anyone who finds themselves face-to-face with such a salesman.

Ask to see a permit, he advises. If one isn't produced, call police.

"We stress to call the police," Humphrey said.

Laws on door-to-door solicitation varies by community. In Lowell, doing it without a permit is an arrestable offense.

Chelmsford Police Chief James Murphy offers Chelmsford residents the same advice as Humphrey.

"We'll certainly be on the watch for this group," Murphy said in an e-mail.

Furthermore, Humphrey suggested that if you get a knock on the door from someone you don't know, there is no need to answer.

Lowell City Clerk Richard Johnson said no one has attempted to obtain a permit for door-to-door magazine sales recently. Part of the process to obtain such a permit includes a criminal background check by Lowell police.

Police in Burlington say several such salesmen identified in their town had lengthy criminal records.

Earlier this month, Pelham police found a salesman with a felony arrest warrant out of Georgia. Authorities there wouldn't extradite him, so Pelham police had to let him go, according to Chief Joseph Roark.

Roark said officers in his town identified the salesmen and kept track of their routes before they eventually moved on.

Already this year in Lowell, Shawn Woodard, 26, of Chicago, was charged with causing a false fire alarm at 200 Market St., and with vandalizing 15 cars in the parking lot there, Humphrey said. He told police he works for Paragon Sales of Chicago.

Woodard was arrested Friday and charged with malicious destruction of property, disorderly conduct, causing a false fire alarm, and giving a false name to police.

Humphrey said other vehicles were vandalized in the area under similar circumstances, though Woodard was not charged.

Last year, Keylon Andrews, 22, of Indianapolis, was arrested on Rae Street in Belvidere, after neighbors called police.

Police said Andrews told officers he didn't need a permit. When they corrected him, Andrews allegedly punched two officers in the head.

According to an arrest report, Andrews worked for Paragon Sales, 3649 183rd St., Hazel Crest, Ill.

That address actually belongs to Midwest Clearing, another magazine company, which according to the Illinois Secretary of State's Office is run by Andre M. Walker, the same man who runs Paragon. Online records indicate that Paragon and Midwest are "not in good standing" with state officials in Illinois, though a spokesman said such a listing is usually caused by paperwork issues.

Midwest Clearing is accredited by the Better Business Bureau. A profile of the company says it is not rated, and that there have been 38 complaints filed against the company in the last 36 months, most dealing with refund and billing issues, and sales practices.

A telephone number for Paragon Sales could not be located. A man who answered the telephone at Midwest referred a reporter to another telephone number yesterday, but no one returned a message left at that number.

A Sept. 2, 2008 press release from the sheriff's office in Cook County, Ill., says a magazine salesman working for Midwest Clearing was charged with home invasion and aggravated sexual assault after he broke into the home of an 86-year-old woman.

The Patriot Ledger of Quincy wrote a series of stories in 2004 detailing the lengthy criminal record of a man who raped and urinated on a 34-year-old mentally retarded woman in Plymouth, after he went to her house selling magazines.

That man, Benjamin E. Turner, 43, of Chicago, worked for Paragon Management Inc., a company the Patriot Ledger reported sold magazines for Midwest Clearing. Following the sexual assault, Turner sold the woman $150 worth of magazine subscriptions, the paper reported.

A spokesman for Attorney General Martha Coakley said there is no record of complaints against either Paragon Sales or Paragon Management filed with the office in the past year.
By Robert Mills, rmills@lowellsun.com
The Sun
lowellsun.com
Lowell, Massachusetts
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Ames, Iowa
Man arrested in magazine-sales sexual assault
DMPG Info:
Magazine Sales Company:
Points Across America
A.K.A.: Entrepreneurs Across America, Inc.
Owner: GEORGE FREDERICK SENNER IV
end dmpg info
June 24, 2009
Man arrested in magazine-sales sexual assault
By Luke Jennett
Staff Writer
The Tribune
Published: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 10:47 AM CDT
A California man was arrested in Ames this weekend after allegedly cornering a woman in her apartment and writing his name on her chest.

Brandon Arthur McCarron, 22, of Santa Monica, is charged with assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, an aggravated misdemeanor, and a transient merchant violation.

Police say that on June 20, 2009, they responded to a caller in an apartment at 1209 North Dakota Ave. When they arrived, the victim told police that a man selling magazines had come into her apartment and cornered her before writing his name on her chest without her permission.

The victim told police she’d felt threatened and scared from the act.

The suspect also said he wanted to sign his name elsewhere on her body, the victim said, told her twice that he wanted to have sex with her and claimed he’d “make it worth her while.” The victim asked the man, whom she later identified as McCarron, to leave her apartment and said she didn’t want to have sex with him. McCarron, according to court documents, is employed by Points Across America, which the complaint notes isn’t licensed to sell in Iowa or in Ames. The company has been criticized on the Internet as being a scam.

Cmdr. Mike Brennan of the Ames Police Department said he couldn’t speak to the validity of the company itself, but said that anyone selling magazine subscriptions or other goods without first registering with the city is committing a municipal infraction.

Unregistered peddlers are a repeat problem every summer, Brennan said, and this year has been no exception; the Ames Police Department has been inundated with calls about suspicious magazine sellers and the like.

“We encourage people, if somebody comes to the door, to not just let them in,” Brennan said. “If someone does legitimately register with the city, they should have an ID badge with them with a photo and the city’s logo on it, but very few of these merchants go in and get them. So if you’ve got someone at your door and they don’t have one of those, it’s probably best not to do business with them.”

In past years, he said, police have gotten an idea of how many of these groups operate; they are generally given a ride into town in a van or large vehicle, dropped off at a central location, and told their ride home will be back later in the day. Then they split up and start hitting the neighborhoods.

A lot of the time, Brennan said, the companies use teenage or college-age kids who say they’re earning points for a prize.

Brennan stressed caution to anyone receiving an unknown solicitor at their doors.

“Be careful who you let into your house,” he said. “For me, unless they’ve got a pizza in their hands, they’re not coming through the door.”

Luke Jennett can be reached at (515) 663-6919 or ljennett@amestrib.com.
By Luke Jennett
Staff Writer
The Tribune
amestrib.com
Ames, Iowa
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Portland, Oregon
Police nab salesman wanted in Ala. home invasion
June 24, 2009
Police nab salesman wanted in Ala. home invasion
06/24/2009
Associated Press
NewsChannel 8 Portland
KGW-TV
kgw.com
A door-to-door magazine salesman sought in connection with the robbery of an elderly couple in Ozark, Ala., has been arrested in Saco by the Southern Maine Violent Crimes Task Force. Nineteen-year-old Benjamin Carroll of Dothan, Ala., who was arrested Wednesday, was wanted on charges of burglary, kidnapping and robbery in the May 20 home invasion. Carroll was one of seven salesmen arrested Tuesday in Portland for failing to obtain a license for transient sales of consumer merchandise. The Portland Press Herald said the seven, all employed by a company in Washington state, were released on bail before the warrant for Carroll was entered into the National Crime Information Center database. Police had responded to complaints that the salesmen were very aggressive in trying to sell magazines and were acting suspiciously.
___
Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com
Associated Press
NewsChannel 8 Portland
KGW-TV
kgw.com
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Madison, Wisconsin
'Gyrating' magazine salesman, co-workers cited for selling without a permit
Magazine Sales Company:
Face to Face Technologies
A.K.A.: Great Lakes Circulation
June 24, 2009
'Gyrating' magazine salesman, co-workers cited for selling without a permit
The Capital Times — 6/24/2009 7:58 am
madison.com
Three men were cited for selling magazines without a permit and trespassing after allegedly disturbing residents of a local apartment complex Monday afternoon. On Monday afternoon, police responded to a call from an apartment building on 600 block of Mendota Court reporting that several men were attempting to sell magazine subscriptions without a permit. According to police reports, the solicitors told officers they are employed by Face to Face Technologies, a Colorado-based company. The men said they are staying in a hotel in Rockford, Ill, and were supposed to meet at the McDonald's on Regent Street later that evening in order to get a ride back. Johnathan A. Hull, 23, of Lancaster, Ohio; Layne A. Watson, 20, of Tempe, Ariz.; and Edward G. Dorsett, 26, of Pittsburgh, Pa. were all cited for soliciting without a permit and unlawful trespassing. Hull was also cited with disorderly conduct for putting his hands on top of his head, gyrating his hips, and yelling "Woo," actions which disturbed a 26-year-old resident of the apartment complex. According to reports, Hull told police he was just "trying to get positive."
The Capital Times — 6/24/2009 7:58 am
The Capital Times
madison.com
Madison, Wisconsin
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Central, Northern and Western Arizona
BBB Reliability Report for
Integrity Sales LLC
Magazine Sales Company:
Integrity Sales LLC
June 24, 2009
BBB Reliability Report for
Integrity Sales LLC
BBB Reliability Report for
Integrity Sales LLC

Rating: F

BBB issues Reliability Reports on all businesses, whether or not they are BBB accredited. If a business is a BBB Accredited Business, it is stated in this report.

BBB Accreditation

This business is not a BBB Accredited Business.

BBB Rating
Based on BBB files, this business has a BBB Rating of F

Reasons for this F rating include:

79 complaints filed against business
Failure to respond to 13 complaints filed against business
Length of time business has taken to resolve complaint(s)
BBB does not have sufficient background information on this business
Complaints are concerning selling practices.
Specifically, customers allege oral misrepresentations were made during the company's sales presentations.
Complaints also concern customer service issues and difficulty obtaining refunds.

Business Contact & Profile

Business Name: Integrity Sales LLC
Business Address: P.O. Box 10025
Glendale, AZ 85318
See the location on a Mapquest Map
See the location on a Google Map
Principal: Chuck Richardson, Customer Relations
Phone Number: (877) 249-9075
(888) 293-5840
Fax Number: (602) 375-2440
BBB Accreditation: This business is not a BBB Accredited Business
Type of Business: MAGAZINE SALES
Website Address: http://www.integritysale.com

Business Management
Mr. Robert K. Spruiell , Member
Ms. Jodi Sterling
Mr. Chuck Richardson , Customer Relations
Ms. Karleen H. Spruiell , Member
Mr. Robert Spruiell is the owner of several other companies in BBB files. The Bureau has a separate report for each company. The companies are Magazine Fulfillment Services, SKS Services, Services Unlimited Plus, Credit Recoveries, NRA Construction, Old World Elegance, Mags R US LLC, Mag Fun LLC, RNGNG Home Builders, National Circulation Services LLC, Circulation II LLC, American Circulation Services and Prestige Sales, LLC.

Customer Complaint History

When considering complaint information, please take into account the business's size and volume of transactions, and understand that the nature of complaints and a firm's responses to them are often more important than the number of complaints.

BBB processed a total of 79 complaint(s) about this business in the last 36 months, our standard reporting period. Of the total 79 complaint(s) closed in the last 36 months, 7 were closed in the last 12 months.

These complaints concerned:

2 regarding Advertising Issues
1 regarding Advertisement misrepresented a product
1 regarding Advertising Issues

1 regarding Billing or Collection Issues
1 regarding Billing or Collection Issues
4 regarding Contract Disputes
2 regarding Contract Disputes
2 regarding Failure to honor a contract or agreement

33 regarding Delivery Issues
13 regarding Delivery Issues
20 regarding Non-delivery of products

1 regarding Product Issues
1 regarding Product Issues

7 regarding Refund Or Exchange Issues
2 regarding Failure to honor promised refunds, exchanges, or credit
5 regarding Refund Or Exchange Issues

30 regarding Selling Practices
1 regarding None of the Above - Indicate Sales Complaint Issue
3 regarding Sales presentation misrepresented the product
1 regarding Sales presentation misrepresented the service
8 regarding Sales presentation used dishonest sales practices
17 regarding Selling Practices

1 regarding Service Issues
1 regarding Improper or inferior service

These complaints were closed as:

13 No Response
12 Company failed to respond to the BBB or to the consumer to resolve the issues.
1 No Response

66 Resolved
21 Resolved
4 Assumed Resolved
1 BBB determined that despite the company's effort to address complaint issues, the consumer remained dissatisfied.
3 BBB determined the company made a reasonable offer to resolve the issues, but the consumer did not accept the offer.
10 Company resolved the complaint issues. The consumer acknowledged acceptance to the BBB.
25 Company resolved the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to the BBB.
1 Delayed Response
1 Resolved

Government Action(s)

BBB has no information regarding government actions at this time.

Advertising Review
BBB has no information regarding advertising review at this time.

BBB Copyright and Reporting Policy
As a matter of policy, BBB does not endorse any product, service or business.

BBB Reliability Reports are provided solely to assist you in exercising your own best judgment.
Information in this BBB Reliability Report is believed reliable, but not guaranteed as to accuracy.

BBB Reliability Reports generally cover a three-year reporting period.
BBB Reliability Reports are subject to change at any time.

If you choose to do business with this business, please let the business know that you contacted the BBB for a BBB Reliability Report.

Report as of: 6/24/2009 Copyright © 2009 Better Business Bureau®, Inc. serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona
BBB
our.bbb.org
Central, Northern and Western Arizona
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Billings, Montana
Suspect on probation faces more charges
June 23, 2009
Suspect on probation faces more charges
By BECKY SHAY
Of The Gazette Staff
Billings Gazette
billingsgazette.net
Published on Tuesday, June 23, 2009.
Last modified on 6/23/2009 at 6:33 pm
A Billings man on probation for his role in a home invasion robbery in 2003 is back in jail. Tyson James Heisler, 24, was arrested Saturday after running from police who were trying to talk to him about a theft investigation. When police approached Heisler at a bar on Laurel Road, he told them his name was Joshua James Hefner, gave a birth date eight year later than his own and a Social Security number with an additional digit, prosecutors said. The officers went to a car with him to get his identification, but Heisler walked around the car trying to get away from them, according to court documents. Realizing the Social Security number was fake, officers went to arrest Heisler, who "launched himself into the casino" and threw bar stools to slow the pursuing police, documents state. Heisler ran out the back door and kept running while throwing off his hat and shoes. Heisler collapsed on King Avenue East and was arrested. He continued to refuse to give his name. During a standard search at the jail, officers found a small plastic baggie of suspected methamphetamine under his right foot, prosecutors said. On Monday, Heisler was charged with felony possession of dangerous drugs and misdemeanor counts of obstructing a peace officer and resisting arrest. He is being held on $25,000 bond and is expected to enter a plea in District Court on Thursday. Details about the other theft investigation were not available Monday, but prosecutors said it is continuing. Heisler was sentenced in 2003 to eight years in prison for his role in the robbery of a man in his home on Mount Rushmore Avenue. Prosecutors said Heisler and two others posed as magazine salesmen and forced their way into the house, then used a gun to rob the owner. He pleaded guilty to felony robbery by accountability and was sentenced to 10 years in prison with two years suspected. He was given a suspended sentence for felony burglary. Judge G. Todd Baugh recommended Heisler to the state book camp program. Inmates who successfully complete the program have the remainder of their prison sentences suspended. Heisler is a registered violent offender.
By BECKY SHAY
Of The Gazette Staff
Billings Gazette
billingsgazette.net
Billings, Montana
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Allentown, Pennsylvania
'Magazine salesmen' help themselves, not the troops
June 22, 2009
'Magazine salesmen' help themselves, not the troops
By Tim Darragh | Of The Morning Call
June 22, 2009
The scam: Colonial Regional police issued a warning recently about magazine scammers in Hanover Township, Northampton County, neighborhoods.

Police said they received ''numerous reports'' of two men going door-to-door claiming to be selling magazines to fund a college trip. The magazines, they also say, are to be sent to U.S. troops stationed overseas.

How it works: It's hard not to be moved to do something to help the soldiers overseas. That, of course, is why thieves use the ploy. According to a police report, the two men claim to be from the neighborhood, but are not. They do not have a license to sell door-to-door.

In one case, police said, a resident found items missing from his home after the ''salesmen'' visited. It's one of the oldest rip-offs in the book: One scammer distracts a homeowner with their wares, while the other takes whatever he can get his hands on.

What to do: Colonial Regional police urge residents not to let the salesmen into their homes. Instead, contact police immediately if you see them.

Call 610-330-2200 or 610-317-0808. If anyone has given the men money, they should call police and plan to file a report.

If you really want to help the troops, go to the Operation Shoebox Web site or do a search on ''send soldiers a care package.'' Check out the organizations before you send money -- and then choose from the many options.

We've Got Your Back is a column warning the public about frauds and other illegal activities against consumers.
If you want to report a scam, contact gotyourback@mcall.com or call 610-820-6590.
By Tim Darragh | Of The Morning Call
mcall.com
Allentown, Pennsylvania
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Castle Rock, Colorado
Are salesmen knocking on your door?
June 19, 2009
Are salesmen knocking on your door?
Contributed by: Town of Castle Rock on 6/19/2009
YourHub.com > Castle Rock
denver.yourhub.com
The season for door-to-door sales is here, but residents can opt out

In addition to temperatures, the number of individuals requesting a solicitor's license also increases this time of year. In the last two weeks, more than 40 licenses have been issued.

That also means that the Town is receiving an increasing number of complaints from residents about solicitors knocking on their doors despite their addresses being listed on the No Knock list.

If a solicitor knocks at your door without a Town solicitor's license, outside the allowed hours or in conflict with your No Knock status, immediately call the Town's Police Dispatch Center, 303-663-6100. Dispatch will send an officer to investigate. It is important to call immediately following the offense, as it is difficult to investigate once the alleged offender has left the area.

Town Council last year approved this solicitation ordinance, allowing for the creation of a No Knock list and requiring solicitors to obtain a license.

Solicitors are prohibited under Town code from knocking at addresses on the list or on doors where "No Solicitation" notices are posted. Regardless of an address' status, solicitation only is allowed in Castle Rock between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Please note that the ordinance does not prohibit solicitors from hanging fliers on residents' doors - just knocking on them. About 1,400 Town addresses currently are on the No Knock list.

Solicitors also must be licensed. The license, known as a Certificate of Registration, is $35 and is obtained through the Town Clerk's Office. Solicitors must obtain the license each year.

Registered solicitors must present a license upon a resident's request. The certificate includes the licensee's name, photograph, company name, expiration date and the Town seal.

Nonprofit groups such as school and scout groups are not required to obtain a license, nor are canvassers. However, anyone going door-to-door for any purpose must comply with the restrictions on hours and abide by the No Knock list. Copies of the list are available through the Town Clerk's Office. The list also is posted on the Town's Web site and updated weekly.

Residents must renew their No Knock status at the beginning of each calendar year.

You can confirm whether your address is on the No Knock list from the Town's Web site, CRgov.com. Click on No Knock List in the left-side menu. Once on the No Knock page, download the No Knock pdf. to verify whether your address is there. If your address isn't listed, you can be added to the list by contacting Town Clerk Sally Misare, 303-660-1367 or smisare@CRgov.com.

You'll need to give your name, address, phone number and e-mail address. Names and contact information are for record-keeping purposes and will not be released.

Solicitors needing information on the licensing process should contact Deputy Town Clerk Janet Turbett, 303-660-1370 or jturbett@CRgov.com.

Angela Copeland is community relations manager for the Town of Castle Rock.
Contributed by: Town of Castle Rock
YourHub.com > Castle Rock
denver.yourhub.com
Castle Rock, Colorado
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Watch for unscrupulous door-to-door magazine sales
June 18, 2009
Watch for unscrupulous door-to-door magazine sales
Anthony Giorgianni
Consumer Reports
blogs.consumerreports.org
June 18, 2009
A young person comes to your door peddling magazine subscriptions. Maybe you’re told the proceeds will be used for a school trip, a charity, or to help troops in Iraq. Who wouldn’t be eager to help?

Hopefully you.

The Better Business Bureau says it has received more than 1,000 complaints from nearly every state about crews of young people who go door-to-door selling magazines, especially during the summer. Most of the complaints allege that the sales reps took a check as payment but the magazines never arrived. But some people also alleged being subjected to high-pressure and misleading sales tactics.”

These young door-to-door people often are employed by companies that force them to live in substandard conditions and work long hours. Wages often are withheld, the BBB said.

No matter who is trying to sell you magazine subscriptions, warns the Federal Trade Commission, be especially careful of door-to-door magazine salespeople who:

•Encourage you to buy based on a weekly price instead of the total cost

•Tell you that magazines are “free” or “prepaid” and that you’ll be charged only a processing fee

•Don’t identify themselves or their companies, leading you to believe that they’re representing the magazine publishers.

OTHER SAFEGUARDS:

Check the company. Before buying, research the company with the Better Business Bureau. Among the door-to-door magazine companies that have received the BBB’s lowest, “F” rating are: Fresh Start Opportunities of Seattle, Washington; Greater Image Inc. of Holly Springs, Miss; Omni-Horizons Inc. of Michigan City, Indiana; and Prestige Sales of Phoenix, Ariz.

Ask questions. How long will the subscription last? How will you be billed? How many magazines will you receive? What are your cancellation rights?

Read the contract. Ask for a contract before you sign up, and read it carefully.

Use a credit card. It’s easier contesting a credit card payment than one made with cash, a check or debit card. Remember that the Federal Trade Commission’s Cooling-Off Rule gives you three days to cancel purchases of more than $25 made in your home or a location other than the seller’s normal place of business. Sellers must notify you that you have that right.

Complain. If you’re victimized, complain to the BBB, local law enforcement, and your state attorney general or consumer protection office.

–Anthony Giorgianni
Anthony Giorgianni
Consumer Reports
blogs.consumerreports.org
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Brazill, Indiana
New scam is knocking at your door
Magazine Sales Company:
Lrumar Publications LLC
June 17, 2009
Follow up on possible local scam
Kate Greene
News 10 - WTHI
Updated: Thursday, 18 Jun 2009, 11:54 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 18 Jun 2009, 11:54 PM EDT
BRAZIL, Ind. (WTHI) - News 10 first brought you this story on Tuesday when Peter Choyman of Brazil, Indiana said Lrumar Publications out of Falcon, Colorado was selling magazines door-to-door in Brazil last Sunday.

Choyman said he purchased one magazine and when the salesman left, he noticed his wallet had been stolen.

News 10 spoke with the owner of the company Kevin Davis on Wednesday. He claims his Lrumar Publications is not a scam and the stolen wallet is an isolated incident.

Lrumar Publications owner Kevin Davis said he's been in business 1988.

"You can google the company and we have two items on there, one is from the Better Business Bureau, one is from Yreka, California and one is from you news station," owner Kevin Davis said.

News 10 went to the Better Business Bureau website and found that Lrumar Publications is not accredited with the BBB.

In fact, it has a rating of an "F" with 16 complaints with five of those unresolved.

We also found the company listed on the "Caution List" of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado; meaning they have failed to respond to the complaints.

The newspaper article in Yreka, California said a resident was concerned he may have been scammed because he never received his magazine.

"A member of my company called Chief Brian Bowles in Yreka, and this is one incident and come to find out we did research the guy wrote us a bad check so he didn't receive any magazines," Davis said.

News 10 called the Chief of Police Brian Bowles in Yreka, California. He emailed us this statement, "In regards to the New paper article dated Tuesday June 16, 2009. I have not spoken to the owner or employee of Lrumar Publications about this incident."

As for the alleged theft in Brazil, Davis said he is working with the Brazil Police Department.

"What I know at this point is that we have a wallet that's been stolen, some body's been accused and we're tracking that down," Brazil Police Chief David Archer said.

Chief Archer told News 10 the company did not have a soliciting permit for the city of Brazil. Instead, the company had a permit for the city of Spencer.

News 10 also spoke with the victim, Peter Showman Thursday who claims the check he wrote to the company was cleared on Monday.
Kate Greene
News 10 - WTHI
wthitv.com
Terre Haute, Indiana
Read This Story


DMPG research: Lrumar Publications LLC
Web Site:
http://lrumarpublications.com


Brazill, Indiana
New scam is knocking at your door
Magazine Sales Company:
Lrumar Publications LLC
June 17, 2009
New scam is knocking at your door
Magazine sale operation is a scam
Kate Greene
News 10 - WTHI
Updated: Wednesday, 17 Jun 2009, 10:22 AM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 16 Jun 2009, 11:56 PM EDT
BRAZIL, Ind. (WTHI) - Peter Choyman of Brazil said he's been a victim of a scam and of theft, after letting in a solicitor Sunday afternoon.

Choyman said the young clean-cut salesman was selling magazines through Lrumar Publications out of Falcon, Colorado.

"I asked him if I could see his receipt book and read everything on it and it even had some money in it," Choyman said.

The door-to-door magazine sale operation is not what it seems. Choyman said he wrote a check to purchase one magazine. However, it was after the salesman left that he noticed his wallet had been stolen.

News 10 tried calling the number listed on the company's website and it said the mailbox was too full.

Here are a few things to look for the next time someone knocks on your door.

1. Ask to see the soliciting permit from the city.

2. Ask for identification and for the company's information.

3. Officials said even calling the company's number at the time of the sale may help determine if it's a scam or not.

4. Never go into another room, leaving the solicitor alone.

If you or someone you know becomes in contact with Lrumar Publications, LLC. or has ordered something from them contact your local police department.
Kate Greene
News 10 - WTHI
wthitv.com
Terre Haute, Indiana
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DMPG research: Lrumar Publications LLC
Web Site:
http://lrumarpublications.com


Brazill, Indiana
Police on lookout for men fraudulently selling magazines in Hanover Township
Magazine Sales Company:
Lrumar Publications LLC
June 17, 2009
BCPD investigating scam
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
By IVY JACKSON, Times Staff Reporter
The Brazil Times
Although it appears to be the only incident reported in the past few days, the Brazil City Police Department is investigating another potential scam in Brazil. The investigation began when Brazil resident Peter Choyman reported a door-to-door magazine salesman, whom he let into his home and left alone for a brief moment, allegedly took his wallet Sunday afternoon. ??

Police Chief Dave Archer said that Choyman reported the clean-cut young man was allegedly selling magazine subscriptions for Lrumar Publications, based in Falcon, Colorado.

Archer told The Brazil Times the magazine subscription company has been cooperating with the investigation and an unidentified person of interest is being questioned in the matter. Further details are being withheld to protect the integrity of the investigation.

Archer said this appears to be a single incident, but people need to be cautious when dealing with any situation that brings a stranger to the door of their home.

"People need to be aware of potential scams at all times," Archer said. "Never let a stranger in your house or, if you chose to, never leave them alone. And never provide any personal information."

Officials offer other safety tips when dealing with solicitors, including:

* Talk to the solicitor through the locked door of the home,

* Ask to see the soliciting permit from the city,

* Ask for the solicitor's identification and for the company's information, and

* Tell the solicitor that you are going to call the company's number (while they wait outside) which may help determine if it's a scam or not.

To report information about this case, or any other, contact the Brazil City Police Department at 446-2211.
By IVY JACKSON, Times Staff Reporter
The Brazil Times
thebraziltimes.com
Brazill, Indiana
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DMPG research: Lrumar Publications LLC
Web Site:
http://lrumarpublications.com


Port Townsend, Washington
Port Townsend council takes action on peddlers' law
June 17, 2009
Port Townsend council takes action on peddlers' law
By Erik Hidle
Peninsula Daily News
PORT TOWNSEND -- A new city ordinance would require door-to-door solicitors to obtain a license and background check before they sell their wares.

On Monday, the City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance to update what City Manager David Timmons called "outdated codes."

The second reading of the ordinance -- after which it would go into effect -- had not been scheduled Wednesday.

"Right now, we don't have a compliance system," Timmons said. "There is no enforcement [on peddlers in the city.]

"This will update that and give people a way to check up on someone going door to door."

The draft ordinance defines soliciting as any sales done by going from place to place within the city limit.

Along with a background check for a criminal record and a licensing fee of $50, the ordinance also requires solicitors to carry photo identification, obey signs indicating "no soliciting" and operate only between 9 a.m. and dusk.

Exemptions

Exemptions from the licensing fee are in place for political campaigning, farmers selling produce and certain seasonal services, such as lawn mowing.

Also, community-based nonprofits, such as Girl Scouts, will be exempt from the formal licensing process.

They will be issued free organizational certificates allowing them to go door to door.

If the law is approved on a second reading, violators could be fined up to $1,000 and sentenced up to 90 days in jail.

Port Townsend Police Sgt. Ed Green said enforcement would be on case-by-case basis.

"Much like the noise violation ordinance, any infraction would start low but have the potential to move up," Green said.

"Subsequent infractions could elevate charges to that of a misdemeanor."

Green said his department receives "quite a few calls" regarding solicitors.

"Around six a month," Green said.

"That includes people concerned about the legitimacy of a solicitor to people looking to learn the law on how to go about soliciting."

Timmons said that, beyond providing safeguard against a possible nuisance at your door, the ordinance also serves as a public safety barricade.

"It gives people a place to check on a solicitor who comes to your door," he said.

"You never know, if we don't have a background check in place.

"Someone could come to your door, get invited inside, ask to use the restroom and suddenly they are casing the house [to burglarize.]

"This helps prevent people from doing that."

________

Reporter Erik Hidle can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at erik.hidle@peninsuladailynews.com.
Last modified: June 17. 2009 9:47PM
By Erik Hidle
Peninsula Daily News
peninsuladailynews.com
Port Angeles, Washington
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Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Police on lookout for men fraudulently selling magazines in Hanover Township
June 17, 2009
Police on lookout for men fraudulently selling magazines in Hanover Township
by Express-Times staff
Express-Times
Wednesday June 17, 2009, 9:44 AM
lehighvalleylive.com
Colonial Regional police are warning Hanover Township residents of two men who have been peddling magazines door-to-door who may be out to rob members of the community. Police say the men claim to live in the neighborhood and tell residents they are selling magazines for a college trip. They claim the magazines are for U.S. troops stationed overseas. Police say the men do not live in the neighborhood and do not have a permit to solicit. One township resident reported items were missing from the home after the two men left, according to a news release. Police ask residents to refrain from inviting these men inside. Police ask anyone who encounters them to call 610-330-2200 or 610-317-0808. They said anyone who has given money to these men should contact police and file a report.
by Express-Times staff
Express-Times
lehighvalleylive.com
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
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Kansas City, Missouri
Traveling salesman charged in bizarre case involving Shawnee woman, husband
June 17, 2009
Traveling salesman charged in bizarre case involving Shawnee woman, husband
By JOE LAMBE
The Kansas City Star
Posted on Wed, Jun. 17, 2009 06:38 AM
Johnson County prosecutors charged a traveling salesman Tuesday for allegedly holding a Shawnee woman at her home at gunpoint and stealing from her. Police said they are still investigating the man’s claims that the woman’s armed husband forced the salesman to perform a sex act. Alexander J. Gaviltta, 21, of Fresno, Calif., remains in jail today charged with kidnapping, theft, possessing drug paraphernalia and criminal property damage. Police said the Shawnee woman returned home about 6 p.m. Monday and found an armed man in her house. He marched her around, told her he was in charge and left with the couple’s gun, credit cards, jewelry and a Rolex watch, according to police and court records. Shawnee police said Gaviltta soon went to Overland Park police and told them the woman’s husband had invited him in, pulled a gun on him and demanded oral sex. Gaviltta told police, they said, that the husband passed out during the sex act, Gaviltta grabbed the gun and the woman returned home about then.
| Joe Lambe, jlambe@kcstar.com
Posted on Wed, Jun. 17, 2009 06:38 AM
By JOE LAMBE
The Kansas City Star
www.kansascity.com
Kansas City, Missouri
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DMPG research into the above incident reveals that the magazine salesman worked for Sierra Solutions out of California. This information was obtained throught the Shawnee Police Department and Capt. Bill Hisle.


Kansas City, Missouri
Shawnee police trying to sort out tale of traveling salesman
June 16, 2009
Shawnee police trying to sort out tale of traveling salesman
By JOE LAMBE
The Kansas City Star
Posted on Tue, Jun. 16, 2009 03:07 PM
Now they have to make sense of Monday reports about an armed traveling salesman, a drunken husband and his innocent wife.

It started when a Shawnee woman told police that she came home to find an armed man in her house who marched her around, told her he was in charge and left.

Then a traveling magazine salesman went to Overland Park police and told them that that woman’s drunken husband forced him to perform oral sex.

The salesman said the husband had invited him in, pulled a gun, demanded sex and passed out during the act, police said. The salesman then picked up the gun and about that time the wife got home, he told them.

The salesman left with the gun and some credit cards and some of the wife’s jewelry, police said, but gave the gun and credit cards to his boss.

For now, the 30-year-old salesman from Fresno, Calif., is in jail under arrest for suspected kidnapping, assault and stealing. Police said they are doing DNA tests to see if the husband should be charged related to a sex act.

“It’s kind of interesting,” said Capt. Bill Hisle, “but it’s kind of messed up.”
------------------------
1-877-962-7827
Joe Lambe, jlambe@kcstar.com
By JOE LAMBE
The Kansas City Star
www.kansascity.com
Kansas City, Missouri
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DMPG research into the above incident reveals that the magazine salesman worked for Sierra Solutions out of California. This information was obtained throught the Shawnee Police Department and Capt. Bill Hisle.


Watertown, New York
Police Blotter
June 15, 2009
Deputies: Calif. Man Selling Magazine Subscriptions Entered Pamelia Home Without Permission
Police Blotter
newzjunky.com
posted June 15, 2009 8:24:47 AM
WATERTOWN, N.Y. — Stephon D. Blake, 18, Gilroy, Calif., was charged at 5:08 p.m. Saturday with second-degree criminal trespass and unlawful possession of marijuna. Deputies said Mr. Blake entered the home of Robert J. Brady, 22593 Lewis St., town of Pamelia without permission at about 4:46 p.m. Saturday. According to police documents, Blake said he was selling magazine subscriptions and was only in town for a day before leaving for Buffalo. He was arraigned before Pamelia Town Justice Robert H. Austin who sent him to the Metro- Jefferson Public Safety Building with bail set at $1,000. He is ordered to appear July 2 in Pamelia Town Court.
posted June 15, 2009 8:24:47 AM
Police Blotter
newzjunky.com
Watertown, New York
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Watertown, New York
Traveling magazine salesman arrested
June 15, 2009
Traveling magazine salesman arrested
Newswatch 50 WWTI ABC
Last Update: 6/15 2:22 pm
A traveling magazine salesman was arrested after he allegedly entered the home of an 80 year old man and refused to leave. The incident happened Saturday on Lewis Street in the town of Watertown. The salesman, 18 year old Stephan D. Blake, of Gilroy, California, admitted he knocked on the elderly man's door, asking his help with a contest. "I think he's just an old man and didn't hear me. This is all a mistake," Blake told sheriff's deputies in a statement. However, the elderly man, Robert Brady, said Blake invited himself into his home and went into the bathroom as Brady dialed 9-1-1 to report the unlawful entry. Brady said that because he was on the phone, he couldn't be sure that Blake didn't go into other rooms as well. He said Blake asked for his checkbook and his name, and took a sealed envelope of bank statements to get Mr. Brady's name. "I felt scared and intimidated," Brady said in his statement to deputies. Blake left before deputies arrived but was apprehended further down the street by a state trooper. He's charged with criminal trespass and unlawful possession of marijuana. Blake told deputies he was in Watertown only for the day and was headed next to Buffalo.
Newswatch 50 WWTI ABC
newswatch50.com
Watertown, New York
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San Mateo, California
Teen pleads not guilty to attempted rape
June 13, 2009
Teen pleads not guilty to attempted rape
The Daily Journal
smdailyjournal.com
June 13, 2009
A 17-year-old Hayward boy accused of posing as a magazine salesman to attack two women working in a residential care home pleaded not guilty to multiple felonies including attempted rape, assault with the intent to commit rape and residential burglary. Christopher Joseph Cortez is also charged with misdemeanor false imprisonment. He pleaded not guilty to all charges and was ordered to stand trial Oct. 26. He also returns to court Sept. 29 for a pretrial conference. San Mateo police arrested Cortez March 19 after two women in their 50s reported being held against their will by a man who came to their residential care home workplace in the 2600 block of Holland Street and claimed to be selling magazine subscriptions. The assailant fled after the women fought back. Police found Cortez nearby in a van with other magazine salespeople. Both women later identified Cortez as the attacker. Although Cortez is a juvenile, prosecutors charged him as an adult under California’s Proposition 21. If convicted of all charges, he faces 15 years to life in prison. Cortez remains in custody in lieu of $1 million bail at the Youth Services Center.
The Daily Journal
smdailyjournal.com
San Mateo, California
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Toledo, Ohio
SUMMER MAGAZINE SALES DOOR-TO-DOOR NATIONWIDE SCAM
Magazine Sales Companys:
Trinity Public Relations
Prestige Sales, LLC.
Omni Horizons Inc.
True Visions Inc.
Fresh Start Opportunities
June 12, 2009
BBB Warns Against a Summer Scam Going Door-to-Door Nationwide
Trying to help a good cause could get you ripped off by fraudulent magazine salespeople
BBB Headquarters
5/12/2009
toledo.bbb.org
Better Business Bureau warns that deceptive door-to-door magazine sales crews are hitting the pavement and looking to earn a quick buck this summer. In the last 12 months alone, BBB has received 1,100 complaints from consumers in 46 states and the District of Columbia against more than 50 companies that are selling magazines door-to-door.

Many of these companies employ crews of high school and college-age people who are trying to earn money over the summer. These crews are sent to communities to knock on doors and sell magazines—sometimes without appropriate licensing. In the sales pitch, the representative might explain they are working to help get their lives back on track, raising money on behalf of a charity or for a school trip or even selling subscriptions to support troops in Iraq.

“Because sales representatives are typically high school or college-age, victims readily believe the potentially fictitious sales pitch and often pay several hundred dollars for the subscriptions by personal check given directly to the sales reps,” said BBB President Dick Eppstein. “Most complaints against such companies allege that sales reps took their check and the magazines never arrived, however, some complainants also allege being subjected to high-pressure and misleading sales tactics.”

In the last year BBB has received complaints on more than 50 companies conducting door-to-door magazines sales and following are a few examples:

The BBB serving Charlotte has received 286 complaints against two magazine companies owned by the same couple - Trinity Public Relations in N.C. and Seedtime Publications in S.C. Complainants report not receiving the subscriptions they paid for and some allege sales reps used high pressure sales tactics. In one example, a woman called the police after feeling threatened by a sales rep who became angry when she wouldn’t buy a magazine. Some sales reps have also allegedly told prospective customers that they would not be able to eat that day if they didn’t buy their magazines. Trinity Public Relations was closed down by the Attorney General in N.C. and Seedtime Publications has also closed in S.C.

The BBB serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona has received 33 complaints from 12 states regarding Prestige Sales, LLC. In addition to not receiving magazines they paid for, complainants allege sales reps lied about being neighborhood youth who were trying to earn money for a school trip to Europe, while other customers were led to believe they were purchasing magazines subscriptions for troops deployed to Iraq.

Other door-to-door magazine companies with F ratings from BBB include:

Michigan City, IN-based Omni Horizons Inc., which has received 122 complaints from consumers in 17 states according to the BBB Serving Northern Indiana;

Chesapeake, VA-based True Visions Inc., which has received 82 complaints from 13 states according to the BBB of Greater Hampton Roads;

Memphis-based Greater Image, Inc., which has received 71 complaints from 16 states according to the BBB serving the Mid-South; and,

Seattle-based Fresh Start Opportunities, which has received 66 complaints from seven states according to the BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington.

“Experience tells us that customers aren’t the only victims of this scam; the young salespeople are also potentially being taken advantage of by their employers and forced to work long hours, endure substandard living conditions and have their wages withheld from them,” said Eppstein.

BBB offers the following advice to avoid getting scammed by a door-to-door magazine sales rep:

Always research the company with your Better Business Bureau for free at www.bbb.org before filling out a check for a magazine subscription. The Federal Trade Commission’s Three-Day Cooling-Off Rule gives the customer three days to cancel purchases over $25 that are made in their home or at a location that is not the seller’s permanent place of business. Along with a receipt, salespeople should also include a completed cancellation form that customers can send to the company to cancel the agreement. By law, the company must give customers a refund within 10 days of receiving the cancellation notice. Victims of fraudulent magazine sales can file a complaint with their Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org, local law enforcement, and state Attorney General offices.

For more information about door-to-door magazines sales, reporters can contact Mr. Eppstein at (419) 531-3116 or 800-743-4222.
BBB Headquarters
toledo.bbb.org
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Rockford, Illinois
Magazine sales scams going around neighborhoods
June 12, 2009
Magazine sales scams going around neighborhoods
WREX 13 Rocfords News Leader
Posted: June 12, 2009 01:59 PM CDT
wrex.com
ROCKFORD (WREX) - The Better Business Bureau is warning people to be careful with people knocking on your door trying to sell you magazines.

Summer is the prime time for scams like this, with many of the workers being high school or college-age people looking to earn money over their summer breaks.

Some of the salespeople say they are trying to put their lives back together, or they are raising money for a charity, school trip, or selling magazines to support our troops.

"Because sales representatives are typically high school or college-age, victims readily believe the potentially fictitious sales pitch and have been known to often pay several hundred dollars for the subscriptions by personal check given directly to the sales reps," said Dennis Horton, Director of the Rockford Regional Office of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois. "Most complaints against such companies allege that sales reps took their check but the magazines never arrived. In addition, some complainants also allege being subjected to high-pressure and misleading sales tactics."

And it's not just customers being ripped off. Some of the salespeople are also being victimized by the people running these companies. "They are forced to work long hours, endure substandard living conditions and have their wages withheld from them," said Horton.

Examples of complaints in northern Illinois include: (information from press release)

Anita Tarlach of Crystal Lake, Ill. complaining about a business named Fresh Start Opportunities of Seattle, Washington, stated: "The young man, who looked around 18, that came to my door with a girl was very nice and well dressed. He said that he came from a single parent home with four or five kids and needed to do this to better himself. I gave him cash. I am not against helping people out. I did not get the magazine. I have not been able to get through on their phone lines."

Jerry Rooney of Crystal Lake, Ill. also complained about Fresh Start Opportunities, stating: "The guy looked around 20. He said that he was from the inner city and was working to get points for a trip. He also said that he was trying to earn points and become a manager. I never got the magazine. None of my calls to the company have been returned."

BBB offers the following advice to avoid getting scammed by a door-to-door magazine sales rep:

Always research the company with your Better Business Bureau for free at http://www.bbb.org/ before filling out a check for a magazine subscription.

The Federal Trade Commission's Three-Day Cooling-Off Rule gives the customer three days to cancel purchases over $25 that are made in their home or at a location that is not the seller's permanent place of business. Along with a receipt, salespeople should also include a completed cancellation form that customers can send to the company to cancel the agreement. By law, the company must give customers a refund within 10 days of receiving the cancellation notice.

Victims of fraudulent magazine sales can file a complaint with their Better Business Bureau at http://www.bbb.org/, local law enforcement, and state Attorney General offices.
WREX 13 Rocfords News Leader
wrex.com
Rockford, Illinois
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UK
Life for fugitive rapist
June 12, 2009
Life for fugitive rapist
Manchester Evening News
June 12, 2009
Manchester Evening News,
1 Scott Place, Hardman Street,
Manchester, M3 3RN
Main switchboard: 0161 832 7200
A FUGITIVE killer who escaped from a Greater Manchester psychiatric unit and raped a woman has been jailed for life.

Michael Murphy - convicted of killing his father in Manchester in 1974 - feigned illness to escape from Prestwich Hospital, near Bury, in November 2006 after learning of the death of his mother.

Detectives traced him to Dublin but a series of blunders meant a delay in processing a European Arrest Warrant so he could be captured allowed him to remain free for 71 days.

He attacked then raped a woman in a hotel bathroom.

The case led to a top-level government enquiry, which blamed a breakdown in communication between the Crown Prosecution Service and police and identified examples of 'human error'.

Revealed first in the M.E.N., it has led to national procedural changes.

Dangerous

Murphy - described by a judge as a highly dangerous man - was jailed for life on Wednesday after a jury convicted him of rape last month.

Following the sentencing, a woman who was raped by Murphy 15 years ago criticised the string of blunders that allowed him to remain free to strike again.

Murphy, from Burnage, subjected Vaunda Whatmore to a sickening five-hour ordeal in 1994.

He stabbed her 33 times then raped her and left her bound and gagged.

Now Vaunda has waived her right to anonymity to detail the chilling attack and criticise authorities after errors left him free to rape again.

Vaunda, 34, told the M.E.N. in an exclusive interview today that Murphy should never be free again.

She said: "Why did this second rape happen? Because no one actually sat down and thought how dangerous this man was. It must not be allowed to happen again. The delays in applying for the arrest warrant were unacceptable.

"The police knew where he was. They must have been able to do it far, far quicker. Now some poor woman has gone through what I did.

"If my talking can prevent something like this from happening again then I will talk until I am blue in the face. He should not have been given the freedom to escape."

Born in Ireland, Murphy moved to Manchester with his family in the sixties and his criminal record dates back to a robbery in 1970.

Five years later he was convicted of the manslaughter of his father, an alcoholic, and received an 18-month, suspended jail sentence.

Then in 1994 - after 16 more convictions for robbery and assault - he raped Vaunda.

After being diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, he was ordered to be detained indefinitely in a secure psychiatric unit.

He was sent to Rampton High Security Hospital then transferred to Prestwich in 1995, from where he escaped.

Vaunda told how Murphy's attack changed her life forever. She has never worked and suffers panic attacks.

Mother-of-two Vaunda, from south London, was studying business in London when she met him selling magazines.

I can talk about it now. I had to get on with life but the memories are still very vivid. He locked me in the house. I was petrified

Vaunda Whatmore

She said: "I did talk to him. I am not the sort of person to ignore someone. It was just polite chitchat. The world was different then. He seemed a pleasant guy. He told me about his family and said he had a son. He said he had been in the Army.

"He said he had been given somewhere to live and would I go for a drink with him to celebrate."

Vaunda boarded a train to Stratford but he 'changed almost immediately'.

She said he became intimidating and his 'whole demeanour changed'.

Vaunda said: "I was frightened immediately. There was no talking."

They went for drinks. Vaunda ordered soft drinks but told how whatever Murphy bought her 'knocked me for six'.

She said: "I asked to go for a coffee and he said you will be sober by the time I have finished with you'. He took my back to his house."

Vaunda detailed how Murphy tied her up, beat her then slashed her 33 times with a kitchen knife before he raped her.

Petrified

She added: "I can talk about it now. I had to get on with life but the memories are still very vivid. He locked me in the house. I was petrified.

"I tried to get up the stairs but he was dragging me back down. He put my hand over my mouth and I was trying to scream. I was digging my nails into him. I could not do anything else."

Vaunda was contacted by Bury South MP Ivan Lewis, who called for greater security at the Prestwich unit and for the enquiry into the delay in obtaining the warrant.

The Labour MP said it was `one of the most disturbing cases of its kind'. CPS bosses in Manchester accepted that errors were made and national policies on the issuing of arrest warrants have been tightened as a result. Disciplinary action was taken against one senior CPS employee.

Vaunda added: "I do not have a view on him now. He is nothing to me. I cannot allow him to be anything because then I allow him to win. I will not let him have a hold over my life.

"Any sentence he gets isn't enough, when you think what he's done in the past. My heart goes out to the woman he attacked, when he shouldn't have been free to make her another victim."
Manchester Evening News,
1 Scott Place, Hardman Street,
Manchester, M3 3RN
Main switchboard: 0161 832 7200
manchestereveningnews.co.uk
UK
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Florida investigating major publisher over sales tactics
Magazine Publisher:
Rodale Inc.
publisher of Men's Health
and Prevention magazines
June 11, 2009
Florida investigating major publisher over sales tactics
Mitch Lipka
Walletpop.com Jun 11th 2009 at 10:00AM
Filed under: Consumer Complaints, Buyer Beware
The Florida Attorney General's office is investigating the sales tactics of Rodale Inc., publisher of Men's Health and Prevention magazines, Walletpop.com has learned.

To keep private some of what has been obtained by investigators under subpoena, Rodale went to court to block its release.

State lawyers and investigators are looking into "several negative option marketing methods employed by Rodale, including automatic shipments and automatic subscription renewals, and whether the marketing materials for these methods adequately disclose terms and conditions," the Attorney General's office told Walletpop. "We are also investigating whether Rodale sends consumers merchandise that has not been ordered."

Negative option marketing means products, such as books and magazines, are sent to consumers who don't specifically decline them. It is considered a deceptive practice since consumers end up with bills for items they didn't order. The state's investigation has been ongoing for more than a year.

Rodale's marketing has come under fire in the past.

The Better Business Bureau reports receiving 219 complaints in the last year, mostly over selling practices, giving the company a D+ rating.

Rodale maintains its marketing practices are above board.

"We are cooperating with the Florida Attorney General's office on their request for information and have provided relevant materials," said Paul McGinley, Rodale's senior vice presidentand general counsel. "Our practices are compliant with the law. We have had marketing materials reviewed by outside counsel consistently for several years."

McGinley said the company is challenging the Attorney General's office decision to release materials gathered under the subpoenas including customer lists, customer complaints and training manuals. Florida has liberal open records laws that generally permit the release of most documents gathered by the government, including those obtained under subpoena in an economic crimes investigation.

"We have filed a petition with the court to prevent disclosure of the information we submitted to the Attorney General to a third party as we believe the bulk of this information is proprietary and confidential," he said. "Any information that includes customer names is highly sensitive."

You can read Rodale's legal challenge and see the state's subpoenas here.
Mitch Lipka
Walletpop.com
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Hickory, North Carolina
School system warns of possible scam
June 11, 2009
School system warns of possible scam
The Hickory Daily Record
staff reports
Published: June 11, 2009
NEWTON - The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has warned that deceptive door-to-door magazine and educational book sales crews are hitting the pavement and looking to earn a quick buck this summer. In the last 12 months alone, BBB has received 1,100 complaints from consumers in 46 states and the District of Columbia against more than 50 companies that are selling magazines door-to-door. In Catawba County, several individuals have reported to Catawba County Schools that some of these sales representatives are soliciting in several communities in the county. These salespersons have said they are representing Catawba County Schools when making their sales pitch to parents with children. Catawba County Schools is not associated with, nor do they endorse or recommend their products. If you're uncomfortable or threatened with the tactics used by these individuals, contact the Catawba County Sheriff's Office.
The Hickory Daily Record
staff reports
www2.hickoryrecord.com
Hickory, North Carolina
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Parsippany, New Jersey
Police Blotter
June 11, 2009
Police Blotter
Daily Record
dailyrecord.com
June 11, 2009 PARSIPPANY
Two people were charged with solicitation without a permit while selling magazine subscriptions. Abraham Cook, 19, of Birmingham, Ala., and Eric Alsberry, 19, of Chicago each were issued summonses Saturday night in separate parts of the township. Anyone who encounters door-to-door solicitors should call township police at 973-263-4300 to determine whether they have a permit.
Daily Record
dailyrecord.com
Parsippany, New Jersey
Read This Story


Madison, Wisconsin
Better Business Bureau: Warns against a summer scam going door-to-door nationwide
June 9, 2009
Better Business Bureau: Warns against a summer scam going door-to-door nationwide
6/10/2009
CONTACT: Susan Bach, Director of Communications
PHONE: 414- 847- 6085
FAX: 414-302- 0355
E-MAIL: sbach@wisconsin.bbb.org
All original content published by
WisBusiness.com
14 W. Mifflin St., Ste. 308
Madison, WI 53703
www.wisbusiness.com
Phone: (608) 237-6378
(608) 441-8418
FAX: (608) 441-8419
Email: info@wisbusiness.com
WISBUSINESS PRESS RELEASES
Trying to help a good cause could get you ripped off by fraudulent magazine salespeople

Milwaukee, Wis – The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau warns that deceptive door-to-door magazine sales crews are hitting the pavement and looking to earn a quick buck this summer. In the last 12 months alone, the BBB has received 1,100 complaints from consumers in 46 states and the District of Columbia against more than 50 companies that are selling magazines door-to-door.

Many of these companies employ crews of high school and college-age people who are trying to earn money over the summer. These crews are sent to communities to knock on doors and sell magazines -- sometimes without appropriate licensing. In the sales pitch, the representative might explain they are working to help get their lives back on track, raising money on behalf of a charity or for a school trip or even selling subscriptions to support troops in Iraq.

“Because sales representatives are typically high school or college-age, victims readily believe the potentially fictitious sales pitch and often pay several hundred dollars for the subscriptions by personal check given directly to the sales reps,” said Randall Hoth, Wisconsin BBB president/CEO. “Most complaints against such companies allege that sales reps took their check and the magazines never arrived, however, some complainants also allege being subjected to high-pressure and misleading sales tactics.”

In the last year BBB has received complaints on more than 50 companies conducting door-to-door magazines sales and following are a few examples:

The BBB serving Charlotte has received 286 complaints against two magazine companies owned by the same couple - Trinity Public Relations in N.C. and Seedtime Publications in S.C. Complainants report not receiving the subscriptions they paid for and some allege sales reps used high pressure sales tactics. In one example, a woman called the police after feeling threatened by a sales rep who became angry when she wouldn’t buy a magazine. Some sales reps have also allegedly told prospective customers that they would not be able to eat that day if they didn’t buy their magazines. Trinity Public Relations was closed down by the Attorney General in N.C. and Seedtime Publications has also closed in S.C.

The BBB serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona has received 33 complaints from 12 states regarding Prestige Sales, LLC. In addition to not receiving magazines they paid for, complainants allege sales reps lied about being neighborhood youth who were trying to earn money for a school trip to Europe, while other customers were led to believe they were purchasing magazines subscriptions for troops deployed to Iraq.

Other door-to-door magazine companies with F ratings from BBB include:

* Michigan City, IN-based Omni Horizons Inc., which has received 122 complaints from consumers in 17 states according to the BBB Serving Northern Indiana;

* Chesapeake, VA-based True Vision Inc., which has received 82 complaints from 13 states according to the BBB of Greater Hampton Roads;

* Memphis-based Greater Image, Inc., which has received 71 complaints from 16 states according to the BBB serving the Mid-South; and,

* Seattle-based Fresh Start Opportunities, which has received 66 complaints from seven states according to the BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington.

“Experience tells us that customers aren’t the only victims of this scam; the young salespeople are also potentially being taken advantage of by their employers and forced to work long hours, endure substandard living conditions and have their wages withheld from them,” said Hoth.

BBB offers the following advice to avoid getting scammed by a door-to-door magazine sales rep:

* Always research the company with your Better Business Bureau for free at http://www.bbb.org before filling out a check for a magazine subscription.

* The Federal Trade Commission’s Three-Day Cooling-Off Rule gives the customer three days to cancel purchases over $25 that are made in their home or at a location that is not the seller’s permanent place of business. Along with a receipt, salespeople should also include a completed cancellation form that customers can send to the company to cancel the agreement. By law, the company must give customers a refund within 10 days of receiving the cancellation notice.

* Victims of fraudulent magazine sales can file a complaint with their Better Business Bureau at http://www.bbb.org, local law enforcement, and state Attorney General offices.

For more information or further inquiries, please contact the Wisconsin BBB at http://www.wisconsin.bbb.org or 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), (920)-734-4352 (Appleton) or 1-800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin).
CONTACT: Susan Bach, Director of Communications
PHONE: 414- 847- 6085
FAX: 414-302- 0355
E-MAIL: sbach@wisconsin.bbb.org
wisbusiness.com
Madison, Wisconsin
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
BBB Warns Against a Summer Scam Going Door-to-Door Nationwide
June 9, 2009
BBB Warns Against a Summer Scam Going Door-to-Door Nationwide
Posted Tuesday, June 9, 2009 --- 4:35 p.m.
NBC TV
nbc15.com
Press Release:
Milwaukee, Wis – The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau warns that deceptive door-to-door magazine sales crews are hitting the pavement and looking to earn a quick buck this summer. In the last 12 months alone, the BBB has received 1,100 complaints from consumers in 46 states and the District of Columbia against more than 50 companies that are selling magazines door-to-door.

Many of these companies employ crews of high school and college-age people who are trying to earn money over the summer. These crews are sent to communities to knock on doors and sell magazines—sometimes without appropriate licensing. In the sales pitch, the representative might explain they are working to help get their lives back on track, raising money on behalf of a charity or for a school trip or even selling subscriptions to support troops in Iraq.

“Because sales representatives are typically high school or college-age, victims readily believe the potentially fictitious sales pitch and often pay several hundred dollars for the subscriptions by personal check given directly to the sales reps,” said Randall Hoth, Wisconsin BBB president/CEO. “Most complaints against such companies allege that sales reps took their check and the magazines never arrived, however, some complainants also allege being subjected to high-pressure and misleading sales tactics.”

In the last year BBB has received complaints on more than 50 companies conducting door-to-door magazines sales and following are a few examples:

The BBB serving Charlotte has received 286 complaints against two magazine companies owned by the same couple - Trinity Public Relations in N.C. and Seedtime Publications in S.C. Complainants report not receiving the subscriptions they paid for and some allege sales reps used high pressure sales tactics. In one example, a woman called the police after feeling threatened by a sales rep who became angry when she wouldn’t buy a magazine. Some sales reps have also allegedly told prospective customers that they would not be able to eat that day if they didn’t buy their magazines. Trinity Public Relations was closed down by the Attorney General in N.C. and Seedtime Publications has also closed in S.C.

The BBB serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona has received 33 complaints from 12 states regarding Prestige Sales, LLC. In addition to not receiving magazines they paid for, complainants allege sales reps lied about being neighborhood youth who were trying to earn money for a school trip to Europe, while other customers were led to believe they were purchasing magazines subscriptions for troops deployed to Iraq.

Other door-to-door magazine companies with F ratings from BBB include:

• Michigan City, IN-based Omni Horizons Inc., which has received 122 complaints from consumers in 17 states according to the BBB Serving Northern Indiana;

• Chesapeake, VA-based True Vision Inc., which has received 82 complaints from 13 states according to the BBB of Greater Hampton Roads;

• Memphis-based Greater Image, Inc., which has received 71 complaints from 16 states according to the BBB serving the Mid-South; and,

• Seattle-based Fresh Start Opportunities, which has received 66 complaints from seven states according to the BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington.

“Experience tells us that customers aren’t the only victims of this scam; the young salespeople are also potentially being taken advantage of by their employers and forced to work long hours, endure substandard living conditions and have their wages withheld from them,” said Hoth.

BBB offers the following advice to avoid getting scammed by a door-to-door magazine sales rep:

• Always research the company with your Better Business Bureau for free at www.bbb.org before filling out a check for a magazine subscription.

• The Federal Trade Commission’s Three-Day Cooling-Off Rule gives the customer three days to cancel purchases over $25 that are made in their home or at a location that is not the seller’s permanent place of business. Along with a receipt, salespeople should also include a completed cancellation form that customers can send to the company to cancel the agreement. By law, the company must give customers a refund within 10 days of receiving the cancellation notice.

• Victims of fraudulent magazine sales can file a complaint with their Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org, local law enforcement, and state Attorney General offices.

For more information or further inquiries, please contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.wisconsin.bbb.org or 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), (920)-734-4352 (Appleton) or 1-800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin).
NBC TV
nbc15.com
Madison, Wisconsin
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The Direct Selling Association is a joke and here’s why
June 9, 2009
The Direct Selling Association is a joke and here’s why
Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 at 1:00 pm
Filed under: Entrepreneurship, Ripoffs and Scams
Personal Finance
personal-finance.web-workathome.com
YTB International, an online multi-level marketer masquerading as a legitimate travel agency, was sued by California's Attorney General back in August 2008, accused of being nothing more than a "gigantic pyramid scheme."

YTB settled the charges and agreed to pay a $1 million fine on top of huge changes in its business. In its latest SEC filings, YTB notes that there is "substantial doubt about the company's ability to continue as a going conern."

In September 2007, a year before the California Attorney General sued, YTB's application for membership into the Direct Selling Association was approved. The DSA describes its mission as "To protect, serve and promote the effectiveness of member companies and the independent business people they represent. To ensure that the marketing by member companies of products and/or the direct sales opportunity is conducted with the highest level of business ethics and service to consumers."

So the DSA would appear to have a pretty serious problem on its hands: A member that settled allegations that it was a massive pyramid scheme, surely a problem that doesn't mesh well with a commitment to "business ethics and service to consumers."

So how did DSA respond? Was YTB kicked out of the organization? Nope! Instead, the DSA issued a 497-word statement last month that says almost nothing.

"DSA prides itself in serving as a steward of consumer and distributor protection through its efforts to create and enforce acceptable business standards that often go beyond the requirements of the law," said Neil Offen, president and CEO of the Direct Selling Association, in the statement. "This situation is a clear indication that we must redouble our efforts to make sure our processes are sound and that our members not only understand the requirements of the Code of Ethics but that they are incorporating them into every aspect of their business operations."

But isn't the first step to redoubling your efforts kicking out the company that the California Attorney General said is "immensely profitable to a few individuals on top and a complete rip-off for most everyone else."

The message for consumers here is clear: The Direct Selling Association is a lobbying organization that pretends to be some kind of industry watchdog, and multi-level marketing operations of questionable merit use its imputed credibility to recruit new would-be entrepreneurs.

But if a company like YTB can be a member in good standing of the DSA, consumers would do well to be highly skeptical of any sales pitch that invokes this trade group.

The Direct Selling Association is a joke and here's why originally appeared on WalletPop Blog on Tue, 09 Jun 2009 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Personal Finance
personal-finance.web-workathome.com
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Medford, Massachusetts
Don't come a-knockin' in Medford
June 9, 2009
Medford
Don't come a-knockin' in Medford
Posted June 9, 2009 11:20 AM
By: Travis Andersen
Town Correspondent
boston.com
City residents can now place themselves on a Do Not Knock registry, a list of addresses off-limits to door-to-door salespeople. Residents can sign up for the registry at the City Clerk's office. Their registration is good for a year. City Clerk Edward Finn said licensed salespeople - peddlers, in official parlance - will have a list of all banned addresses. They'll face a $300 fine for every violation. He said peddlers usually apply for licenses in the summer, a more hospitable climate for going door-to-door. The city usually issues between three and five licenses each year. Finn said that while "legit" peddlers usually sell magazines and other periodicals, those flying below the radar sell more expensive items, such as vinyl siding. "Hopefully [the registry] will tighten that up a little bit," he said. Councilman Michael Marks authored the ordinance to create the registry, at the request of a constituent. He said it's designed to scare off unlicensed peddlers, many of whom prey on the elderly. But his ordinance exempts nonprofit and religious organizations going door to door for legitimate fund-raising activities. "It's not our intention to go after the little girl selling her Girl Scout cookies," said Marks, who recently join the registry. Edie Auner, of West Medford, said she doesn't get many solicitations. "But I don't like it when I do," she said, adding that the registry sounded like a good idea. But Jerry Reed, who lives just off of Medford Square, opposes restrictions on peddlers. "They have to make money, too," he said. "And they might have a product you need."
By: Travis Andersen
Town Correspondent
boston.com
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Bloomington, Indiana
B-Aware Bloomington
Selling Magazine Subscriptions Door to Door
June 9, 2009
http://bloomington.b-aware.us
HARASSMENT in Bloomington, IN District-4 (Southeast) on 2009-06-09 Case number B09-05582
Incident Type: HARASSMENT
District: Bloomington, IN District-4 (Southeast)
When: 2009-06-09 8:00:00 PM
Address: 3409 S Cedarwood Circle

Incident Summary:
Jessica M. age 32, reports that two males selling magazines subscriptions door to door. When she checked online, there were numerous accusations against the company. She did get her check back but not the receipt with her personal information on it. Officers were unable to locate the subjects.
http://bloomington.b-aware.us
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North Andover, Massachusetts
Police arrest four magazine salesmen
Magazine Sales Company:
Urban Development Solutions
June 6, 2009
Police arrest four magazine salesmen
By Jim Patten
jpatten@eagletribune.com
The Eagle Tribune Online
Published: June 06, 2009 12:11 am
ANDOVER — Four out-of-state magazine salesmen were arrested after residents complained of rude and pushy tactics when they solicited door-to-door in town Thursday afternoon.

The company they work for, Urban Development Solutions, has been told most of their salespeople do not qualify for town-issued solicitors licenses, which would allow them to peddle door-to-door, Lt. James Hashem said.

In addition to being rude and pushy, the salesmen have been banging on doors asking questions seeming to have nothing to do with magazine sales.

"It appears they are trying to see if anyone is home," Hashem said. "Their activities are suspect. What their intentions were after that we can only speculate."

Hashem said they were told not to solicit in Andover and they continue to do so.

"As we come across them we are arresting them," Hashem said.

State statute requires peddlers to receive a door-to-door sales license from the Police Departments in the towns where they want to work.

Arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with peddling door-to-door were Brett Hunter, 23, Kent, Ohio; Chester Oliver III, 34, Albany, Ga.; Kevin Martin, 36, Millington, Tenn.; and Thomas Covington, 43, St. Louis, Mo.

Hashem said there are a couple of legitimate, licensed door-to-door salespeople working in town, but most are not licensed.

"If someone comes to your door selling something, especially magazines, call us," Hashem advised Andover residents.

Police in other area communities also have responded to complaints of aggressive or rude solicitors.

Salem, N.H., police arrested nine salesmen last Wednesday and charged them with failure to obtain a New Hampshire hawkers and peddlers license.

The nine also had not registered with the town or the police, police said.
By Jim Patten
jpatten@eagletribune.com
The Eagle Tribune Online
eagletribune.com
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CRS INC Complaints - Did not deliver
Magazine Sales Company:
CRS INC
June 6, 2009
CRS INC Complaints - Did not deliver
Review all CRS INC complaints
CRS INC
Posted: 2009-06-06 by Don
Company information:
CRS INC
4800 Hwy 377 S
Aubrey, Texas
United States
Phone: No Phone
The first week of March of this year a Student representing CRS, INC was selling magazines door to door and stopped by my house and though normally this is something I would never do he was so energetic and courteous and full of life I allowed him in and we discussed the idea. My Son is serving in Iraq and mentioned he would like some magazines in his earlier letter so I was about to order subscriptions and this turned out to be what seemed to be a perfect solution. WRONG!!! He took my money and I have no magazines to show for anything.

Do not waste your time if you have anyone in your neighborhood saying they are selling magazines trying to win a trim to someplace and are representing CRS, INC. They will get the trip and you will get nothing!
by Don
complaintsboard.com
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Madison, Connecticut
Seniors Warned About Door-to-Door Sales Crews
June 4, 2009
Seniors Warned About Door-to-Door Sales Crews
Posted by Shore Publishing on Jun 04 2009, 01:52 PM
Filed under: Heather Castrilli, seniors, scam, David Melillo

Connecticut's community Web site for the Times weeklies
based in New London and the Shore Publishing weeklies out of Madison.
zip06.theday.com
Heather Castrilli, municipal agent for the elderly, and David Melillo, director of human services, are passing along a warning received from the Business Bureau. Deceptive door-to-door magazine sales crews are hitting the pavement in Connecticut looking to earn a quick buck this summer and seniors are often a target.

Many of these companies employ crews of high school and college-age people who are trying to earn money over their summer break. These crews are sent to communities to knock on doors and sell magazines—sometimes without appropriate licensing. In the sales pitch, the representative might explain they are working to help raise money on behalf of a charity, for a school trip, or even selling subscriptions to support troops in Iraq.

Lt. Robert Stimpson of the Madison Police Department said vendors and salesperson such as this are required to register with the Police Department and to obtain a permit before selling door-to-door. He cautioned that any person selling door-to-door is issued an ID by the Police Department that must be carried with them.

A Greater New Haven woman said a pair of students claiming they were from the University of Rhode Island knocked on her door, said they lived “down the street,” and were selling magazines and books to “go to London.” Later, when she became suspicious, she called police, filed a report with Connecticut Better Business Bureau, and put a stop on her check.

Connecticut Better Business Bureau President Paulette Scarpetti says victims readily believe the phony sales pitch and often pay hundreds of dollars by check. However, complaints allege the sales reps took the checks and the magazines never arrived.

“We are alerting consumers to this scam to prevent an epidemic of door-to-door magazine fraud. We encourage all Connecticut residents to be vigilant and to inform their children, parents, and grandparents about this type of operation.”

If residents have a question or concern about strangers approaching their door selling or canvassing, contact the Police Department.
Posted by Shore Publishing on Jun 04 2009, 01:52 PM
Filed under: Heather Castrilli, seniors, scam, David Melillo
Connecticut's community Web site for the Times weeklies
based in New London and the Shore Publishing weeklies
out of Madison.
zip06.theday.com
Madison, Connecticut
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Mesa, Arizona
Phoenix company part of nationwide magazine scam
Magazine Sales Company:
Prestige Sales
June 2, 2009
Phoenix company part of nationwide magazine scam
05:30 PM Mountain Standard Time on Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Meredith Yeomans / 3 On Your Side Producer
KTVK-TV / azfamily.com
MESA - There is a warning tonight about deceptive door-to-door sales crews that is putting Valley residents on alert.

Nationwide, the Better Business Bureau is seeing a spike in scams involving door-to-door magazine sales.

Basically, you pay for a subscription but the magazine never arrives.

It happened to one Valley woman, and it turns out, one of the company's named in the warning is located right here in Phoenix.

It may have happened to you, a knock at the door followed by a salesman asking if you're interested in a magazine subscription.

Your money, the salesman promises, will go to a good cause.

“I felt like I was doing a good thing for someone else ya know,” Renee Ross said.

The scenario played out for Ross after a door-to-door magazine salesman came to her Mesa apartment.

She bought the pitch, but the Better Business Bureau said you shouldn't.

“System wide the Better Business Bureau has received over 1000 complaints from various companies around the United States.”

One of those companies, Prestige Sales, is based right here in Phoenix.

“We have one locally that has received about 39 complaints from consumers in Texas, Maryland and California so it's happening everywhere,” the Better Business Bureau said.

Here's how the scam works. A salesperson claiming to be a neighborhood youth shows up at your door selling magazine subscriptions.

The salespeople say they're raising money for charity or a trip or even for our troops in Iraq.

“At first he was very nice and invited himself in once I told him I really don’t want the magazine he started getting really pushy and felt like he wasn't gonna leave until I subscribe to a magazine,” Ross said.

Ross eventually gave in and wrote a check for $65 for a 12-month subscription.

“I want my money back, I never wanted the magazines, I never wanted the magazine in the first place,” she said.

For weeks 3 On Your Side tried to track down Prestige Sales, but were never were able to find the guys who run the company.

As for Ross, her coffee table still sits empty. Six months later she has yet to receive a copy of that magazine she was pressured in to ordering.

“I just don't understand how they can do that to people straight to their face and then turn around and take their money,” Ross said.

The Federal Trade Commission's three-day "cooling off rule" gives a customer three days to cancel a purchase more than $25 that is made in their home.

By law, the company must give customers a refund within ten days of receiving a cancellation notice.

The one thing to note about the representative's sales pitch, Ross said they didn't have a lot of mainstream magazines so she was suspicious about this to begin with.
Meredith Yeomans / 3 On Your Side Producer
KTVK-TV / azfamily.com
azfamily.com
Phoenix, Arizona
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Boston, Massachusetts
Magazine scammers walk among us
Magazine Sales Company:
Destiny Sales
June 2, 2009
Magazine scammers walk among us
By adamg - Tue, 06/02/2009 - 2:23pm.
universalhub.com
Universal Hub
It's can be tough to be cynical, but beware of any kids who knock on your door and tell you how they're trying to work their way out of poverty in the inner city by selling magazines door to door - especially if they're from "Destiny Sales." Just ask  Rhea Becker,  who almost fell for it, but thought to Google the name on the kid's clipboard before she gave him a check, then went out and:

... I get back a few hours later and my housemate lets me know that the guy not only came back to the house but rang the doorbell about 50 times and threw stuff at our windows to get her attention. She didn't answer the doorbell (smart move!) and was basically a prisoner in the house until the guy left.
By adamg
Universal Hub
universalhub.com
Boston, Massachusetts
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Nebraska
Beware of Door-to Door Magazine Salespeople
June 2, 2009
Beware of Door-to Door Magazine Salespeople
NTV ABC
NEBRASKA.TV
Posted: June 2, 2009 01:35 PM CDT
Updated: June 2, 2009 01:35 PM CDT
Better Business Bureau is warning that deceptive door-to-door magazine sales crews are hitting the pavement, looking to earn a quick buck. In the last 12 months alone, BBBs across the U.S. have received 1,100 complaints from consumers in 46 states and the District of Columbia against more than 50 companies that are selling magazines door-to-door.

Many of these companies employ crews of high school and college-age people who are trying to earn money over the summer. These teams are sent to communities to knock on doors and sell magazines-sometimes without appropriate licensing. In the sales pitch, representatives might explain they are working to help get their lives back on track, raising money on behalf of a charity or for a school trip or even selling subscriptions to support troops in Iraq.

"Because sales representatives are typically high school or college-age, victims readily believe the potentially fictitious sales pitch and often pay several hundred dollars for the subscriptions by personal check given directly to the sales reps," said Jim Hegarty, BBB president and CEO.

Most complaints against such companies allege that sales reps took their check and the magazines never arrived. However, some complainants also allege being subjected to high-pressure and misleading sales tactics. In one example, a woman called the police after feeling threatened by a sales rep that became angry when she wouldn't buy a magazine. Some sales reps have also allegedly told prospective customers that they would not be able to eat that day if they didn't buy their magazines.

Some door-to-door magazine companies with F ratings from BBB include:

Michigan City, IN-based Omni Horizons Inc., which has received 122 complaints from consumers in 17 states according to the BBB Serving Northern Indiana

Chesapeake, VA-based True Visions Inc., which has received 82 complaints from 13 states according to the BBB of Greater Hampton Roads

Charlotte, NC- based Trinity Public Relations which has received 286 complaints

Seattle-based Fresh Start Opportunities, which has received 66 complaints from seven states according to the BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington

Memphis-based Greater Image, Inc., which has received 71 complaints from 16 states according to the BBB serving the Mid-South

Phoenix, AZ -based Prestige Sales, LLC which has received 33 complaints from 12 states according to BBB serving Central, Northern and Western, Arizona

"Experience tells us that customers aren't the only victims of this scam; the young sales people are also potentially being taken advantage of by their employers and forced to work long hours, endure substandard living conditions and have their wages withheld from them," said Hegarty.

BBB offers the following advice to avoid getting scammed by a door-to-door magazine sales rep:

Always research the company with your Better Business Bureau for free at www.bbb.org before filling out a check for a magazine subscription

The Federal Trade Commission's Three-Day Cooling-Off Rule gives the customer three days to cancel purchases over $25 that are made in their home or at a location that is not the seller's permanent place of business. Along with a receipt, salespeople should also include a completed cancellation form that customers can send to the company to cancel the agreement. By law, the company must give customers a refund within 10 days of receiving the cancellation notice

Victims of fraudulent magazine sales can file a complaint with their Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org, local law enforcement, and state Attorney General offices

The Better Business Bureau, Inc. (BBB) has been serving the region for more than 70 years and is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting trust between consumers and the business community. Accountability, education and recognition are key components to the BBB's mission of fostering trust in the marketplace. Today, the BBB has a membership of more than 6,700 companies in Nebraska, South Dakota and southwest Iowa.

Consumers are encouraged to report complaints and possible scams to the BBB. The BBB annually honors organizations and companies that demonstrate exceptional business ethics with the prestigious Integrity Award. As a matter of policy, the BBB does not endorse any product, service or company. For more information, please visit www.bbb.org and "Start With Trust."
NTV ABC
nebraska.tv
Kearney, Nebraska
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Downers Grove, Illinois
Police caution residents about door-to-door solicitations
June 1, 2009
Police caution residents about door-to-door solicitations
By Catherine Leyden, cleyden@mysuburbanlife.com
Downers Grove Reporter
mysuburbanlife.com
Mon Jun 01, 2009, 02:23 PM CDT
Downers Grove, IL -
As warm weather enters the area, so does a spike in the number of solicitors traveling door-to-door in Downers Grove.

The village and police department are reminding residents to be cautious. Police Sgt. David Bormann said commercial and non-commercial solicitors must apply for and display a permit badge.

“We want to know whose out there and knocking on peoples’ doors,” Bormann said. “You need to have the permit to identify who you are and that you are a legitimate business. If you’re not getting the permit, you can’t be there.”

That was the case with four people who recently were charged with commercial solicitation without a permit in Downers Grove.

Police said Sam Earl Briscoe, 22, of Mississippi, and Tyran Richard Harbor, 22, of Colorado, were selling magazines for “Face to Face Technologies” in the 4600 block of Prince Street May 18 without valid permits.

On May 24, police said Andrew L. Brickert, 20, of La Grange, and Anna B. Dickinson, 20, of Washington, also were charged for selling magazine subscriptions in the 5300 block of Florence Avenue.

In both instances, Bormann said homeowners noticed the lack of proper permit identification badges and called the police. The solicitors were picked up by officers as they continued to walk through each neighborhood, he added.

Solicitation permit violators usually face a fine of $100, Bormann said.

“If you do have a solicitor at your house and you don’t know who they are, I would not let them into your house,” he said.

Bormann added it is especially important senior citizens be cautious of people who come to the door saying they are there to inspect or fix something inside the home.

“No people solicit to check water heaters in the house,” he said.

Doug Kozlowski, village spokesman, said the fee for commercial solicitation permits is $25 and there is no fee for non-commercial permits.

“We average about 10 solicitation permits a year,” Kozlowski said.

Solicitation regulations
The village of Downers Grove divides solicitations into two groups — commercial and non-commercial solicitation. All solicitors are required to apply for a permit at Village Hall and wear an identification card. The village does not define solicitors as those are seeking or giving information for public opinion polls, political campaigns or pamphlet distribution.

COMMERCIAL The sale of for-profit goods, services or articles including magazine subscriptions, insurance policies, real estate listings or cleaning products. Commercial solicitation can take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, excluding holidays.

NON-COMMERCIAL The request of contributions such as money, property or financial assistance or the selling of items for charitable, religious or political causes. Non-commercial solicitation is allowed from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. including weekends and holidays.
By Catherine Leyden, cleyden@mysuburbanlife.com
Downers Grove Reporter
mysuburbanlife.com
Downers Grove, Illinois
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Litchfield, New Hampshire
Ala. fugitive arrested after complaint
Magazine Sales Company:
Urban Development Solutions
May 31, 2009
Ala. fugitive arrested after complaint
MICHAEL BRINDLEY
Nashua Telegraph
nashuatelegraph.com
Published: Sunday, May 31, 2009
LITCHFIELD – A complaint about a group claiming to be selling magazine subscriptions door to door led to the arrest Saturday of a fugitive wanted in Alabama. Police said they received a complaint from a concerned citizen about a group going to door to door claiming to be selling magazine subscriptions for a Michigan company called Urban Development Solutions. An officer approached the group in the area of Nesenkeag Drive. According to police, one of the males, James A. Riggs, 20, is wanted in Alabama on charges of smuggling contraband into a prison. Police arrested Riggs, a resident of Birmingham, Ala. He is being held without bail at the Hillsborough County Department of Corrections. Riggs will be arraigned on local charges Monday at Merrimack District Court. Alabama officials have started an extradition process to return Riggs to that state to face the felony charges, according to police. Police are asking residents to be vigilant of door-to-door salesmen and to call them at 424-4047 if there are any suspicious door-to-door salesmen in the area. The town says it hasn’t issued permits for such activity.
– MICHAEL BRINDLEY
MICHAEL BRINDLEY
Nashua Telegraph
nashuatelegraph.com
Hudson, New Hampshire
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Fox Lake, Illinois
Vacuum salesman charged in burglary
Door-to-Door Sales Company:
Kirby
Kirby Trade Group:
Direct Selling Association
May 30, 2009
Vacuum salesman charged in burglary
By SARAH SUTSCHEK - ssutschek@nwherald.com
Northwest Herald
nwherald.com
Created: Saturday, May 30, 2009 1:15 a.m. CDT
FOX LAKE – A McHenry man on parole for a slew of charges including burglary was charged this week with stealing from a home where he tried to sell vacuums a few days earlier. Alan Dufield, 26, was charged Thursday with residential burglary, a Class 1 felony, and unlawful use of a credit card, a Class 4 felony. On May 2, there was a burglary on Pistakee Lake Road in Fox Lake, and the homeowner suspected the vacuum salesman who had been there a few days earlier, said Lt. Jeff Norris of the Fox Lake Police Department. Dufield gave consent for police to search his home and vehicle, and they recovered stolen items from a storage facility in Crystal Lake, Norris said. In addition to credit cards, he allegedly stole cameras, computer equipment, and other electronics. He also was linked to burglaries in Crystal Lake, Woodstock and Libertyville. Norris said Dufield had been working for Kirby in Crystal Lake for five days before he was arrested. Additional charges are possible, Norris said. Dufield was paroled in May 2008 on charges that included misuse of a credit card, residential burglary, and aggravated fleeing a police officer. Previous charges include forgery, writing a bad check, theft, ID theft, and additional burglary charges. Dufield’s bond was set at $50,000, and he remained in custody Friday afternoon.
By SARAH SUTSCHEK - ssutschek@nwherald.com
Northwest Herrald
nwherald.com
Crystal Lake, Illinois
Read This Story


St. Louis, Missouri
Deceptive Door-to-Door magazine Sales Crews
Magazine Sales Company:
True Vision
May 29, 2009
Deceptive Door-to-Door magazine Sales Crews
Work Truth Home
workathometruth.com
May 29, 2009
The Better Business Bureau has issued the following warning (see end for link to full warning):

"In the last 12 months alone, BBB has received 1,100 complaints from consumers in 46 states and the District of Columbia against more than 50 companies that are selling magazines door-to-door."

Important from the BBB:

"“Experience tells us that customers aren’t the only victims of this scam; the young salespeople are also potentially being taken advantage of by their employers and forced to work long hours, endure substandard living conditions and have their wages withheld from them."

The pitch:

"The representative might explain they are working to help get their lives back on track, raising money on behalf of a charity or for a school trip or even selling subscriptions to support troops in Iraq."

The complaints:

"Most complaints against such companies allege that sales reps took their check and the magazines never arrived, however, some complainants also allege being subjected to high-pressure and misleading sales tactics."

The companies:

Trinity Public Relations in N.C. and Seedtime Publications in S.C. - BBB has received 286 complaints

Michigan City, IN-based Prestige Sales - BBB has received 33 complaints

Chesapeake, VA-based Omni Horizons Inc - BBB has received 122 complaints

Memphis-based True Visions Inc. - BBB has received 82 complaints

Memphis-based Greater Image, Inc. - BBB has received 17 complaints

Seattle-based Fresh Start Opportunities - BBB has received 66 complaints

Click here to visit the Better Business Bureau's full report, recommendations, and your rights.

Tags: Fresh Start Opportunities, FreshStart Opportunities, GreaterImage, OmniHorizons, PrestigeSales, SeedTimePublications, TrinityPublicRelations, TrueVisions

Filed under Better Business Bureau Releases by Paul (Founder, WorkAtHomeTruth)

Comments on Deceptive Door-to-Door magazine Sales Crews »
anonymous @ 11:13 pm
i have worked for true vision. it was run by a man named jason meredith. i was there for awhile and fired because my boss was mad at his girlfriend. he baited me in like he was so cool. he played the role as if he knew what it was like not to have anything. he played on my desires to want to have my own in life and he exploited my innocence when it came to not knowing the pay system. i have also worked for greater image. the managers name was marrio holpe but everything is in his moms name. he comes across as a country boy trying to have things out of life but he doesnt work for it. he gains wealth through working his girlfriend to the bone. its really a mental slavery. he travels all over the country sleeping with all kinds of women while she works (including the office manager and other female employees.) he tries to be kind but gets into his ways at times. if the world doesnt work according to how marrio believes then it is wrong. then he further brain washes by saying godly things to play on peoples intelligence. i have worked with fresh start as well and out of all it was better. samuel cole actually will look out for you if you dont cause problems and you keep striving to make more money. remember if you make money then the company makes money. he is business orientated but fair. i actually liked that atmosphere better. it was hard but it was fair. the best thing is that he keeps the rules the same and not as he feels. the employees understand go hard or go home. it really puts a fire under you and makes you go get it if your a motivated individual. of all these companies i would say fresh start is the best. you dont see your manager buying extravagent things while you dont get paid. or your manager tells you that all of your checks got cancelled and they dont pay you. see greater image is like that. but what do you expected when the manager isnt even thirty years old. to explain the pay system most managers tell you that you get between 40 or 50 percent commission. truthfully you only get 20 to 25 percent commission. heres how, there is a thing called a front and a balance. the front and balance is the cost of the actual magazine without the process and handling charge. the front is where the commission comes from. the front is half of what the magazines cost. so instead of getting 50 percent of the whole order, you get 50 percent of half of the cost. the other 50 percent of the front goes to the company. now the balance is half of the cost of the magazines go to the publishing company (so they tell you.) truthfully the process and handling is enough to clear the magazines. so that is a 75 percent profit to the company. it only takes about $3.50 to clear most magazines. most cases the process and handling is from $10 to $15. so do you understand the sometimes employees have attitudes when they come to the doors. it is a new age pimpin system. design to get the people that have never had anything. exploits their dreams of getting rich. also those that have a criminal background to dispicable to a regular 9 to 5 job. or former and current drug addicts. but why would managers care what you do at night, as long as the crew doesnt get kicked out of the hotel.
by Paul (Founder, WorkAtHomeTruth)
Work Truth Home
workathometruth.com
St. Louis, Missouri
Read This Story


Fox Lake, Illinois
McHenry vacuum salesman charged with burglary
Door-to-Door Sales Company:
Kirby
Kirby Trade Group:
Direct Selling Association
May 29, 2009
McHenry vacuum salesman charged with burglary
By SARAH SUTSCHEK - ssutschek@nwherald.com
Northwest Herrald
nwherald.com
Created: Friday, May 29, 2009 1:35 p.m. CDT
FOX LAKE – A McHenry man on parole for a slew of charges including burglary was charged again Thursday with stealing from a home where he tried to sell vacuums a few days earlier. Alan Dufield, 26, was charged with residential burglary, a Class 1 felony, and unlawful use of a credit card, a Class 4 felony. On May 2, there was a burglary at 22 S. Pistakee Lake Road in Fox Lake, and the homeowner suspected the vacuum salesman who had been there a few days earlier, said Lt. Jeff Norris of the Fox Lake Police Department. Dufield gave consent for police to search his home and vehicle, and they recovered stolen items from a storage facility in Crystal Lake, Norris said. In addition to credit cards, he allegedly stole cameras, computer equipment, and other electronics. He was also linked to burglaries in Crystal Lake, Woodstock and Libertyville. Norris said Dufield had been working for Kirby in Crystal Lake for only five days before he was arrested. Additional charges are possible, Norris said. Dufield was paroled in May 2008 on charges that included misuse of a credit card, residential burglary, and aggravated fleeing a police officer. Previous charges include forgery, writing a bad check, theft, ID theft and additional burglary charges.
By SARAH SUTSCHEK - ssutschek@nwherald.com
Northwest Herrald
nwherald.com
Crystal Lake, Illinois
Read This Story


San Mateo, California
Teen to stand trial for assault on San Mateo nursing home employees
May 29, 2009
Teen to stand trial for assault on San Mateo nursing home employees
By Elizabeth Pfeffer
San Mateo County Times
insidebayarea.com
Posted: 05/29/2009 03:35:39 PM PDT
Updated: 05/29/2009 06:51:26 PM PDT
A 17-year-old boy selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door has been ordered to stand trial for the assault and attempted rape of two San Mateo nursing home employees. During a preliminary hearing held in South San Francisco on Thursday, Christopher Joseph Cortez was called to answer on all charges, including two felony counts of assault with intent to commit rape, two felony counts of attempted rape, and one felony count of residential burglary. He has pleaded not guilty since the initial felony arraignment on March 23, a few days after police took him into custody. He is still being held on $1 million bail. Cortez is accused of returning to the residential care home 15 minutes after the two employees, both women in their 50s, refused to purchase magazine subscriptions from him. He then ordered them to remove their clothes and tried to physically prevent them from leaving the building, said Steve Wagstaffe, San Mateo County chief deputy district attorney. The women called police, who found Cortez with women identified him as their assailant, Wagstaffe said.
By Elizabeth Pfeffer
San Mateo County Times
insidebayarea.com
Oakland, California
Read This Story

DMPG Link:
Read More About:
Christopher Joseph Cortez


San Mateo, California
Teen to trial for attempted rape
May 29, 2009
Teen to trial for attempted rape
By Michelle Durand
The Daily Journal
smdailyjournal.com
May 29, 2009
A 17-year-old Hayward boy accused of posing as a magazine salesman to attack two women working in a residential care home will stand trial on multiple felonies including attempted rape, assault with the intent to commit rape and residential burglary.

Christopher Joseph Cortez is also charged with misdemeanor false imprisonment. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges but was held to answer yesterday after a preliminary hearing on the evidence. He returns to court June 11 to enter a Superior Court plea and set a trial date.

Although Cortez is a juvenile, prosecutors charged him as an adult under California’s Proposition 21. If convicted of all charges, he faces 15 years to life in prison.

San Mateo police arrested Cortez March 19 after two women in their 50s reported being held against their will by a man who came to their residential care home workplace in the 2600 block of Holland Street and claimed to be selling magazine subscriptions. The women said the man came to the door about 8:10 p.m. and asked for a drink of water after they declined a subscription. They let him in and then he left but reportedly returned approximately 15 minutes later.

The male, later identified as Cortez, entered the home and ordered the women to remove their clothing, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

One woman tried leaving but was blocked by the suspect. He then grabbed the second woman and tried to pull her down the hallway, prosecutors said.

The second woman fought back, scratching his face to break free and the women ran out the front door to call police. Meanwhile, the assailant fled out the back.

Police found Cortez nearby in a van with other magazine salespeople and matched the scratches on his face to the victim’s recollection of the events. Both women later identified Cortez as the male.

Cortez remains in custody in lieu of $1 million bail at the Youth Services Center.

Michelle Durand can be reached by e-mail:
michelle@smdailyjournal.com or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 102.
By Michelle Durand
The Daily Journal
smdailyjournal.com
San Mateo, California
Read This Story

DMPG Link:
Read More From The Daily Journal:
Posted: 03/23/2009 03:55:38 PM PDT
Christopher Joseph Cortez


Denver, Colorado
Door-to-door solicitors target homeowners
May 29, 2009
Door-to-door solicitors target homeowners
by Dave Young Reporter
KDVR-TV
kdvr.com
May 29, 2009
DENVER - A 65-year-old Arvada woman thought she was helping two young men win a contest selling magazines, while raising money for Childrens Hospital. But Childrens tells me vehemently, they never use solicitors going door to door selling magazines to raise money. But in this case, the woman believed them and got taken. In this Arvada neighborhood folks take pride in being a friendly community, solicitors might feel welcome here. "I was taking them out of the planter, " said Darlene Yaffe as she showed me her front porch flowers. Solicitors just like two young men selling magazines who approached darlene on her porch... telling her they're in a contest to win a trip while raising money for Children's Hospital. "I just wanted to help these young men I have a big family and you know my youngest son is 21 and i thought okay I'll help them, " said Darlene. But they ended up stealing her cell phone and making lots of long distance calls and cashing three checks she'd written....which her son in law worries might lead to identity theft. "They knock on our doors all summer long, I had no idea that these kids would be doing something like that," said Mike Woods. Area police departments warn the door to door thieves will also try to enter victim's homes to steal cash and credit cards, after asking for water or to use the bathroom. "They might feel sympathy for these kids who are going door to door they've got things on their back they're working they're sweating cause it may be hot out, so they feel compelled to help them," said Susan Medina of Arvada police department. And that sympathy, especially with older victims, is exactly what the scam artists are looking to take advantage of. "I feel used and abused," said Darlene. Arvada Police started a Solicitor Verification Program a year ago and ask residents to hand out a pamphlet to anyone who comes to their door. It requires them to verify they are who they say they are. So far, no solicitors have returned them to police.
by Dave Young Reporter
KDVR-TV
kdvr.com
Denver, Colorado
Read This Story


Provo, Utah
Man accused of assault may be incompetent to stand trial
May 29, 2009
Man accused of assault may be incompetent to stand trial
KLS TV 5
ksl.com
May 29th, 2009 @ 10:43am
PROVO -- A door-to-door salesman accused of assaulting a Provo woman may not be competent to stand trial. Brian Mask is charged with attempted murder and aggravated sexual assault in connection with the incident last August. According to the Deseret News, lawyers for Mask on Thursday said competency reports show his IQ is quite low, and the judge in the case ordered him to undergo a 90-day restoration of competency procedure at the state hospital. After that he will return to court, and the judge will determine if the case can move forward.
KLS TV 5
ksl.com
Salt Lake City, Utah
Read This Story


Provo, Utah
Salesman in assault case may not be competent
May 28, 2009
Salesman in assault case may not be competent
Desert News
deseretnews.com
Published: Thursday, May 28, 2009 2:34 p.m. MDT
PROVO — A door-to-door salesman who police say assaulted a woman listening to his magazine pitch may not be competent to proceed with his case. Brian Mask, 25, is charged with attempted murder and aggravated sexual assault for allegedly dragging a woman to the back bedroom in her American Fork home where he punched, choked and sexually abused her. The 58-year-old woman had opened her door on Aug. 25 to listen to the sales pitch then briefly allowed Mask inside to get her signature, police said. Thursday in 4th District Court, attorneys presented competency reports that show Mask's IQ is quite low, indicating moderate mental retardation, said defense attorney Richard Gale. Mask was sent to the Utah State Hospital to begin a restoration of competency procedure. "The question is whether that's his true IQ or if he was not trying hard enough (on the tests)," Gale said. Prosecutor Julia Thomas said she believes Mask is competent but knows how to make himself appear less-than-competent. "He knows what's going on," Thomas said. She expects that after the 90-day review, Mask will return to court and be prepared to proceed.
Desert News
deseretnews.com
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Carlsbad, New Mexico
Police, NMSU officials warn of magazine scam
May 28, 2009
Police, NMSU officials warn of magazine scam
From the Current-Argus
currentargus.com
Posted: 05/28/2009 08:51:24 PM MDT
CARLSBAD — Officials at New Mexico State University-Carlsbad have warned area law officers of a scam that is using the university's name. According to information from Lindell Smith of the Artesia Police Department, the scam involves a group of young people who identify themselves as a group called FLLRD. They have allegedly been going from house to house selling magazine subscriptions and telling residents that the money will go to support NMSU-C. University officials state that they have no such program and that this is a scam. The magazine subscriptions are fake, and no magazines are ever received by the buyers. Police advise that if a member of the FLLRD group approaches your home, you should send them away, or call the police. Carlsbad Police can be reached at 885-2111; in Artesia, call 746-5000.
From the Current-Argus
currentargus.com
Carlsbad, New Mexico
Read This Story


Salem, New Hampshire
Police arrest 'aggressive, rude' door-to-door salesmen
May 28, 2009
Police arrest 'aggressive, rude' door-to-door salesmen
Union Leader
unionleader.com
Thursday, May. 28, 2009
SALEM – Police believe the nine door-to-door magazine subscription peddlers taken into custody on Wednesday for " extremely aggressive and rude" behavior may be connected with four salesmen arrested last year after an alleged late night assault.

Spurred on by complaints from residents, authorities made the arrests after learning that none of the nine solicitors had a required state hawkers and peddlers license, nor had they registered with the town or the police department. Police said none of nine arrested had positive identification, complicating the situation.

One of the men, William Freeman, 29, of Detroit, Mich., already had an outstanding warrant for his arrest in Portsmouth for allegedly giving officers in that community false information. He was being held on a $250 cash bail, authorities said.

Another, Keyinna Jones, 20, of Baltimore, Md., has also been charged with false reports to law enforcement and is being held pending positive identification. Police also charged Lydia Thomas, 26, of Norristown, Pa., with operating a motor vehicle without a license. Thomas was released with a court summons.

Four arrested after fight in Salem Wendy's parking lot (4)

According to Capt. Shawn Patten, residents complained that the magazine salesperson would not take no for an answer. In one incident, Patten said a salesoperson tried to follow a resident into her home during the sales pitch.

While authorities have not learned who the nine salespeople work for, Patten said they may have been part of the same group or company as four other men arrested last summer.

On the night of June 26, officers took the four door-to-door magazine salesmen into custody after a passerby saw two of the men assaulting a third in the parking lot of a Wendy's restaurant on North Broadway Street. According to police, the man was refused dinner and then beaten by his supervisor and a co-worker for failing to meet his sales quota.

Though police believed the men were originally from Chicago and worked for Pargon Sales Midwest Clearing going door-to-door selling magazine subscriptions, none of them could produce positive identification, and they listed a Lowell, Mass., hotel as their residence.

The four had registered with Salem police per state law before their arrests, though authorities took steps to remove the group from the community and at the time urged residents and businesses to report any further contact with them.

Now police are taking similar measures, urging residents to contact department at 893-1911 if they are approached by a magazine salesperson. Police continue to try and verify the identifies of the nine arrested, Patten said.

Union Leader
unionleader.com
Manchester, New Hampshire
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Plano, Texas
BBB warns about door-to-door magazine sales
May 27, 2009
BBB warns about door-to-door magazine sales
From staff reports
Star Community Newspapers
(Created: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 9:03 AM CDT)
In a release from its Dallas office, the Better Business Bureau warns that deceptive door-to-door magazine sales crews are hitting the pavement and looking to earn a quick buck this summer. In the last 12 months alone, the BBB system has received 1,100 complaints from consumers in 46 states and the District of Columbia against more than 50 companies that are selling magazines door-to-door.

Two of those businesses are in the North Texas area - Lone Star Subscriptions and RLA, INC., both of Aubrey, Texas. Complaints on these businesses allege misleading sales pitches, non-delivery of magazines, and difficulties with refunds.

Many door-to-door magazine sales companies employ crews of high school and college-age people who are trying to earn money over the summer. These crews are sent to communities to knock on doors and sell magazines - sometimes without appropriate licensing. In the sales pitch, the representative might explain they are working to help get their lives back on track, raising money on behalf of a charity or for a school trip or even selling subscriptions to support troops in Iraq.

“Because sales representatives are typically high school or college-age, victims readily believe the potentially fictitious sales pitch and often pay several hundred dollars for the subscriptions by personal check given directly to the sales reps,” said Jeannette Kopko, spokesperson for the Dallas BBB. “Most complaints against such companies allege that sales reps took their check and the magazines never arrived, however, some complainants also allege being subjected to high-pressure and misleading sales tactics.”

In the last year the BBB system has received complaints on more than 50 companies conducting door-to-door magazines sales and following are a few examples:

Lone Star Subscriptions has been the subject of 139 complaints to the BBB in the last 12 months. A woman in College Station says she ordered a magazine from a sales rep who entered her home claiming to sell magazines to win a trip for a school organization. A complaint from an Illinois consumer stated that a young woman said she was trying to earn money for a high school trip (like a fund-raiser).

Complaints allege non-receipt of magazines or promised refunds, and difficulties getting in touch with the company.

There have been 47 complaints in the last 12 months on RLA INC. Complaints also are concerning the sales pitch and non-delivery of magazines. One complaint from Buffalo, N.Y., states that the sales representative said she was selling the magazine subscriptions in order to earn 'points' toward a trip, but the customer has not received a magazine. A Tennessee customer said a young man knocked on the door and said he was selling magazines for a school trip. “I would never pay $44 for a magazine subscription, but I thought I was helping this very nice, personable young man. My mistake,” said the complainant.

Other door-to-door magazine companies from around the country with “F” ratings from BBB include Trinity Public Relations, Seedtime Publications, Prestige Sales LLC, Omni Horizons Inc., True Visions Inc., Greater Image Inc., and Fresh Start Opportunities.

“Experience tells us that customers aren’t the only victims of this scam; the young salespeople are also potentially being taken advantage of by their employers and forced to work long hours, endure substandard living conditions and have their wages withheld from them,” said Kopko.

BBB offers the following advice to avoid getting scammed by a door-to-door magazine sales rep:

Always research the company with your Better Business Bureau for free at www.bbb.org before filling out a check for a magazine subscription.

The Federal Trade Commission’s Three-Day Cooling-Off Rule gives the customer three days to cancel purchases over $25 that are made in their home or at a location that is not the seller’s permanent place of business. Along with a receipt, salespeople should also include a completed cancellation form that customers can send to the company to cancel the agreement. By law, the company must give customers a refund within 10 days of receiving the cancellation notice.

Victims of fraudulent magazine sales can file a complaint with their Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org, local law enforcement, and state Attorney General offices.

The Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Dallas, Inc., is an independent, non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization's high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides services for both BBB Accredited Businesses and non-accredited businesses. BBB services include BBB Reliability Reports on businesses, complaint resolution services, advertising review, and information on topics affecting marketplace trust. The BBB serving Dallas and Northeast Texas was founded in 1920 and is one of 128 BBBs serving the U.S. and Canada. The BBB System evaluates and monitors more than 3 million local and national businesses and charities.
From staff reports
Star Community Newspapers
Plano, Texas
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Ashland, Kentucky
Police Speak Out About Local Door to Door Sales
May 27, 2009
Police Speak Out About Local Door to Door Sales
Posted: 12:45 PM May 27, 2009
Last Updated: 12:45 PM May 27, 2009
Reporter: Chris Atkins
wsaz.com
Email Address: chris.atkins@wsaz.com
ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Police in Ashland, Kentucky say a home security company needs to be licensed to operate within the city and pay its occupational tax before it can operate again in Ashland. Major Todd Kelley with the Ashland Police Department says officers responded last Friday to a South Ashland neighborhood after receiving many calls reporting suspicious persons and requesting extra patrols. Police questioned the door to door sales people and found out they were employed by APX Alarm Systems out of Provo, Utah. They were accompanied by 20 other associates doing business in Ashland. Officers checked and found that the employees were operating without a City of Ashland business privilege license and were unable to provide documentation of the license which they advised was on file in their corporate office. Without documentation of the license, two members of APX management were cited for violations of the Ashland City Ordinance and were ordered to immediately cease operations. A spokesperson with APX tells WSAZ.com the licensing issue will be cleared up. In Pike County, police are putting out a warning on people selling fraudulent magazine subscriptions. Sgt. Chris Edmonds of the Pikeville Police Department says these sales people work for a company called American Circulation Enterprise. Edmonds says ACE operates like a business, promising college-age individuals a chance to travel the country making money selling magazine subscriptions. He says they sell magazines that are fraudulent. Police received a complaint that a man staying at the Days Inn was soliciting the fake subscriptions. Sgt. Edmonds says the man is known by several aliases. If you bought a subscription from ACE you should contact police and stop payment.
Reporter: Chris Atkins
wsaz.com
Ashland, Kentucky
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Madison County, Mississippi
Beware of magazine scams
May 27, 2009
Beware of magazine scams
By staff reports
mcherald.com
May 27, 2009
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns consumers about the increase in fraud among door-to-door students selling magazine subscriptions. The scam occurs when the peddlers - typically with a hard-luck story or earning money for charity - take orders and then the magazines never arrive. “Because sales representatives are typically high school or college-age, victims easily believe the fictitious sales pitch and often pay too much money,” said Bill Moak, President/CEO of the Mississippi BBB. “The BBB has received more than 1,000 complaints in the last year from 46 states.” In some cases the students have also been victims. They were hired by a company to sell magazines door-to-door and then never paid their promised commissions. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Cooling Off Rule requires that you must be offered a cancellation form any time you spend more than $25 from door-to-door salesman. You also are allowed three days to cancel the order. “If you are not offered a cancellation form, don’t buy – plain and simple,” Moak continued. “It’s usually more safe to buy from students you know or from students who represent local school fund raising efforts.”
By staff reports
mcherald.com
Madison County, Mississippi
Read This Story


North Texas
BBB Warns Of North Texas Magazine Sales Scam
May 26, 2009
BBB Warns Of North Texas Magazine Sales Scam
Reporting
Nerissa Knight
CBS 11 News
May 26, 2009 5:05 pm US/Central
NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 News) - In some cases, simply answering a doorbell ring can open the door for scams and trouble. The Dallas Better Business Bureau has issued a consumer alert, concerning certain door-to-door salespeople. A group, claiming to be magazine salespeople, is apparently making the rounds across North Texas. John Davis said he was approached at his home in the Lakewood area of Dallas. "We got solicited by a guy [who] said if we give him money for his magazine subscriptions it would help pay his way to college." Davis didn't fall for the pitch. Davis works for an insurance designer company in Dallas and said he learned a lot after he and his co-workers had an interesting conversation. Apparently several employees, each living in different North Texas cities, had been solicited by probable cons. Davis' co-worker, Debra Holt, was approached outside her house. "The same thing happened to me," she explained. "I was out doing yard work and I was approached by two men saying they were out selling magazines… trying to get college funds." Rockwall resident Allison Gooch says she fell for the con. "My husband gave them a check for the exact same book - the Humpty Dumpty. I was home alone and he [the fake salesperson] caught me, and my daughter said it was the exact same gentleman," explained Gooch. Gooch works as a case manager and said she trusted the young man who came to her door posing as a college student and magazine salesman. It was a month before that her husband gave the fake salesman money for publications and books for their kids. In all the Gooch family was taken for $88, but officials with the Better Business Bureau and local law enforcement say it could've been worse. On March 30th, Grand Prairie police say Daniel Deshawn Neal raped an elderly woman and set her on fire, after posing as a door-to-door salesman. In the last year, the BBB has received more than 1,100 complaints from people in 46 states and the District of Columbia against more than 50 companies. Two of those businesses are in North Texas -- Lone Star Subscriptions and RLA, Inc., both in Aubrey. RLA, the same company the Gooch family gave their money to, has had 47 consumer complaints in the last 12 months. Most issues involved high-pressured sales pitches and non-delivery of magazines. Jeanette Kopko is with the Dallas BBB and she says while many magazine subscription operations are legitimate, several aren't operating their business appropriately and a few may just be scams. "People complain that they don't get it [magazines] at all and then they have to try and get their money back or get the magazine [subscription] started," she said of the problem companies. Consumers should keep in mind that, especially during hard economic times, while legitimate businesses are coming up with more creative ways to get your money, criminals are also getting craftier. Before buying anything, consumers are advised to research the company with their local Better Business Bureau before handing out money for a magazine subscription. For now, Allison Gooch has hopes for others and herself. "I hope no one else falls for this and I want my money back!" she said. CBS 11 News tried contacting several questionable subscription companies, including one in Aubrey, but did not receive a response.
Reporting
Nerissa Knight
CBS 11 News
cbs11tv.com
North Texas
Read This Story


Ashland, Kentucky
Consumer Alert
Magazine Sales Company:
American Circulation Enterprises
Magazine Clearinghouse:
Publishers Consulting Corporation
Web Site:
http://www.mag-full.com


Information obtained from: Indiana Secretary of State
American Circulation Enterprises
613 FRANKLIN STREET,
MICHIGAN CITY, IN 46360

Registered Agent(name, address, city , state , zip):
RUTH MOKRYCKI
613 FRANKLIN STREET
MICHIGAN CITY , IN 46360

Principals(name, address, city, state, zip - when provided)
WILLIAM E. FERRELL
Director
613 FRANKLIN STREET
MICHIGAN CITY , IN 46360

JOHN F. LAKE
Incorporator
2601 EAST MICHIGAN BLVD
MICHIGAN CITY , IN 46360

Publishers Consulting Corporation
613 Franklin Square
Michigan City, Indiana 46360
(219) 874-4245
(219) 872-8961 (Fax)
Registered Agent(name, address, city , state , zip):
ROBERT W LAKE
613 Franklin Sq.
MICHIGAN CITY , IN 46360

Principals(name, address, city, state, zip - when provided)
LAKE ROBERT W.
President
613 Franklin Sq.
MICHIGAN CITY , IN 46360

Ruth Mokrycki
Secretary
613 Franklin Sq.
MICHIGAN CITY , IN 46360

May 24, 2009
Consumer Alert
Posted: 9:30 PM May 24, 2009
Last Updated: 9:30 PM May 24, 2009
Reporter: Chris Atkins
WSAZ NewsChannel 3
Email Address: chris.atkins@wsaz.com
ASHLAND, KY (WSAZ)-Police in our area don't want you to get scammed. Ashland police say watch out for people coming to your neighborhood selling home alarm systems.

Last Friday, officers responded to a South Ashland neighborhood after receiving many calls reporting suspicious persons and requesting extra patrols.

Police questioned the door to door sales people and found out they were employed by APX Alarm Systems out of Provo, Utah. They were accompanied by 20 other associates doing business in Ashland.

Officers checked and found that the employees were operating without a City of Ashland business privilege license and were unable to provide documentation of the license which they advised was on file in their corporate office.

Without documentation of the license, two members of APX management were cited for violations of the Ashland City Ordinance and were ordered to immediately cease operations. The APX website states that they are authorized to operate in our area which currently can't be confirmed.

In Pike County, police are putting out a warning on people selling fraudulent magazine subscriptions.

Sgt. Chris Edmonds of the Pikeville Police Department says these sales people work for a company called American Circulation Enterprise.

Edmonds says ACE operates like a business, promising college-age individuals a chance to travel the country making money selling magazine subscriptions. He says they sell magazines that are fraudulent.

Police received a complaint that a man staying at the Days Inn was soliciting the fake subscriptions. Sgt. Edmonds says the man is known by several aliases.

If you bought a subscription from ACE you should contact police and stop payment.
Reporter: Chris Atkins
WSAZ NewsChannel 3
Email Address: chris.atkins@wsaz.com
wsaz.com
Ashland, Kentucky
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Direct selling aka network marketing recession-proof! My foot!
May 22, 2009
Corporate Frauds Watch
Direct selling aka network marketing recession-proof! My foot!
Posted by Shyam Sundar at 01:26
Sunday, 24 May 2009
Unemployment is rising. Loans are hard to get. Foreclosures are skyrocketing; small business owners are closing their doors. Into this sad situation comes multi-level marketing (MLM), claiming to offer consumers a "fall back" or rescue. They call it "direct selling" and they claim it is "recession-proof." The problem is, the "income opportunity" peddled by most multi-level marketing companies is not direct selling. Direct selling during a Recession is a possible income opportunity, but it is certainly not a safe haven. It is not recession proof. In fact, it is among the hardest jobs in the world, with huge turnover and very little profit potential. What product would people need to buy from a friend or neighbor - at higher prices - than they can readily buy in stores or online? And how much does it cost in time and money to do the marketing, selling, delivering, and servicing? In reality, the "direct selling" offered as "network marketing" is just the age old "endless chain" trick. You pay money to the MLM for the right to sell the MLM opportunity to others who pay money for the opportunity sell the MLM opportunity to others who will pay money to do the same. What is the opportunity, you ask? It's the opportunity to sell the opportunity! Get it? To make a profit each person needs many more people below them. This is also called a pyramid scheme. Later investors pay earlier ones, with each level growing geometrically. The pyramid money is disguised as fees, marketing and sometimes inventory. In nearly all cases, the "inventory" is higher priced than similar goods in stores, yet the direct selling industry claims consumers will buy more when the economy goes down! In fact, they claim people make money in direct selling when times are good and when times are bad! This may sound familiar. It is exactly the same claim made by billion-dollar-fraudster, Bernard Madoff. He too said his investors would profit from his scheme, in good times or bad. The fact is that the true "product" that is being purchased in most direct selling schemes is the right to sell the opportunity to others. The opportunity to sell the opportunity! As to the clam that the money is really for "products" and "business costs", not just the opportunity to sell the opportunity, the question must be asked: why would unemployed people, who may be facing home foreclosures, buy expensive and relatively unknown products during a Recession? And, as to why "direct selling" increases during a Recession, the related question must be asked: why would consumers buy more of these higher priced products during a downturn? Unemployed consumers can be persuaded to buy high priced products ranging from weight loss pills to chocolate - if they are told they will get all their money back plus a big profit when they recruit others to do the same! In other words, this is a classic money transfer dressed up to look like a business. The money a few will get comes from the losses of many others "below" them. At the end will be the vast majority who will not - and cannot - find enough new "buyers." The promise that everyone can find a "safe haven" in this money transfer scheme is a cruel lie. The result of falling prey to an "endless chain" recruitment scheme will be even greater losses for thousands of people who spend their remaining savings, or take on more debt, to join a MLM scheme. The Direct Selling Association (DSA) has been selling the bogus idea of a "safe haven" and recession-proof business to the media. Some journalists have bitten the hook. Recently the New York Times took the bait and reported bogus figures about "median income" levels of MLM participants. However, it did at least include a warning about recruitment schemes and included the Pyramid Scheme Alert website as a resource. However, the New York Times refused to correct the mistaken numbers about "median income". The Times defended the figure on the grounds that it accurately reported what the Direct Selling Association told them! The DSA is not a government agency. It is a lobbyist and PR promoter of multi-level marketing. The article stated, "The barriers to entry (in direct selling) are fairly minimal. Start-up kits - required by most companies - cost about $99 on average... The median income from direct selling is $2,400 annually, according to the (Direct Selling) association, but those who recruit and manage others can earn significantly more. "These two figures - $99 "on average" to start up and a "median income" of $2,400 - are spectacularly misleading. --True start-up costs (the fee is just the first cost) can be in the thousands and may require monthly inventory purchases and even more costs for "marketing and motivation."--As for income, 99% of all MLM participants lose money. The $2,400 figure of "median income" (half of all MLMers would make more if that is the "median") is pure fiction. -- For half of all direct sellers to earn $2,400 (median income), as the DSA told the NY Times, the total sales of direct sellers would have to be far more than $100 billion! And, all the MLMers would have to be retailing all their products!-- The DSA misleads with numbers about "retail" sales, but almost any number used would be fake. Most its members do not track retail sales. This is because most MLMers don't make retail sales! They only recruit other "direct sellers." The direct selling claim is just a camouflage for recruitment scams. Far from providing a safe haven during a Recession, MLM schemes actually widen the wealth gap; they sap resources from most people who invest and siphon the money to a small group of promoters; they entice people to try to make money off their friends' and family's losses. In the midst of a Recession, MLM has found a great new market - unemployed people, desperate for income. Other industries are also profiting - gambling, lotteries, payday loans, and bankruptcy lawyers.

No More Silence: Take Action
Over the last eight years, Pyramid and Ponzi schemes have grown and spread. The Internet is now choked with "cash gifting" scams and "matrix selling" frauds. Pyramid selling scams have multiplied and now boast that the Recession will bring them more desperate "recruits." The false promise of income from an "endless chain" recruitment scheme is the lure of these multi-level marketing scams. Many of the "job" and "business opportunity" solicitations on the internet are nothing more than pyramid schemes, flim-flam frauds. Consumers now have a way to fight back.
Posted by Shyam Sundar at 01:26
Corporate Frauds Watch
Posted by Shyam Sundar at 01:26
corporatefraudswatch.blogspot.com
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Madison, Wisconsin
Door-to-door cleaning product man a scammer
May 22, 2009
Door-to-door cleaning product man a scammer
The Capital Times — 5/22/2009 7:30 am
madison.com
A man going door to door selling cleaning products on the far west side was more intent on cleaning out wallets than getting spots out of carpets, Madison police reported. The scammer was operating in the 7800 block of Oakbrook Circle and was reported to police at about 5 p.m. Thursday. The seller had a number of things working against him, according to Lt. David McCaw. "He didn't have a permit issued by the city to every door to door salesman, he had no identification, he overcharged the sales tax to one buyer and the phone number he gave for the 'home office' was not truthful," McCaw said. "We want to remind people to use caution when dealing with this type of sales person," McCaw added. No arrests were made.
The Capital Times
madison.com
Madison, Wisconsin
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Dothan, Alabama
Two suspects arrested in Ozark home invasion
May 22, 2009
Two suspects arrested in Ozark home invasion
By Jim Cook
DOTHAN EAGLE
Published: May 22, 2009
OZARK—Two suspects in a Wednesday home invasion robbery are in custody and another remains at large. Ozark Police arrested Travis T. Marshall, 16, of Dothan, and Rodney J. Whigham, 25, of Dothan and charged them with first degree burglary. They are currently being held in the Dale County Jail without bond. The two men were arrested after investigators traveled to Henry Green Apartments in Dothan and interviewed several individuals and collected evidence. Ozark Police Chief Tony Spivey said a third suspect, Benjamin Jarred Carroll, 19, had fled the Dothan area on board a Greyhound bus. The bus was stopped at 2 a.m. near Athens Friday by Alabama State Troopers and Limestone County Deputies, but Carroll had already gotten off the bus. Two of the suspects entered the Skipperville Road home of an elderly Ozark couple on Wednesday after one of them had gained entry to the home pretense that he was selling magazines. Once inside they held the couple at gunpoint and taped one of their victims to a chair. The Ozark Police Department was aided in the investigation of this crime by the Dothan Police Department, the Dale County Sheriff’s Office, the Dale County District Attorney’s Office and the Wiregrass Violent Crimes and Drug Task Force.
By Jim Cook
DOTHAN EAGLE
dothaneagle.com
Dothan, Alabama
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Lafayette, Louisiana
BBB Warns Against a Summer Scam Going Door-to-Door Nationwide
May 21, 2009
BBB Warns Against a Summer Scam Going Door-to-Door Nationwide
KATC3
Acadiana's Newschannel
katc.com
Posted: May 21, 2009 05:26 PM CDT
Updated: May 21, 2009 05:26 PM CDT
The Better Business Bureau of Acadiana is warning that deceptive door-to-door magazine sales crews are hitting the pavement and looking to earn a quick buck this summer. In the last 12 months alone, BBB has received 1,100 complaints from consumers in 46 states and the District of Columbia against more than 50 companies that are selling magazines door-to-door.

Many of these companies employ crews of high school and college-age people who are trying to earn money over the summer. These crews are sent to communities to knock on doors and sell magazines-sometimes without appropriate licensing. In the sales pitch, the representative might explain they are working to help get their lives back on track, raising money on behalf of a charity or for a school trip or even selling subscriptions to support troops in Iraq.

Because sales representatives are typically high school or college-age, victims readily believe the potentially fictitious sales pitch and often pay several hundred dollars for the subscriptions by personal check given directly to the sales reps. Most complaints against such companies allege that sales reps took their check and the magazines never arrived, however, some complainants also allege being subjected to high-pressure and misleading sales tactics.

In the last year the BBB across the nation has received complaints on more than 50 companies conducting door-to-door magazines sales and following are a few examples:

The BBB serving Charlotte has received 286 complaints against two magazine companies. Complainants report not receiving the subscriptions they paid for and some allege sales reps used high-pressure sales tactics. In one example, a woman called the police after feeling threatened by a sales rep that became angry when she wouldn't buy a magazine. Some sales reps have also allegedly told prospective customers that they would not be able to eat that day if they didn't buy their magazines. The company was closed down by the Attorney General in N.C. and has also closed in S.C.

The BBB serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona has received 33 complaints from 12 states regarding another magazine sales company. In addition to not receiving magazines they paid for, complainants allege sales reps lied about being neighborhood youth who were trying to earn money for a school trip to Europe, while other customers were led to believe they were purchasing magazines subscriptions for troops deployed to Iraq.

Other door-to-door magazine companies with F ratings from BBB include:

Michigan City, IN-based Omni Horizons Inc. , which has received 122 complaints from consumers in 17 states according to the BBB Serving Northern Indiana;

Chesapeake, VA-based True Visions Inc. , which has received 82 complaints from 13 states according to the BBB of Greater Hampton Roads;

Memphis-based Greater Image, Inc. , which has received 71 complaints from 16 states according to the BBB serving the Mid-South; and,

Seattle-based Fresh Start Opportunities , which has received 66 complaints from seven states according to the BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington.

Experience tells us that customers aren't the only victims of this scam; the young salespeople are also potentially being taken advantage of by their employers and forced to work long hours, endure substandard living conditions and have their wages withheld from them.

Your BBB offers the following advice to avoid getting scammed by a door-to-door magazine sales rep:

Always research the company with your Better Business Bureau for free at www.bbb.org before filling out a check for a magazine subscription. The Federal Trade Commission's Three-Day Cooling-Off Rule gives the customer three days to cancel purchases over $25 that are made in their home or at a location that is not the seller's permanent place of business. Along with a receipt, salespeople should also include a completed cancellation form that customers can send to the company to cancel the agreement. By law, the company must give customers a refund within 10 days of receiving the cancellation notice. Victims of fraudulent magazine sales can file a complaint with their Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org , local law enforcement, and state Attorney General offices at www.ag.state.la.us .

For more advice on go to www.bbb.org research library for consumer savvy information or call 981-3497.
KATC3
Acadiana's Newschannel
katc.com
Lafayette, Louisiana
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Seguin, Texas
City weighs ordinance to oust solicitors
May 19, 2009
City weighs ordinance to oust solicitors
By Jessica Sanders
The Gazette-Enterprise
Published May 19, 2009
SEGUIN — Seguin residents may soon have fewer uninvited knocks at the door. City Attorney Ross Fischer will go before council tonight to present the draft of an ordinance regulating door-to-door solicitations and establishing a peddler’s permit for those selling door-to-door in Seguin neighborhoods. In a memo to council, Fischer explained that the Supreme Court has long invalidated ordinances by a city that would regulate door-to-door sales or passing out of pamphlets. However, a recent finding by the court indicates that commercial advertising and soliciting of funds may be restricted, as long as the ordinance did not interfere with free speech. “Core free speech principles such as religious and political speech should not be regulated,” Fischer said, explaining that the ordinance would be focused on those with a commercial purpose. Salespeople and those seeking funds for commercial purposes would be restricted. Meanwhile, those passing out information or seeking funds for a non-profit, religious or non-commercial organization and youth fundraising activities would remain unregulated. Fischer said that those seeking a peddler’s license, or city approval to sell door-to-door, would undergo careful scrutiny. “The ordinance calls for an extensive application for someone seeking a peddler’s license, establishes a permit fee, authorizes a background check, sets forth grounds for permit revocation and creates offenses for violating the terms of the ordinance,” he said. “It is specifically designed to protect residents from intrusion and fraud, while avoiding any unconstitutional restrictions.” Council is expected to make recommendations to the draft. While council members may vote on the ordinance during tonight’s meeting, a second reading would be required before the ordinance could go into effect. Also during the meeting, City Manager Doug Faseler will discuss bids on the renovation of the municipal annex building and council will consider applications by companies seeking a franchise for waste hauling services. Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. today at City Council Chambers, 210 E. Gonzales St.
By Jessica Sanders
The Gazette-Enterprise
seguingazette.com
Seguin, Texas
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Spreading canards through newspapers by Direct selling companies
May 15, 2009
Spreading canards through newspapers by Direct selling companies
Corporate Frauds Watch
Posted by Shyam Sundar at 23:48
Friday, 15 May 2009
An article published on May 14 in the Business Line daily newspaper, published from the stable of the Hindu Group of Publications revealed how newspapers could be utilised to spread canards to the advantage of the Direct selling racketeers. A press meet showering lavishing gifts on the reporters would help these fraudulent companies to get whatever they want published. The article with the headline 'Direct selling on the go' by Tunia Cherian reveals how best an article could be written hiding the facts between the lines. Indian Direct Selling Association's projection of 20 per cent growth in 2008-09 is highlighted in the article. But the reporter hastily adds that the actual figures will be released only after its annual survey is formally released in July. Lies, lies and more lies, nothing but lies. The journos are generally carried away by the statements of these companies' public relation officers. They never care to check and cross-check to know whether what these people are saying true or not. Interestingly, there are more than one interviews clubbed together. The statements by the heads of Tupperware, Hindustan Unilever Network, Amway India and the comments of secretary general of IDSA are also included in the story. Interestingly, the direct selling industry claims an increase of turnoever to Rs. 2,851 crore in 2007-08, as against the Rs. 2,522 crore in 2006-07. They never say whether the subscription amount from the new members and renewal fee from the existing distributors also included in the turnover. In fact, that is the biggest racket indulged in by all these companies. The article also highlights the exorbitant price of these products. However, people who afford them are only buying these products, it is justified. Readers who go through this article may assume that direct selling is a great idea and they may try their hand to burn their fingers. Hence, my fellow countrymen, do not fall for the sweet talk of these fraudsters through the columns of newspapers and lose your hard-earned money. Save it for your children or at least enjoy it. Do not help these fraudsters to line their pockets with your money.
Posted by Shyam Sundar at 23:48
corporatefraudswatch.blogspot.com
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Oakland, California
Elder crime spotlighted after slaying of widow
May 14, 2009
Elder crime spotlighted after slaying of widow
Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle
Thursday, May 14, 2009
(05-13) 20:59 PDT Oakland --
The beating death of a 97-year-old Oakland woman and other recent Bay Area crimes involving the elderly are grim reminders of the dangers that retirees can face, especially if they live alone, authorities said Wednesday.

Ivarene Lett's body was found Monday night in her condominium in the quiet Adams Point neighborhood near Lake Merritt. Acquaintances described her as independent and active, a widow who attended weekly dance exercise classes and still drove her Chevrolet Caprice after renewing her driver's license just a few months ago.

No arrests have been made, and a motive for the slaying isn't clear, said police spokesman Officer Jeff Thomason.

With police keeping mum on details of the investigation, residents of the 71-unit Van Buren Tower at 320 Lee St., where Lett lived, wondered if the killer was someone close to her or someone who had insinuated himself into her life. Lett lived alone and had no caretaker but was visited regularly by her niece, who found Lett's body, police said.

The slaying has so alarmed residents that management decided to change the outside locks, building superintendent Hervene Spurrier said Wednesday.

"It's going to make the tenants feel a whole lot better, and they are frightened," Spurrier said.

Lett was the oldest homicide victim in Oakland history. Her killing and other recent Bay Area crimes have cast a spotlight on the vulnerability of elderly people, who are more susceptible to fraud, Internet and phone scams, and crimes motivated by financial gain, authorities say.

In 2005, 90-year-old Anna Elizabeth Vuori was raped and killed in the Lafayette home where she lived by herself. Traveling magazine salesman Richard Craig McNew, 34, bound and gagged her before fleeing with $18,000 in savings bonds, $200 in cash and Vuori's keys. He was linked to the slaying by DNA and was sentenced earlier this year to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In 2000, an employee of a used-appliance store was accused of fatally beating 87-year-old Victoria Sousa, a widow who lived alone in her Pinole retirement home.

In San Francisco, 84-year-old Ellen Gutierrez was held prisoner in her Mission District apartment in 2005 by six gang members who dealt drugs from her home and even ate her free senior meals.

Such crimes represent suffering that is "usually invisible to outsiders," said Elena Portacolone, a UCSF doctoral candidate in medical sociology who is researching the plight of San Franciscans over 75 living alone.

"While Ms. Lett saw her niece, others may be homebound and never have visitors," Portacolone said. "It is time to increase the public awareness of how difficult it is to live alone at home in older age."

Mayor Ron Dellums has announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of Lett's killer or killers. Anyone with information is asked to call Oakland police at (510) 238-3821.

E-mail Henry K. Lee at hlee@sfchronicle.com.
This article appeared on page B - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle
Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer
E-mail Henry K. Lee at hlee@sfchronicle.com.
San Francisco Chronicle
sfgate.com
San Francisco, California
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Rutherford, New Jersey
Avon won't be calling, but politicians still will
May 13, 2009
Avon won't be calling, but politicians still will
No-knock law only stops profit making solicitors
(by D.R. Foster - May 13, 2009)
South Bergenite
Rutherford, NJ
East Rutherford is considering becoming the latest town in the South Bergenite area to pass a "no-knock" ordinance, limiting the ability of canvassers, solicitors and other peddlers to knock on your door. But don’t expect not to get visits from Jehovah Witnesses, veterans or politicians.

In addition to requiring door-to-door vendors to get permits from the town, the new ordinance would create a no-knock list that residents could sign up for. Those on the list would receive stickers for their doors to let solicitors know their houses are off-limits.

The ordinance, which is still being drafted, was conceived by Councilman Jeffrey Lahullier after several residents complained about a for-profit business peddling door-to-door in their neighborhood, on a Sunday. According to Lahullier, the town had approved the canvassing.

The council has discussed creating the ordinance at the last two council meetings, and so far Lahullier said it has met with no opposition.

"It would work like the no-call lists," Lahullier said of the potential ordinance. "It’s still in the study phase at this point, but we haven’t gotten any kind of blowback from vendors."

But other towns in the area have had trouble applying their no-knock laws to also cover the variety of non-profit and religious groups that constitute a majority of canvassers.

Last year an environmental group—the New Jersey Environmental Federation (NJEF)—sued Lyndhurst over the right to conduct door-to-door canvassing in the town, claiming their civil rights were violated by borough officials.

In January 2005, the group notified the town it would be canvassing within its borders, but was stopped on its first day of activity. Police told members they needed permits. According to the NJEF’s complaint, town officials then stymied efforts to obtain the proper permits over the next two and a half years. In August 2007, when the group again notified the town it would be canvassing and were again stopped by police, the NJEF pursued legal action.

By December of last year, Lyndhurst had reformed its regulations on canvassing, but had also added—without the NJEF’s objection—a no-knock clause of its own, allowing residents to sign up and get stickers for their doors.

The NJEF was previously involved in a successful suit against the township of Wayne, in Passaic County, when a Federal District Court ruled that soliciting contributions door-to-door is a form of protected speech for non-profits, and ordinances requiring permits for non-profit canvassing were thus unconstitutional. Permit requirements for commercial solicitation remained on the books, however.

Lyndhurst’s ordinance, too, now contains exemptions for "charitable campaigns", "agenc[ies] of the county or of this state", "nonprofit political organizations" and licensed veteran and firemen groups.

Lahullier said he is aware of the issues faced by other New Jersey towns with no-knock ordinances, and he is unsure the extent to which the East Rutherford ordinance will include similar exemptions. But he also said he is not deterred by the potential for legal challenges.

"It’s a quality of life issue, and the quality of life for our residents is of the utmost importance to me," he said.

Most town ordinances, including Lyndhurst’s, require canvassers to provide names, addresses and background checks for canvassers and businesses. They also require advanced notification of when canvassing activities will be taking place.

The number of towns throughout the state with no-knock ordinances is growing, and includes Edison, Hanover, Mountainside and Franklin Lakes, among others.

One of the oldest no-knock registries in the state is in Dover Township, Ocean County. The township’s ordinance was created in 2004, after a man selling magazines door-to-door murdered a 77-year-old woman who answered the door.
(by D.R. Foster - May 13, 2009)
South Bergenite
southbergenite.com
Rutherford, NJ
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Chino Hills, California
Adult arrested for sexual advances toward girl
May 13, 2009
Adult arrested for sexual advances toward girl
Jannise Johnson
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
dailybulletin.com
Created: 05/13/2009 03:07:07 PM PDT
CHINO HILLS - A 24-year-old man was arrested Tuesday after he attempted to have sex with a 13-year-old girl, authorities said. Michael Jackson, 24 was arrested after he attempted to kiss and entice a 13-year-old girl into having sex, according to a San Bernardino County Sheriff's news release. Deputies responded at 3:25 p.m. to a call of a possible annoying or molestation of a child in the 2700 block of La Salle Point. When they arrived, they learned the 24-year-old suspect had come to the door selling magazines. When the victim answered the door, the suspect asked if she had ever had sex before, authorities said. He asked her to engage in sex with him and to keep it a secret. He also attempted to kiss her and get her to come outside of her house. That suspect also made sexual advances toward an adult female in a different residence. Jackson was identified during an investigation and arrested a few hours after the original report was taken. Jackson is from out of state, but his hometown was not immediately available.
Chino Hills Police Departmentwww.chinohills.org
Jannise Johnson
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
dailybulletin.com
Ontario, California
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Bethesda, Maryland
Woman attacked near Bethesda school
May 13, 2009
Woman attacked near Bethesda school
by Bradford Pearson | Staff Writer
Maryland Community Newspapers Online
Gazette.net
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
A woman was attacked and nearly raped near Bethesda's Sumner neighborhood Friday evening, police said. At approximately 6:50 p.m. Montgomery County Police responded to a call for an attempted rape of a 19-year-old woman near the intersection of Sangamore Road and Westpath Way in Bethesda, said Officer Meghan Duffey, a police spokeswoman. The woman was selling magazines door-to-door when she first encountered the suspect, Duffey said. The two spoke for a moment about what the woman was selling and then she continued on her w