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Cincinnati Police Department

Deceptive door-to-door magazine sales crews

The Cincinnati Police Department would like to warn residents of deceptive door-to-door magazine sales crews are in the City of Cincinnati looking to earn a quick buck this summer.

Crews have been on the east side of town going door-to-door soliciting funds under the guise that proceeds would go to local charities. A check with two of these charities reveals they have no working relationship with out-of-town magazine groups.

The typical sales representative approachs residents and explain they are from New Orleans or some other region recently hit by a natural disaster. The sales person then goes on to push you to buy magazines by cash or check and issue you a handwritten receipt.

Salespeople are typically transported to neighborhoods in vans and work in teams to canvas the neighborhood during afternoon and dinner hours. Once they make their sales, checks are cashed and they leave town.

Information from the Better Business Bureau indicates:

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 Steve Cox, BBB spokesperson. “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.”




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Date: 9:23:34 AM 07/11/2011 CDT


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