FBI seeking victims in magazine subscription scams investigation

The FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) are seeking victims who may have been defrauded by magazine subscription services beginning in 2000.

This nationwide telemarketing fraud scheme was being carried out by companies engaging in phony and fraudulent magazine subscription solicitation scams. These companies target the elderly and other vulnerable individuals and trick them into unwittingly signing up for expensive magazine subscription packages. The investigation has identified dozens of companies involved in fraudulent magazine sales located within the United States and internationally. The scheme involves tens of thousands of victims and millions of dollars in losses.

These companies were operating in 14 states across the country, including Minnesota, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, California, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Arkansas. The Call Center Managers trained the Telemarketers to use the fraudulent sales scripts to defraud victim-consumers. The indictment also charges Lead Brokers, who bought and sold lead lists of victim-consumers to fraudulent magazine sales companies. Many of the consumers on this list were elderly and susceptible to fraudulent and deceptive sales tactics and particularly valuable to companies engaged in fraudulent magazine sales. Accordingly, the lead lists commanded a significant premium and sold for as much as $10 or $15 per name.

If you were fraudulently charged or contacted by a magazine subscription service using deceptive tactics during the time period listed above, please complete this brief questionnaire. Your responses are voluntary but would be useful in the federal investigation and to identify you as a potential victim. Based on the responses provided, you may be contacted by the FBI and asked to provide additional information.