Groups raise new alert about door-to-door magazine sales

by: Amy Clancy, KIRO 7 Consumer Investigator Updated:


SEATTLE - The state's top consumer watchdogs want you to be on the lookout for door-to-door magazine salespeople, who have become more aggressive in recent days.


Consumer Investigator Amy Clancy said you might not even want to answer when the doorbell rings.


Clancy said it's unusual for both the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General's Office to contact her at the same time about the same issue, but that's what happened.


See the Attorney General's warning

BBB '09 warning of door-to-door 'scam'  still applies


KIRO 7 has warned before about door-to-door salespeople pitching magazines. Some of them claim some of the money will go to charity.


Jerry Henrickson of Olympia fell for it back in 2009.


"The old retired teacher in me said, 'I will give this guy a break.' Care and compassion takes a hit on this particular day," Henrickson said.


But Henrickson never received any of the three magazine subscriptions for which he paid nearly $200.


Within recent weeks, the AG's office and the BBB have received dozens of similar complaints.


"They're basically preying on these people to fall into their story to get their credit card information. And the number one complaint is they're paying hundreds of dollars and they're not getting these magazines in return," said Niki Horace of the Better Business Bureau.


Often, the businesses are not licensed and don't respond when a buyer tries to cancel.


Even scarier is what could happen to your credit card information.


"The minute you fill out one of those carbon copy receipts and you put your number down, you are literally giving your information to someone, they can put it in their pocket, you have no idea what happens after that point," Horace said.


One receipt showed that despite verbal promises, none of the money went to charity.


There are a number of companies, so we're not naming specific ones. And they often change names.


Your best option is to say "no."