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CSUPD asks students to be aware of magazine sales scam

September 10, 2010

Colorado State University Police Department is warning students who live on and off campus to be aware of a current scam on campus related to magazine subscription sales after several suspicious incidents have been reported to them.

Common scam

If you are approached by individuals selling magazine subscriptions on campus or in your off-campus apartment, report the incident to police.

Fraudulent sales of magazines are a common scam. Often, but not always, sales people say that they are raising money for a charity or non-profit, to the support the military troops or earn money for a scholarship. These scam artists often use high-pressure sales or emotional appeals to obtain money from residents who purchase magazine subscriptions. People who subscribe to these magazines never receive the magazines or pay several times the price for a subscription.

A group of individuals engaged in this scam is gaining entry into residence halls by “tailgating” into the halls behind students with a key. Once in the halls, they are selling false subscriptions to magazines to students for inflated costs and often refuse to give a receipt for the sale. The receipt for the sale contains subscription cancellation information. Any door-to-door sale of magazines, T-shirts or other items within the residence halls is prohibited by the university and a city ordinance.

Reports of door-to-door sales on and near campus

Scam magazine sales also have been reported on the LSC Plaza and student apartments within Fort Collins. Any solicitation on the LSC Plaza is prohibited by the university unless prior permission is gained by the company selling items, and donation solicitations, collecting credit card information, and transactions which involve a financial commitment are not permitted at all on the LSC Plaza.

Door-to-door sales in off-campus housing also are prohibited by city ordinance. Since 1938, the city of Fort Collins has had an ordinance which prohibits door-to-door residential solicitations by commercial business, including magazine sales.

Call CSUPD's non-emergency number to report

If you are approached by individuals selling magazine subscriptions on campus or in your off-campus apartment, report the incident to police. CSUPD can be reached for a non-emergency at (970) 491-6425. If you live off campus, call Fort Collins police on their non-emergency number at (970) 221-6540.

If you have already bought a magazine subscription from a door-to-door salesperson and the purchase is more than $25, you're protected under the Federal Trade Commission’s Cooling-Off Rule. The rule gives you three days to cancel your order and receive a full refund – but you must have a receipt with refund information to cancel your order. If you purchased a magazine subscription, 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.

More information

Contact: Dell Rae Moellenberg
Phone: (970) 491-6009