If you subscribe to various media outlets, including newspapers and magazines, the Lee County Sheriff's Office wants you to be aware of a scam that is circulating the area by unauthorized companies sending fraudulent renewal offers to subscribers.
In particular, one local subscriber to the Wall Street Journal reported receiving an invoice in the mail that appeared to be from the WSJ. However, he was suspicious about the authenticity of the bill and contacted the Journal directly, only to find out that his suspicions were correct.
According to a press release from Dow Jones & Company, publisher of the Wall Street Journal, businesses purporting to work on behalf of the paper are sending out deceptive notices, styled as a "Renewal or New Order" and suggest they are an authorized subscription billing service.
These misleading invoices look very authentic and direct the subscriber to a Web site where they are instructed to enter their credit card number. A list of the alias names used on many of these invoices can be found at: www.thenation.com/renewalscam#axzz2f9qKh1aI.
If you receive a "subscription renewal or new order notice," determine whether the solicitation is legitimate before you disclose your bank account or credit card information by following these tips:
- Call the magazine or newspaper publisher by using the number located on their website. Do NOT contact the number or address listed on the invoice as this could be directly linked to the scammer.
- Check the payment address on the return envelope. Does it match the authorized subscription department listed on the legitimate website?
- Be wary of companies that collect magazine or newspaper subscriptions and renew them as a third-party agency.
For more information, contact the Lee County Sheriff's Office fraud line at (239) 477-1242.