Beware of Newspaper and Magazine Subscription Renewal Offers That Come From Third Parties
When you get a subscription renewal notice, do you pay it without question or do you do some checking to make sure it's right? If you're like most people, you pay it and forget about it quickly. Everything turns out just fine most of the time. But sometimes the renewal notice you get isn't from the publisher at all. It could be from a third party trying to turn a profit or even steal your money.
Sometimes it's not the company you expected
If you have subscriptions to newspapers or magazines and you get a message to renew your subscription, you might be dealing with someone other than the publisher. Independent subscription agents send renewal offers by mail and email, sometimes charging far higher prices than it would cost to renew directly with publications. They may look legitimate, but can cost you more than you need to pay. In other cases, you can get a renewal request that appears to be from a company but that's really from a scammer wanting you to send money you don't owe or don't owe yet.
Don't make payments outside the company
The goal is to get you to make a payment somewhere other than the company that sends your subscription, which is not how most companies do business. When you make a payment to a third party, you run more of a risk than just paying more than you had to pay. You could find that the newspapers and magazines you expected never arrive and that the publisher never got paid. Then you'll find that your phone calls and emails to payment processor go ignored.
Double Check Before You Pay
Whenever you get a renewal notice or any type of bill, you should be doing some checking. There's always a chance that it was sent by mistake, but more of a chance that it's part of a scam. So when you get a notice telling you it's time to renew, check the subscription yourself to make sure it's actually time. Many subscription services will clearly disclose your expiration date on the mailing label each time you get a delivery. You might even get a renewal notice for a subscription you don't have.
Fake notices look official
Scammers are great at making things look like the real deal. It's one of the ways they get unsuspecting victims to fork over so much money. They use logos, text, and paper that look just like what the publishing companies use. The quality is sometimes so good and so realistic that many people can't tell the difference.
The prices are really good
One of the big warning signs you can look for is a ridiculously low price. Would you expect to pay $5.00 or $10.00 to renew a subscription early that would ordinarily cost $100 or $200? Of course! But when something seems too good to be true, it usually is. You end up sending a small amount of money that you never see again. And since the dollar amount is so small, many victims don't pursue the matter.
If you want to renew
If you are considering a renewal subscription to a magazine or newspaper, make sure the renewal offer comes from the company that subscribed you in the first place. To be on the safe side, contact the company directly via information listed in the publication or on its website, not the notice, to see if you are due to renew your subscription. You can also check rates for renewing directly through the magazine or newspaper before you renew from a notice.