Newspaper subscription scam reaches Alaska

  • By DAN BALMER
  • Monday, November 17, 2014 11:10pm
  • News

A new scam that sends out bogus newspaper subscription renewal notices has made its way to Alaska from the Lower 48.

The Federal Trade Commission has warned customers to watch out for the renewal bills in the mail that operate under the name Publishers Billing Center. Scammers in California and Ohio have sent out fake subscription mailings to collect subscription payments.

On Oct. 31, the California Attorney General Kamala Harris issued a consumer alert to Californians regarding a scam involving fake newspaper subscription mailings. If the deceptive notices contain self-addressed postage with a Post Office Box or other mailing address that is located from a different state that the publisher should be ignored, according to the release.

At least one Alaska Dispatch News reader received a fake bill that totaled nearly $400, according to the Newspaper Association of America.

Customers may receive a “notice of renewal/new order” bill in the mail that claim the recipient could receive a favorable price, when the price is actually higher than the annual subscription.

Peninsula Clarion Circulation Manager Randi Keaton said no customers on the Kenai Peninsula have been affected but the scam has reached people in Anchorage.

“It’s not just hitting customers but random people,” she said. “People should be skeptical of these notices if they have a different mailing address.”

Keaton said Clarion mail subscriptions are sent to P.O. Box 3009, Kenai, Alaska. The bill should not come from another company or another name. The Clarion is owned by Morris Publishing Group, a media company based in Augusta, Georgia.

Keaton said other red flags to watch for are misspellings on the invoice and to check the account number.

“Our accounts all have ‘KEN’ in front,” she said.

NAA reports the scammers are operating under more than 40 names, including Circulation Billing Services, Publishers Billing Emporium, Readers Payment Service and Associated Publisher Network.

Keaton encouraged anyone with concerns to call the Clarion circulation department at 907-283-3584.

 

Reach Dan Balmer at daniel.balmer@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Soldotna City Hall is seen on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna bumps vote on use of accessory housing as short-term rentals

An accessory dwelling unit is a subordinate, detached dwelling unit located on a lot or parcel with an existing residence

Foliage surrounds the Soldotna Police Department sign on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Foliage surrounds the Soldotna Police Department sign on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Law enforcement to host women’s self-defense class in January

Within 48 hours of the course being advertised, 120 women had signed up to participate

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Local hunter credits community members for Thanksgiving rescue

Glover said he didn’t even strike out from his home to go hunting

In this July 13, 2007, photo, workers with the Pebble Mine project test drill in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska, near the village of Iliamma. (AP Photo / Al Grillo)
EPA proposes restrictions to block Pebble Mine

Mine developer Pebble Limited Partnershi called the EPA’s decision a preemptive veto

Architect Nancy Casey speaks in front of a small gathering at this year’s final Fireside Chat presented by the Kenai Watershed Forum on Nov. 30, 2022, at Kenai River Brewing in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Building with the environment in mind

Kenai Watershed Forum’s Fireside Chats conclude

Johni Blankenship signs her name after being sworn in as Soldotna City Clerk at a city council meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Blankenship sworn in as Soldotna city clerk

Blankenship comes to the City of Soldotna from the Kenai Peninsula Borough

Demonstrators hold signs supporting Justin Ruffridge and Jesse Bjorkman for state office on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Nov. 8 election results certified

The outcomes of local races for state office remain unchanged

The Kenai Peninsula Borough administration building is photographed on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
4 candidates vie for borough mayoral seat

The special election is slated for Feb. 14

Spruce trees are dusted with snow on Dec. 22, 2020, in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge near Soldotna, Alaska. Some areas of the refuge are open to harvest of holiday trees for non-commercial uses beginning Thanksgiving. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Snowmachine use permitted in Kenai National Wildlife Refuge beginning Dec. 1

Areas now available include those “traditionally open to snowmachine use”

Most Read