Magazine scam allegedly targeting area

Published 9:28 pm Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Anna Green

If Troy residents receive a knock on their door from young people selling magazines for a trip to London, they should think twice before buying.

Troy University journalism professor Jeff Spurlock said that young adults posing as college students may be claiming to sell magazines for a trip planned to London. Spurlock said that this is a scam.

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“We are taking a British Studies tour July 16-31. It’s a part of the College of Communication and Fine Arts, and we will be studying everything from broadcasting and art, to visiting Shakespeare’s birthplace,” Spurlock said. “The people who are selling magazine subscriptions, however, are not at all affiliated with this trip.”

Spurlock said that the suspects have all been described as college-aged white males and that he is unsure of whether or not the magazine subscription is legitimate.

“This has not been authorized by us. People are selling the magazines for themselves, and simply taking the money. There’s no telling if a magazine will ever be received by the people who buy the subscription,” Spurlock said. “If someone comes to an apartment or house door selling magazines and claiming that it’s to earn money for a trip to London, it’s a hoax. Don’t do it. Call the police.”

Troy Public Information Officer Sgt. Benny Scarbrough said that Spurlock notified him of the scam, but that no report has been filed.

“The best advice I can give the citizens of Troy is that if someone solicits at your house, you should ask for credentials from the individuals,” Scarbrough said. “You should see if they even have the credentials or the license to be selling that product.”

Scarbrough also said that people should contact the Troy Police Department if anyone tries to sell a magazine subscription pertaining to the London trip.

“If anyone tries to sell a magazine subscription or a product supporting that particular event, they should contact the Troy Police Department. We will certainly be looking for the public to let us know if this is happening,” Scarbrough said.

Spurlock said there are still spaces available for the London trip.

“You have to be at least 18 years old, but you do not have to be a Troy University student,” Spurlock said.

Contact Spurlock at 670-3289 by March 15 at the Hall School of Journalism for more information on the trip.