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Bogus Billing Alert

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Blog entry by Todd A. Clippinger posted 03-11-2009 01:02 AM 814 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Heads Up Everybody…

Today I received what looked like a subscription renewal for WoodShop News (one of my favorite magazines.)

I would classify it as a scam. I have a subscription with WoodShop News, they evidently know it and it is intended to trick me into sending them a check for a subscription renewal. If you try to pin them down you will notice that it is worded so that they are technically “a magazine clearinghouse agent.” The bill is a total poser that I am sure some are going to fall for.

The blue/red color scheme and layout is very much gives the impression of the bill that WoodShop News sends out.

They make the statement, “You’re receiving one of the lowest available rates we can offer for your regular subscription.” They charge $6 more than WoodShop News does for a year and right now WoodShop News charges $21.95 per year plus you get a WoodShop News baseball cap. This is all assuming that you will get anything from them at all.

Not the First Time…

WoodShop News has been the target of fraudulent billing in the past and even has posted it in their magazine to warn their subscribers. Scam artists send out a bill that looks like it is from the magazine but actually goes to an entirely different address.

If this is not an outright scam you are definitely not getting the best deal.

Be Warned!

Here are a couple of photos showing the front and back of the bill.

Front

Front

Back

Back

Plug for WoodShop News

This is not some form of guerilla marketing so that I may bring attention to the WoodShop News magazine. But I will admit that this publication is one of my favorite. It is geared towards business and it is not a how-to magazine like “FineWoodworking” so it may not be for everybody.

This blog is ultimately to be taken as a warning to this scam.

Update

Before I posted this blog I did call WoodShop News and inform them. I also sent the scanned images to the REAL magazine. This is not the first time that this has happened to them.

Peace, Love, and Woodworking

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com



11 comments so far

View Russel's profile

Russel

2199 posts in 2662 days


#1 posted 03-11-2009 01:12 AM

Thanks for the heads up … do you really want your address posted?

-- Working at Woodworking http://www.VillageLaneFurniture.com

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8791 posts in 2823 days


#2 posted 03-11-2009 01:17 AM

Russel – Thanks, I missed that.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13347 posts in 2396 days


#3 posted 03-11-2009 02:12 AM

Thanks for the heads up, Todd.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View Blake's profile

Blake

3437 posts in 2597 days


#4 posted 03-11-2009 02:25 AM

Wow, a scammer that can actually spell and write a full sentence! This is pretty official looking and is sure to trick some people.

You should let the ACTUAL company know that you got this. They might be able to warn all of their customers. If people get scammed they could have some very unhappy customers and they would end up getting screwed too. So it would be in their best interest to be proactive. I’m sure they would appreciate you forwarding the fake bill to them.

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 3037 days


#5 posted 03-11-2009 06:22 AM

Reno? What part of Nigeria is that? That is my favorite woodworking publication. Thanks for the heads up!

View LesB's profile

LesB

1078 posts in 2166 days


#6 posted 03-11-2009 08:06 AM

These are not new. I have been getting them for years for various magazines. They do actually renew your subscription; usually before you need it, but they charge extra. Most of the ones I got were from some place in White City, Oregon.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 2291 days


#7 posted 03-11-2009 08:40 PM

What these scammers rely on is that more than a few magazines, especially smaller circulation ones, outsource their subscription billing. Not that the magazines themselves aren’t above ‘scamming’ – more than few I’ve subscribed to in the past start sending bills within a few months of [re]subscribing.

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8791 posts in 2823 days


#8 posted 03-11-2009 09:26 PM

Derek – You are right, I have received “aggressive” billing from one magazine in the past myself. Next thing I knew, I was paid up for 3 years. I realized that I have to pay better attention to the bills I am writing checks to.

I did check with WoodShop News directly and this is not their billing company. I also have to say that I have not received aggressive billing from this magazine.

They indicated that there have been previous incidents with fraudulent billing activity, where subscribers sent checks to pay the phony bills and received nothing.

This could even be a legitimate independent magazine distributer, but why would I pay more? And I feel that they are trying to dupe me because it resembles the actual WoodShop News bill. Basically, the best scenario here is that I am paying another company more money for another subscription.

I know of people that subscribed to magazines through this type of service with a credit card and they had difficulty getting the high priced subscriptions to stop. It is not really illegal, it is just very aggressive.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View johnnie52's profile

johnnie52

27 posts in 2090 days


#9 posted 03-11-2009 09:41 PM

I guess as times get tougher the crooks get more desperate.

Today I got an email from the United Nations informing me that I had been randomly drawn to receive 10,000,000 dollars US. All I had to do was supply them my name, address, email address, and social security number to confirm my identity and they would deposit the funds in my bank account…..

The rely to address was a gmail account…...

Thanks for the heads up…. note to self… Self, never pay anything on line again!

-- John - Tampa, FL - American components, Russian components..... ALL MADE IN TIAWAN!

View Grumpy's profile

Grumpy

19586 posts in 2574 days


#10 posted 03-14-2009 12:33 AM

Thanks for the warning Todd. You never know what bad guys are out there.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Karson's profile

Karson

34902 posts in 3124 days


#11 posted 03-14-2009 12:45 AM

Todd. I’ve received these also, but since I receive the magazine free, I didn’t think I wanted to pay for it.
I ignored it and it went away until the next one a couple of years later.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

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