Magazine Subscriptions


Magazine Subscriptions Scam: How It Works

Magazine subscribers often receive renewal solicitations disguised as bills from crooks. The thing is, you could become a victim of this scam whether you have a subscription for a printed magazine or for an online one.There are two variations of the scam:

Scenario 1. The scammers select a magazine that has, say, an annual subscription of $29.99. It could be any publication: People, Time, Reader's Digest, etc. Then they claim to be the publishers and ask subscribers for a $49.99 annual renewal and get the victim to fill out a form and pay. The crooks then take this money, pay the real magazine themselves ($29.99), and pocket the rest. This works well because the subscribers still receive the magazine.

Scenario 2. Scammers ask consumers to submit a payment to the Associated Publishers Network (APN) – a renewal subscription "business" claiming an address in Las Vegas. Victims receive a renewal notice and write the check. What happens after is they wait for a response but the renewal of their subscription goes nowhere.

When contacting the magazine they are told they have no working relationship with APN. The victims then call the renewal company, which doesn't have a person taking live calls.

If you are wondering how do the scammers find the names of the actual subscribers of any magazine… don't. They just send thousands of messages to people aper day, until they catch someone who is a paid client.


Magazine Subscriptions Scam: How To Avoid

Wait for the renewal notice to come along with the magazine and make sure you check the flyer for the price. Most people just throw it straight in the garbage, since they know they renewed the subscription already. Never take into consideration a solitary request for renewal.

The magazine usually sends a form along with the publication when you only have one or two issues left in the subscription. Examine every magazine subscription very carefully.

Magazine Subscriptions Scam: How To Report

Make your family and friends aware of the Magazine Subscription scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:

Report Scammers To The FTC Here


How to protect yourself more:

If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You'll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.


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selma hrynchuk
Selma HrynchukSenior Editor at Scam Detector Media, Selma is a fraud prevention specialist with a wealth of experience in private investigations and collaborations with law enforcement. A captivating public speaker, Selma educates audiences about scams and personal safety. Through her insightful writing, she exposes criminals and shares essential tips for staying secure. Selma is a dedicated guardian against fraud, committed to unmasking deception and promoting integrity.

7 thoughts on “Magazine Subscriptions”

  1. My big mistake answer my phone and the other say yes I had to get a new bank card so they wouldn’t take money out of my bank they are like roaches that won’t go away you killed one & you still can’t get rid of them they are the devil they also lazy people go out and get a real job instead of stealing money

  2. My case is a little different … I’m getting magazines that I never ordered. There is a subscription number/code in my name, etc, but I do not know how it’s being charged/paid for. I’ve checked all my bank cards & found no charges. Just need to keep watching. Meanwhile the mags are piling up. So what else should I look for? I’m having trouble believing someone is sending me freebies …. just out of "kindness" of course.
    Thanks for any info.

    1. I am getting the same thing. I called PEOPLE Mag and they said a third party company ordered it. It’s coming to my address, but it’s the wrong name. PEOPLE gave me a number to call the third party scammers at 800-303-0344 (, which turns into, but they did not answer and I had to send an email on their website. I threatened legal action if they did not call my by Monday b/c I know this is def a scam and I want them to know I’m going to send my lawyer in a heartbeat. I don’t have time for this BS.

  3. Albert ANeals

    This scam has been going on for years, and they are still in business, using the U.S. mail. They are taking money away from the publishers as well as consumers. Since they are using the U.S. Post Office, they can be found. They stole money from me in 2013, and still keep coming back for more.

  4. In Oct.2014, my 81 year old mother received a renewal notice from these guys. She thought it was for her National Enquirer subscription. She sent a check for $199.95 to address indicated. The back of the check was endorsed APN. I checked with National and her subscription doesn’t expire until June of 2015. She has received nothing in return. I’m turning over everything to the state Attorney General’s office including the cancelled check with their bank info. Hopefully, he can lien the account and get her money back. If everyone sends their info to their state Attorney General, they can all work together or get the federal AG involved.

  5. Watch out for magazine renewals – one you have already made or that you DID NOT make but getting charged for it. E-mail address indicated United Publishers; however, if you look at the small print, ask for checks to be made payable to APN.
    SCAM. Can’t get in touch with them to cancel. Large sum of money is requested.

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