Scam Alert: Phony Magazine Sales

We've got a scam alert for Texoma. This time it's coming door-to-door in the form of phony magazine sales.

Ray Burt and his wife fell victim to scammers earlier this week. They say two young people came to their door, claiming to be a junior and senior at Christ Academy in Wichita Falls. They were selling magazine subscriptions under the guise they were raising money for the soccer team. Burt, who didn't want his face shown on camera, says it seemed like a good deal at first.

"We thought it was satisfactory and it was gonna go to St. Jude's Children's Hospital," he said.

But the Better Business Bureau says the magazines never arrive at St. Jude's or anywhere else.  Christ Academy Chief Educational officer Jerry Meadows says there were immediately three things wrong with what he heard about the story.

"Number one, we don't have juniors or seniors this year. Number two, we don't have a soccer team, and number three, we try not to send our students door-to-door," he said

Unfortunately, Burt and his wife wrote out a $56 check to Midwest Circulation. It was then their daughter and next-door-neighbor came over and started asking the young girl who her teachers were and other questions about Christ Academy.

"She was getting very nervous, wanting to get away from here. There was a car waitin; to pick 'em up," Burt said.

Meadows says this is the first time Christ Academy has been directly mentioned in a scam attempt.

"People seem to be more willing to give to faith-based, especially when it comes to education in things that are helping service people," he said.

Burt says he realizes all the red flags of the scam, but only after the crooks got a hold of his money.

"Well I think the dishonesty is more than anything else that I'm concerned about, but I don't want them to do it to someone else," he said.
He did place a stop payment on his check the next morning, but he and his wife are still concerned because the scammers still have the actual check in their hands.

The BBB says aside from the obvious misinformation, Midwest Circulation doesn't have appropriate solicitation permits from the city, either. Now some scammers are starting to change their stories, too; now people calling the BBB say people claiming to represent Wichita Christian are doing the same type of scam attempt.

Spencer Blake, Newschannel 6