Better Business Bureau Warning: New Magazine Scam Hits Northern Illinois

CHICAGO, IL – If you have recently renewed a magazine subscription, you might want to take a second look at your statement. Scammers are disguising themselves as magazine companies and sending subscribers fake renewal forms, requesting them to renew their subscription at odd prices. In some cases, renewals are offered at suspiciously low prices and in others, extremely inflated prices. As a result, consumers are receiving multiple renewal forms and paying scammers for magazines that they will never receive.

Mary Ann Bretzlauf of Grayslake was recently a victim of a magazine renewal scam, receiving a subscription renewal for $179.99. When she received the bill she said, “I noticed that the address that I sent the payment to looked different but I did not worry about it. I did not get the magazine and when I called the actual magazine office they said that this company is not authorized and that this happens all the time.” After having no luck with several customer service representatives from the company, Mary finally got her refund when she threatened to report them and complained to the Better Business Bureau.

“Once consumers sign up for a magazine subscription, it’s easy for them to pay their renewal fees without taking a closer look at the form” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO serving the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “However, they need to take a closer look at both their initial subscription form and their renewal form because if the address and/or companies don’t match, then it’s most likely a scam.”

The BBB urges people to beware of illegitimate magazine subscriptions by following these tips:

  • Check for a renewal notice. Many magazine companies will include a renewal notice in the final issue of your magazine. If you see this notice in your final issue, then you will know it is authentic.
  • Compare addresses on your subscription forms. You can find the legitimate address in the first few pages of your magazine. Don’t pay a renewal form with an address that doesn’t match the one inside your magazine.
  • Check the mailing label on your magazine. If you don’t know when your renewal date is for your magazine subscription, check the date on the mailing label of your magazine. If you receive a renewal form that is not near the renewal date on your magazine then be extremely cautious.
  • Contact your magazine publisher. If you are uncertain about your renewal date or the validity of your renewal form, contact the magazine publisher directly with any questions or concerns. They will have accurate information on your magazine subscriptions.

For more tips and information about scams, visit