Public Editor

Subscription scam targets newspaper subscribers

Beware of phony newspaper subscription renewal notices coming from the Associated Publishers. It also uses various other names such as United Publisher’s Clearing House, National Magazine Services, Orbital Publishing and Publisher’s Billing Exchange.
Beware of phony newspaper subscription renewal notices coming from the Associated Publishers. It also uses various other names such as United Publisher’s Clearing House, National Magazine Services, Orbital Publishing and Publisher’s Billing Exchange. MCT

A nationwide scam involving phony subscription bills is targeting subscribers to multiple publications, including The Kansas City Star.

An organization identified by the Better Business Bureau as the Associated Publishers Network has been mailing the fake invoices. It also uses various other names such as United Publisher’s Clearing House, National Magazine Services, Orbital Publishing, Subscription Billing Service, Publisher Payment Company, Publishers.com and Publisher’s Billing Exchange.

The solicitations may direct subscribers to mail payments for higher-than-normal rates to addresses in Henderson, Nev. and White City, Ore., among other cities.

Any Star subscribers receiving such a notice should disregard it.

“Subscribers should be alerted that genuine Star invoices all contain a business reply envelope addressed to PO Box 809016, Kansas City, Mo., 64180-9016, which is the only safe place for our customers to mail their payments,” said Ken Batrick, The Star’s vice president for audience development. “Any requests for payments to be mailed to any other address are scam bills.”

The Star’s publisher Mi-Ai Parrish said,“It is important to know that there are several different names under which this scam is operating. This company has no business relationship to The Star and never has. It has no access to our data.”

Consumers who believe they’ve received fake billing invoices should contact the Fraud Department of the U.S. Postal Service or the state attorney general.

Associated Publishers Network has also targeted subscribers of publications such as The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Wichita Eagle, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and New Yorker Magazine. The BBB says emails and phone calls to the organization are not returned.

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