ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - Minnesota U.S Attorney Erica MacDonald federally indicted the former owner of a high-pressure magazine sales company, which operated a call center in Chaska, Minn.
Wayne Robert Dahl is now charged for four counts of mail fraud and four counts of wire fraud for his company called Your Magazine Service, Inc. The indictment says the company targeted mostly elderly customers and in a ten-year span, collected more than $10 million from 13,000 customers across the country.
Attorney General Lori Swanson sued Dahl two years ago and had a judge order Dahl’s business be shut down.
“Two years ago, in June of 2016, we sued Mr. Dahl for swindling people into paying for magazine subscriptions they didn’t order,” said Swanson in a statement. “ We thereafter obtained a court order blocking him from these practices and requiring he pay $20 million. It’s troubling that Mr. Dahl charged thousands of people around the country, including the elderly, for unordered magazines, then didn’t satisfy the court judgment and pay them back.”
The Better Business Bureau often gets complaints on companies such as these and their high-pressure phone sales. Bess Ellenson of the BBB says the caller is typically very persistent.
“Usually a phone call is high pressure and they claim they have a bunch of information that they may or may not have and they just put the pressure on the person to make a deal right then and there,” said Ellenson.
She says the schemers are often after your money, or account information, which is why you should never give out your credit card number.
“So if you have somebody contacting you and asking for that information or to verify information, never do it,” said Ellenson. “That’s a huge red flag. Chances are they actually don’t have that information and by you volunteering that, now they have it.”
She advises to never buy anything over the phone you didn’t already inquire about.
“So if you’re taking a phone call from someone and they are just randomly offering you a product that you never even though of buying, don’t do it,” she said.