MN Attorney General sues companies for using magazine subscriptions to scam seniors

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson has sued four Oregon-based companies that allegedly used magazine subscriptions to scam Minnesota seniors.

According to a release from Swanson's office, the scam consisted of the companies -- Orbital Publishing Group, Inc., Liberty Publishers Service, Inc., Associated Publishers Network, Inc., and Express Publishers Service, Inc. -- sending renewal notices to subscribers that appeared to be from the publisher, but really had no affiliation with the magazines whatsoever.

Swanson's office provided the following examples:

One of the companies charged an 80 year old woman from St. Peter $79.95 to "renew" her TV Guide subscription for one year. TV Guide charges $16.50 for a one-year subscription. Another company charged a White Bear Lake woman $71.88 to "renew" her Love of Quilting subscription for two years. After she paid the company, Love of Quilting offered her a two-year renewal for $32.97.

The state is seeking restitution for victims of the scheme, civil penalties, and assurances the companies will cease deceptive direct-mail marketing.