The Better Business Bureau has warned about an increase in fraud among door-to-door student magazine salespeople. The publication peddlers take orders, but the magazines never arrive. The students typically have a hard-luck story or say they are earning money for charity.
"Because sales representatives are typically high school or college-age, victims readily believe the potentially fictitious sales pitch and often pay several hundred dollars for the subscriptions," spokesman Steve Cox said.
The bureau has received more than 1,000 complaints about fake magazine sales in the last year from 46 states, including California.
In some cases the students were also victims, the agency said. They were hired by companies to sell magazines door-to-door and then not given their promised commissions. Cox said the students were "forced to work long hours, endure substandard living conditions and have their wages withheld from them."