Students fooled by magazine scam – again

Joe Lord

It was the same sales pitch.

Megan Summers, a sophomore from Portland, Tenn., knew something was wrong last Thursday when she heard a student talking about a magazine subscription they she had just purchased.

“I told them, ‘You won’t ever see a magazine,'” she said.

A group from a company accused of scamming students by selling fake magazine subscriptions in January was back on campus last week.

Florence freshman Sally Eggleston said she purchased a subscription Thursday from a man standing between Central Hall and Downing University Center. He told her he worked for Paragon Marketing Group in Antioch, Tenn.

PMG representatives could not be reached for comment.

The Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee, Inc., has given PMG an “unsatisfactory” rating, saying the company has received “a large volume of complaints alleging non-delivery of magazines despite the company receiving payment in advance,” according to the bureau’s Web site.

Eggleston said she gave the man, whose name she did not remember, $20 cash for an Elle Magazine subscription. The man told her he needed to earn points for his employer.

Summers was told a similar story last year by PMG employee Mike McGuire. She gave a $58 check to him to pay for a 52-week subscription to Football Digest.

McGuire told Summers he was raising money for his Public Speaking and Broadcasting class, and was eligible to win a trip to England by earning points for magazine subscriptions, Summers told the Herald last semester. The man also sold subscriptions to two other women in January.

Summers said she has yet to receive any magazines.

She tried to keep Eggleston from the same fate last week, she said. Summers notified campus police about magazine salesmen on campus claiming to work for PMG, while Eggleston tried to get her money back from the man.

But, when Summers returned to DUC with campus police, the magazine salesmen were gone.

Although Campus police Capt. Eugene Hoofer did not know of Thursday’s incident, he said he expected PMG representatives would return to the Hill eventually.

“Sometime this year they will show up,” he said.

But they would be told to leave campus immediately if caught soliciting magazine subscriptions, said Hoofer.

“If they were on campus we would run them off,” he said.

Reach Joseph Lord at [email protected]