I received an urgent, official-looking COLLECTION NOTICE for $24.84 from RMCB Collection Agency today for a Highlights Magazine (Highlights High Five) subscription that I didn't order and never received.
I have absolutely no debt so obviously became concerned right away about the effects to my credit (listed on back) etc. Thoughts of fraud, identity theft, etc. immediately came to mind. I visited the "My Account" portion of the Highlights website and entered my address. An account showed up with my name but referenced "No Payment Due." Yeah, because I never ordered it! And it was never sent!
After 45 mins on the phone with both the phone number listed on the Highlights website and the phone number listed for the collection agency (take you to the same place by the way), I discovered it's a SCAM! Here's how it works: They send your child an UNREQUESTED magazine sample and then follow up with a scary, official looking COLLECTION NOTICE, w/threats about credit, etc. Guess who OWNS RMCB? Highlights! They call it an "in-house service." Now even kids' mags are crooks! So sad.
I was able to make contact via Facebook with Highlight's Editor, Christine French Clark. I provided her with all information as well as the scanned photos of what was sent to me. She said she'd look into it and get back to me. She never did.
Remember how this USED to be a FUN publication to pick up in the doctor's office? I'll be disposing of every one I ever see for the rest of my life.
Please don't fall victim to this scam! I can only imagine how many innocent victims will send in the $24.84 out of fear. I have NEVER fallen for anything like this ever... but this one looks really convincing, people.
Also - a formal complaint has been filed with the U.S. Postal Inspector -- their federal site outlines clearly this practice being against the law. Will keep you posted!