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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Scam Alert

I've been busy the past few days getting a Christmas tree (few photos this year, as it rained the whole day) and catching up on CME for this year. The New England Journal of Medicine lets me read fifty of their articles, answer fifty questions (open book, no less!) and get the fifty hours of Continuing Medical Education credit I need annually to maintain licensure. It's due tomorrow, I've done 25 questions, and I keep getting distracted by much more interesting articles than the ones they've selected.

Today, as I glanced at my mail, I found five identical envelopes from Magazine Billing Services. Inside were what appeared to be invoices for several different magazines, including one (Reader's Digest) that I would never in my life even consider subscribing to, and several that I had recently renewed. The prices didn't seem right, and the bills didn't seem right--all were labeled "Notice of Renewal/New Order."

I usually get my subscriptions either directly from the publisher, or through a special doctor's reception rooms subscription service. So I googled the service, and found several postings on line indicating that, at best, this is a rip-off and, at worst, a fraud. In addition, I learned that several magazines, including "Archeology," have posted written notices in their magazines warning about this outfit.

So if you get anything from them, just throw it out. I suspect the company hopes that people won't look too closely and just pay the bills. The rates are not particularly good, and there's no guarantee that you'll ever receive what you paid for. And the amounts involved are so small that it's difficult to get anyone in law enforcement interested in getting involved.

More later.........


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