Scam hits dorms

Sep 122010
Authors: Rachel Childs

A few questions on the Lory Student Center Plaza have led to compromised security and empty wallets due to a magazine scam on campus.

Individuals posing as representatives of good-hearted, non-profit organizations and scholarship hopefuls are charging high-priced magazine subscriptions for their supposed cause on the Plaza and in university apartments.

They use pressure and emotional tactics to lure people in and then take hundreds of dollars and give out no receipts.

The scammers have also followed students into the residence halls by entering after someone with a key, a method known as tailgating.

The university prohibits any solicitation on the Plaza unless the company selling items or soliciting donations gains prior permission, said Dell Rae Moellenberg, spokeswoman for the university.

Collecting credit card information and transactions that involve a financial commitment is not permitted at all on the Plaza.

The CSU Police Department has received three reports of students who have paid more than $200 for these subscriptions, said CSUPD Lt. Scott Harris, in an e-mail to the Collegian.

“The PD is enforcing the university policy in regards to solicitors. We are advising them of the existing policy, telling to cease and desist, and if there is a repeat occurrence with the same sales crew, they are escorted off campus,” Harris said in the same e-mail.

A young man approached Ashley Taylor, a freshman animal science major, while she was walking to class on the Plaza last Wednesday. He told her that he needed to sell magazines in order to gain points to win a trip to Cancun.

When she refused, he continued to pressure her.

“He just kept pushing and pushing and pushing,” Taylor said.

Taylor gave him $10 but bought no subscriptions. He also took down her phone number and address on a receipt. She did not get a copy of her receipt.

Individuals involved in this scam, according to an informational e-mail to the campus community, have also gained entrance to some of the residence halls. Any door-to-door sale in the residence halls is against CSU and city of Fort Collins policy, according to the same e-mail.

Anyone who has bought a subscription for more than $25 is protected under the Federal Trade Commission’s Cooling-Off Rule, which allows for three days to cancel the order. A receipt is needed in order to cancel.

“Ask to see the required cancellation notice before you agree to buy. If the salesperson doesn’t have it, don’t place an order,” Moellenberg said.

Those who have been approached on campus should report the incident to CSUPD’s non-emergency line at 970-491-6425, or off campus to Fort Collins Police Services at 970-221-6540.

Crime Reporter Rachel Childs can be reached at

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