I got one of those phone calls about "winning 3 magazines" this week. My son was scammed by one of these calls back when he was in high school, but they've only gotten worse.
The pitch is to get a weekly magazine, in this case TVGuide, and all they ask is for shipping costs. Only they set a ridiculous amount, far more than subscriptions to all 4 magazines would cost.
When she asked for $4.90 per WEEK, for the shipping costs, I told her that was a total ripoff. I was already subscribing to 2 of the 3 monthly magazines for the whopping cost of $5 per year each. She claimed that she had purchased a TVGuide at the grocery store and paid $7.90 for it. I thought that very unlikely since there are subscriptions for a year ranging from $16.50 to $25 online.
I did some telemarketing when I needed to keep my days free to go to the doctor with my dying father. All three places I worked insisted we be honest with customers. While in this economy I can't really fault the telemarketer if her job was selling this product for a short time, I can blame her for lying to me. I think the last time I saw a TVGuide it was about $3 at the grocery store. There is no way they could sell enough for $7.90 a week.
What happened to my son was even worse. Whoever sold him had him receiving auto magazines. My son had no interest in cars and never opened a single magazine. They charged him in advance for five years of these "shipping costs." That meant that he could have purchased 4 magazines he would have read for less than the interest on his credit card each month. I blame him for not cancelling, but it bothers me that they took advantage of a kid that way.
Hope no one you care about ever gets caught in one of these scams.