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California AG Warns of| News Subscription Scams

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - California Attorney General Kamala Harris issued a Halloween warning to consumers - especially seniors - for the latest scam invading mailboxes that's all tricks and not treats: fake newspaper subscriptions.

Harris' consumer alert involves deceptive mailings that claim to be bills, invoices or renewal notices from a local paper. In reality, Harris says, they're most likely a scam.

The deceptive notices often contain the words "Notice of Renewal" or "New Order" and have an official-looking control number. Many encourage unwitting consumers to "lock in low rates" - usually twice the normal subscription rate or higher, Harris said.

The Golden State's top cop advised consumers to examine the self-addressed, postage-paid envelopes in the mailings, which often have addresses in another state. The notices sometimes come near the time a consumer's real subscription is about to lapse, Harris said.

Harris cautioned customers to ignore any invoices that look iffy and to call the newspaper directly with questions. They can also file complaints with the U.S. Postal Service and the Attorney General's Office, she said.


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