I was approached at approximately 7PM by a well-dressed young gentleman, and heard two of his colleagues upstairs in my building.
I was presented with a very well-worded, polite sales pitch that used strong emotional appeal to get me to purchase a magazine subscription. I was told that he was training to be a mentor for an inner-city program, and as a part of the training, he was required to go out into the community to demonstrate that he could approach people and talk to them without making them angry or upset. The program was to give kids a second chance, keep them off the streets and drugs, and in school and he was going to work in it.
He did well to this point, I didn't have my guard up at all. He asked me what I did for a living, what I liked about the idea of his program, and so forth.
I was given a list of several dozen magazine offerings I could purchase. None of the magazines had prices on them. I ended up selecting a subscription to a magazine, and retrieved my checkbook.
The salesman made a very big deal about how I would be making the check out not to him but to the company, (Second to None, Inc.) and how it was a non-profit organization that I could deduct my subscription cost on my income taxes. I didn't see this anywhere on the form itself, but figured I could have missed it in my cursory reading in the dim light of the stairwell.
After purchasing an nearly $100 magazine subscription (three years pre-paid to a magazine I do actually read at the newsstand once in a while), I returned inside to check on what I'd just purchased. I read the form more carefully and when I saw the phrase 'American Cash Award', it raised a huge red flag.
Apparently, it's just another 'independent contractor' marketing company. For every so-many-thousand points generated by selling magazines, the student receives $1, 000, and for every block of three of those sold, wins vouchers for recreational travel. The form states that 'All participants are 18 yrs. or older and are subjected to background checks and random drug tests' which I am inclined to doubt because the web site for their magazine marketing company lists nothing of the sort.
I highly recommend that you do not purchase anything from this company. At the very best, my opinion is that they heavily misrepresent themselves to deliberately deceive you into purchasing with their stories -- and at worst, some people might think it fraud.