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Midwest Clearing IncFraudulent sales practice

A young African American woman came to my door explaining that she was working for a charitable Urban organization that helped inner city young people like herself, get out from the cycle of poverty, so that she could support her 2 children and kept her from selling herself and drugs on the street. She explained that she earned credits for selling this product, which earned her a weekly paycheck and help feed her family and the hungry. She stated that the purchase was completely tax deductible and wrote the website "www.urbands.com" and "www.betterimage.com" on the sales slip to "track my order" neither of which seem to have anything to do with an urban social program. She did not get to the fact that the product was magazines, until she had told me a long story about her struggles and the struggles of other young people in the inner-city. Finally, after I pressed her about what she was selling, she told me magazine subscriptions. She told me I could buy the subscriptions and donate them, if I didn't need the subscriptions, but that I would be helping out the many young people, like herself, advance out of the inner city. The subscription cost was $87 for the subscription+$15 "handling fee" for a total of $102 per subscription, but that it went to a good cause and was tax deductible. She was very personable and engaging and I liked her and believed her story. Though it was expensive, I ordered 2 subscriptions. she told me to write "Help Anasthasia" in the memo. (her name) I became suspicious when I went online and checked the websites and did a search on Midwest Clearing INC. She also mentioned to my son, that she was "flying to California" the following day to sell magazines. I thought that was a bit odd and extravagant for a so-called "charity". I put a "stop payment" on the check that day via online banking. On the back of the sales slip, they say you can cancel the order in 3 business days, but no phone call or email. Just a "snail-mail" address and no guarantee that they would get that cancellation. They also print in pale letters in the back of one of the receipts, that the sales person should not represent themselves as a charity. I suppose this is to clear them of any wrongdoing. No one would be able to read that until after they have purchased the magazines and received the receipts. They have a notation on the front that says "No Donations". Now why would anyone want to donate to a magazine sales company, unless they were misrepresenting themselves? There are many such complaints on the web, (just google it yourself) and the BBB has a rating of "NR". This woman was well rehearsed and it is obvious that they are misrepresenting their company in order to make sales. No one would pay $102 for a magazine subscription, unless it was for charity. You can get that same magazine for $20. BEWARE of this company!

Responses

  • Sc
    Scammed in Seattle Aug 15, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    On July 24, 2008 a door-to-door sales person came to our door selling magazines. He said that he was selling magazines to benefit a program that helps disadvantaged youths. He said the program would help them to get off drugs, and give them a chance to have a better life. I usually don't buy from door-to-door sales people, but the man was nice & well spoken so I decided that it would be a good cause to donate to. I wrote a check for $39.00 to Midwest Clearing Inc. and asked to have my magazines donated to a hospital. About 2 weeks later I was checking my bank balance online. I saw a debit entry (they had submitted the check electronically) from Midwest Clearing for $391.00. Then one week later, they submitted the actual check again for another $391.00. The bank is investigating, but so far I have not received the money back. I used to be trusting and wanted to believe that most door-to-door people were trustworthy, but now I am a skeptic just like most
    everyone else. Too bad!!

    Scammed in Seattle.

    0 Votes
  • Jj
    jj jinx Oct 28, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    The door-to-door scammers are still in the Seattle area. The stopped by my home in Auburn on 10/28/08. I'm a very skeptical person, so I really questioned whether a legitimate 'training program' would send people around to 'work on interviewing skills' with strangers then pitch magazines. I asked if I could purchase or donate on line under her name so she'd get points. Of course that wasn't possible, then I saw it was a scam and didn't feel so bad about denying the person. Hopefully the police catch up with them tonight. I would encourage every to ask to see a business license from door-to-door sales people each and everytime they're solicited. Most communities have laws requiring solicitors to register, pass background checks and purchase a license prior to legally peddling wares door-to-door.

    0 Votes
  • Du
    DumDumGuy Dec 08, 2008

    This group is currently hitting the Los Angeles, Orange County, and surrounding areas!! They are staying at a hotel in Redondo Beach. I've heard they've been driven to South Orange county, and maybe further. BE WARY!! Fraud, alleged rape, theft... DEC 2008!!! A Friend!

    0 Votes
  • Mr
    Mrs.Mia Bond Dec 09, 2008

    It just breaks my heart to see that people always have somthing negative to say about the magazine business. Just because 1 company messes up that does not mean all magazine companies are bad. Just because walmart, target, and some sport p3ayers do wrong will you stop shopping are watching them? NO! Stop judging. I'm truly sorry that some people did not get their magazines. But you are not perfect and neither are they.You see what they did to the only perfect man in this world!!!
    I've been dealing with them for years and every year it's someone different, that let's me know this does work, especially forthose lest fortunate

    0 Votes
  • De
    Deborah M Sep 05, 2009

    This happened in Maryland on 9/4/09
    A black woman calling herself Anastasia Hopkins came to my door telling me that she was a part of an Urban charitable organization that helped her and other young inner-city youth climb out of the drug infested lifestyle. She told me that she lived in Cincinnati Ohio, had 2 small children that were staying with her mother, and that she was trying to make a life for herself by selling "reading material". She said "I don't like going door to door, but I'd rather sell magazines, than drugs or myself into prostitution". When I asked what kind of reading material, she told me magazines. She stated that she earned "credits" for selling the subscriptions, and that she received a paycheck once a week. This, she claimed, help her support her children, and that the company helped other inner-city youth with the $15/handling fee on each subscription. The subscriptions were $87 each, plus the $15, for a total of $102. She added that this was completely "tax deductible". She was very personable and engaging, and believable. I'm usually quite suspicious, but frankly, I liked her, and have 4 children around her age. In the event that she thought I had a lot of money or was born with advantages, I explained to her that I and my husband both came from difficult circumstances, put ourselves through college, and worked hard to get to where we are today, which is simply, middle class, family of 7 (not wealthy by any means). I bought two subscriptions (totaling $204) believing that I was helping her and others, as I do like to be charitable and she insisted it was tax deductible. On the front of one of the receipts, it says "No donations"...she had explained that this meant not to write a donation to her, since that would "defeat the purpose of [her]selling the magazines" and earning her living. She then asked me to sign a paper and make comments about her performance representing herself and this so-called charitable organization. Naturally, I wrote nice things, since I believed her, and liked her. She actually returned to our home to use the phone, and had a long conversation with my son. She had told my son that she was flying to California the following day (today) to sell magazines, and that seemed quite odd and extravagant to me, for a charity. A large white van with a cheering group of people pulled up to the corner to pick her up a few hours later, they were honking their horn and cheering and it appeared they had a successful day canvassing our quiet suburban neighborhood ( and scamming us as it turns out.) I began to be suspicious, and checked out the 2 websites that she wrote down for me to "track my order", and found they had nothing to do with a charity or the company listed on front of the sales slip. On the back of one of the 3 receipts in very faint print, I discovered a disclaimer saying that they were not a charitable organization, but one would have to had bought a subscription, before being able to read that one disclaimer. She actually wrote the "website" address over that slip of paper to distract from the faint print. Why would anyone pay $102 for a subscription if it weren't some kind of charity? Why would they put "no donations" on the front of a sales slip, unless they knew that they were being represented as being a charity, since who would "donate" money to a magazine salesperson? I did put a stop payment on the check immediately, and filed complaints with the BBB and the Federal Trade commission, since apparently, the sales reps travel from state to state to deceive the compassionate among us. Today, this very same woman, is roaming our neighborhood, knocking on doors, and by unscrupulous means, deceiving those who might feel compassion towards her. These people are a blight on charitable organizations, as it hardens peoples hearts to the needs of others. They think people are stupid, rather than people are caring. They sell their souls for a few dollars...that's worse than prostitution.

    0 Votes
  • Bk
    bknblk Sep 05, 2009

    Just wondering how the color of this person's skin had any bearing on your complaint? Had she been white, would you have written "A white woman..."? Or, would you have not made the complaint at all? BTW, I'm a white man just in case you wanted to complain about me to someone. Although I'm sure you probably won't say "This white man..." before you start.

    0 Votes
  • Sh
    shablumit Oct 19, 2009

    I purchased a magazine from a young black man so he could earn "points". I later discovered this was a fraud and was told by the Mitchell Police Dept. to report this and cancel the subscription.

    0 Votes
  • Be
    Ben2012 Jun 11, 2010

    I was ripped off for $75. In early summer 2009 I purchased a subscription (magazine) from kids saying they are earning money for college, through Midwestclearing Inc. They are friendly, articulate, and good at sales ...and they come each summer. I made a $75 purchase on May 2009 for Cook Bood Digest, but it never arrived. By Oct 5th I called the number on the receipt (Midwest Clearing Inc) and was told to send an e-mail to David. I did that, but no response. On Dec 15th 2009 I called and spoke with Stephanie. She said I would have a check in 4 days. On Jan 8, 2010 I sent another e-mail to David, and then followed up with a call and spoke with John. Was eventially told that they sent a check, but that I couldn't talk to the person sending it for confirmation, as they use an outside service. They were unwilling to disclose who would be sending the check. Of course, I never received the refund check. It was a rip off, but they seem to be in business and the kids come every year...but I won't be buying from them again and would recommend that anyone who wants a magazine...deal directly with the magazine, and not through Midwest Clearing Inc.

    0 Votes

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