Officials Warn of Magazine Sales Scam

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Officials are warning locals to be careful with door to door salesman, especially the ones who show up by the vanload.

It’s called magazine tours.

Officials say young adults in their late teens apply for a job selling magazines.

They believe the job will be glamorous, with travel.
But they soon find out it isn't.

"They find out what's happening is their not getting paid, they're getting beaten for not making a sales. They’re living 8-15 per a room. There’s quite a bit of abuse involved in that," said Glenn Eckhardt, Northwest Florida Human Trafficking Coalition.

Local authorities say they've received two reports of magazine tours in February.

One came from Lynn Haven, the other from Panama City beach.

"Some of them may be willing to steal from you, just to survive and cause other problems for you," said Eckhart.

"What has happened in many occasions, in the county, for years, is that people would buy and given them, checks or debit cards or etc. even credit card numbers and after they've done so, they never receive their magazine. So you have to be very skeptical and be very, very careful," said Sergeant Paul Vecker, Bay County Sheriff's Office.

Legitimate door to door sellers are generally required to get a permit from the county courthouse or from city hall.

They have to pay a permit fee and must provide proper identification.

"Officials say if you do answer the door to one of these people selling magazines, do not buy from them and do not let them inside."

If locals stop buying the magazines, officials say the sellers will leave the area.

If you see any of this happening in your community calls the human trafficking hotline 850-303-1886.