Are door-to-door newspaper subscription sales in Alhambra a scam?

QUESTION: “Every year, especially around the holidays, it seems, young people from elsewhere try to scam locals by selling bogus Pasadena Star-News subscriptions. … I've often wondered, who are these young people? How common is this scam in the area?” –B. Tam, Nov. 15 via email

The Alhambra Police Department has not received reports of newspaper subscription scams in the city, according to Sgt. Jerry Johnson. The Pasadena Star-News does subcontract youth to sell subscriptions door to door, a representative from the publication said. The newspaper does not directly work with the students but hires managers to supervise them.

Alhambra Municipal Code limits the hours solicitors can knock on doors to 9 a.m.-6 p.m. The code also forbids solicitors from knocking on doors where a “no solicitors” sign is posted.

If anyone is suspicious about a solicitor, they can call the police department at (626) 570-5168 or the city’s Finance Department at (626) 570-5020 to check if the business is licensed by the city.

Do you have a question about something in Alhambra? Send it to editor@alhambrasource.org.

2 thoughts on “Are door-to-door newspaper subscription sales in Alhambra a scam?”

  1. Just happened to me too, lost $28.50 so far. Next time I will call the police.

  2. A few weeks ago, a young student came to my door, and my roommate answered. The student was trying to sell a one-month subscription to the Pasadena Star News as part of a promotion to win something for his or her school. (I was not home.) My roommate advised the student to return when I was home. That never happened.

    HOWEVER, a couple of years ago, a young girl (high school senior) talked me into a one-month subscription. I didn’t want it (barely have time to read the L.A. Times every day), but she was headed to college, so I thought it was a good cause. Trouble is, it took MONTHS for me to stop receiving the paper. I canceled several times, but kept being billed. Never paid beyond the first month, but it was a big annoyance.

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