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News warns subscribers to avoid renewal invoices from third party

Some Buffalo News subscribers have received bogus newspaper invoices selling subscriptions for twice the actual amount. The invoices are part of a nationwide ploy that has hit numerous newspapers.

About a half dozen subscribers have called The News inquiring about unauthorized “renewal/new order” invoices they received in the mail from Publishers Billing Association, a company not affiliated with The News.

“People should only be getting invoices from The Buffalo News and payable to The Buffalo News,” said Carol Horton, vice president of marketing and public relations at The News. “We have not authorized a third-party vendor to send invoices on our behalf.”

A company based in Henderson, Nev., is behind the phony invoices. The company goes by various names, including Publishers Billing Association and Associated Publishers Network. It overcharges subscribers and keeps the difference in price.

If subscribers receive any suspicious offers, they should call The News at 842-1111, Horton said.

Newspapers across the country – from New York to California – are grappling with the phony invoices, as confused subscribers call in with complaints.

The increasing number of papers impacted galvanized the Federal Trade Commission Monday to issue an alert on its website, along with tips to avoid being ripped off, including paying for subscriptions online at the newspaper’s website or signing up for auto-renewal and payment, which cuts the need for the mailed invoices.

email:esapong@buffnews.com