by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
newspapers, scams, subscriptions

Dumb Criminal Series: When Newspaper Subscriptions Jump From 65 To 2,781 Someone May Get Suspicious

from the no-one-will-notice dept

Romenesko points us to a good one for the "dumb criminal" series. A NY Times delivery carrier has been accused of defrauding the paper of over $300k by sending in fake newspaper subscriptions with the "bill me later" option checked. Apparently, he got paid based on the number of papers delivered, so he took the quick route to increasing his income. In a matter of months, his daily subscriptions jumped from 65 to 2,781 and his Sunday subscriptions went from 103 to 2,818 (seems that nearly everyone of the fake subbers signed up for Sunday deliver as well!).

It makes you wonder how he thought he could get away with such a scam, though his "defense" gives some suggestion. He says he had someone else doing the deliveries for him, and says it must be that guy's fault. Though, as the newspaper noted, when the NY Times grew suspicious and informed him that they were canceling thousands of subscriptions, he "did not seem upset and said it would not affect his workload." Oh yes, also there was the fact that the guy's recycling bins were filled to the brim with copies of the newspaper -- often still wrapped in their delivery bundles.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Pinch Sulzberg, Aug 8th, 2008 @ 5:11am

    It's Where They Belong....

    The newspapers that is. Since we don't publish anything remotely honest anymore, putting the Times in the recycling bins is a good thing. I mean, birds won't shit on the paper and cats hate it too, so let's recycle.

    I can't figure out why the idiots in America won't read my rag. My dad and his dad always had lots of fools subscribing to our Democratic party newsletter, but it must be Fox New's fault that subs are down.

    How the heck will I ever survive on just 200 million?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2008 @ 5:20am

    This is what is wrong with American people. We can't do anything the right way. We have to find the quick an easy path so we can by babied like when we were kids.

    Honestly, I think the baby boomer generation screwed us. Compare society now to pre-WWII and you pretty much see the difference between a society that knows how to work and (overall) know the difference between right and wrong.

    As another example, post Pearl Harbor the entire nation pretty much went to war and we joined WWII. Like many WWII vets say, "it was different, we were attacked." Another nation struck us and we came together to rise up and take them down. Why did they do that? Because it was the right thing to do.

    Compare this to 9/11. Civillians are attacked rather than military target and we seem to get confused. There is no clear enemy. This was a CRIME, but not a WAR crime.

    On top of that, many people who joined the military right then felt they had to not because it was The Right Thing To Do, but because its what their ancestors did in WWII. People are too locked into the past, too afraid of change for them to move forward and do what needs to be done.

    Apathy, the greatest gift you can give to tyranny, rules this nation. Self importance is now our motto. The actions of the past now justify any and all behavior in the future.

    The Founding Fathers would be ashamed of this America. You should be too, and when the time comes you should be ready to fight for her. For the America that was intended, not the one that has become.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Heywood, Aug 8th, 2008 @ 5:20am

    Re: It's Where They Belong....

    Woah there, Champ. Way to rage against the machine.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Liam, Aug 8th, 2008 @ 5:50am

    Re: Re: It's Where They Belong....

    this is a bomb track

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Patrick, Aug 8th, 2008 @ 6:20am

    Ok ok it's my turn.... ummm.... it's "Killing in the name" of capitalism.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    DCX2, Aug 8th, 2008 @ 6:38am


    What do you expect from a society who taxes capital gains (money you make by sitting on your butt) at half the rate of regular income (money you make by doing know...productive).

    Our society continually encourages people to find the quickest way to the easiest money. You reap what you sow. Maybe if we were more interested know...doing something productive and helping our fellow citizens, this kind of foolishness wouldn't happen as much.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    hegemon13, Aug 8th, 2008 @ 6:38am


    Yep the good old days were perfect. The days when people regularly died of things as simple as strep throat or a bad cold. The days when people had to wonder whether they would eat tomorrow. The days when people had the right to own and abuse slaves. The days when women had no say in society. The days when families members fought and killed each other in the Civil War. Etc, etc, etc.

    Every age has its challenges. Don't be a whining part of the problem. Ranting on message boards about how shitty the world has become helps no one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    halycon404, Aug 8th, 2008 @ 6:43am


    This has to be the stupidest post. Go read a book. Seriously. For the love of god go read a book. The hollywood ideal of "America Coming Together to Win WWII" never freak'n happened. Not in the respect you're talking about. Here is what really happened in a cliff notes version. America wasn't involved, didn't want involved, and was more than happy to sit it out on this side of the two oceans. We thought Hitler was the devil's own son, but as long as he left us alone, we left him alone. Similar with Japan. If both would have left us alone, we never would have gotten involved. Once both sides hit us, Japan our military, Germany our shipping.. we started recruiting. We were just coming out of the Great Depression because of selling goods to Europe to front their war(both sides). And the economic upturn hadn't yet hit all of the US yet. So you had capital being poured into the US, but it hadn't hit all regions, some where still massively depressed. So when the army started saying "We need LOTS of bodies" and what they were offering(meals, pay, cigarettes) was more than some people had. So they joined because it was a better situation than they were in. Not for any high ideals. We look back on it and gloss over what really happened and why, because it makes us feel good. When the reality is, we as a country, were just as altruistic then as we are now. The extraordinary circumstances of the time just make it easy to overlook it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2008 @ 6:44am

    Re: It's Where They Belong....

    Its where they belong - only if they are burying the Republican party. We do not need that right-wing stink around anymore.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2008 @ 6:50am

    Ranting on the internet is all we have now and "they" are trying to limit that as much as they can.

    We are at war with each other. That is the way of International Multi-Conglomerate Capitalism. Yes, we are encouraged to make as much money as quickly as we can to feed the Corporate Mega Machines....our masters.

    This is easily seen in the previous Techdirt rant on Pharma Patents. The pharmaceutical companies which are here only because of us and should us "their power" for our good now hold our lives ransom. They are made up of people just like you and I after all. Brother against brother.....

    Anyway...the original story was pretty funny :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Sierra Night Tide, Aug 8th, 2008 @ 6:58am

    We NEED newspapers! How else can we make pinatas?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Chris, Aug 8th, 2008 @ 7:33am

    Hey, at least he was recycling.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Old Norse, Aug 8th, 2008 @ 7:54am

    Re: Re:Re:volution

    People like you will be the first to be put up against the wall when the revolution comes....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2008 @ 8:38am

    Bill Me Later seems like a pretty easy target for scammers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Stealth_Truth, Aug 8th, 2008 @ 9:44am

    Re: It's Where They Belong....

    Exactly ..... Along with the Coward who thinks when Islamic Terrorists KILL Americans then run and hide We shouldn't Declare War and hunt them down .......

    Coward: Why don't you give China and Russia your Great tactics after their attacked ( ohhhh that's right their not attacked because the terrorists know they'll blow up their whole dam Country )

    GAAD what wimps, The WW11 Generation wouldn't ; If you were on fire !!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Hayley warcraft, Aug 18th, 2008 @ 6:25pm


    hello my name is hayley and i think that the artical is shit, it sucks and i dont like it. the person who wrote it doesnt know anything and is a dumb ass who smells. i think that everyone would agree.

    lots of love

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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