A company purporting to represent The Charlotte Observer has sent a second flood phony bills to people in the Charlotte area, and the newspaper is warning people to be cautious.
The notices have also been sent to other markets served by McClatchy Co. newspapers, including The (Raleigh) News & Observer and the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram. National publications including The Wall Street Journal and The Nation magazine have been hit with a similar scam.
One bill, marked “Renewal Offer,” was sent to a person in Charlotte from the Publishers Billing Association. That company has a post office box in White City, Ore., that has also been used by companies called Circulation Billing Services, Publishers Billing Exchange and Publishers Payments Processing.
Legitimate bills from the Observer include the newspaper’s Old English logo and bear a return address of P.O. Box 3027, Livonia, Mich.
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Jim Puryear, regional vice president of audience development for McClatchy, said the company has received two or three reports of such fake bills in Charlotte. The company has reported the problem to the U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. attorney’s office. “It appears that quite a few papers across the country have been hit with this,” said Puryear.
If you received one of the notices, or a bill you have questions about, call 800-532-5350.