Suthers warns against scam selling subscriptions to extinct newspaper

Attorney General John Suthers told Colorado residents to be on the lookout for door-to-door scammers selling subscriptions to the “new” Rocky Mountain News, a Denver newspaper that ceased publication in February. According to a warning issued Friday by Suthers and AARP Elder Watch, salesmen have been selling the bogus subscriptions in Colorado Springs, telling victims they can only accept cash.

“Scam artists are very adept at exploiting the news of the day, and this is just another example of these individuals trying [to] profit off the name of one of Colorado’s former newspaper giants,” Suthers said in a statement. “Coloradans should be wary of anyone selling subscriptions or other products door to door.”

Anyone who might have been victimized by the scam should contact local law enforcement, Suthers said, and can also report suspected con jobs to the Colorado Consumer Line at 1-800-222-4444.

News of the fraudulent peddlers came the day after backers spiked plans to launch an actual “new” Rocky Mountain News, the online-only INDenverTimes venture. Plans by local entrepreneurs and former Rocky staffers fell 47,000 subscribers short of meeting their goal of securing 50,000 readers willing to pay a monthly fee to keep the site in business.

The site is still soliciting subscribers and updating content even after the site’s owners announced Thursday the project was stalled. “[INDener Times] will not charge subscribers’ credit cards on May 4th as initially intended,” the site’s founders said in a release. “A decision about the future of the INDT website will be forthcoming.”

From the release:

Certain members of the INDT newsroom group, led by co?founder Steve Foster and business writer David Milstead, intend to seek backers for their original vision of a robustly staffed online newsroom. “We believe there is money to be made in local journalism by local journalists and that there is a unique opportunity in Denver in the wake of the closure of the Rocky Mountain News.”

That’s money to be made by local journalists, not roving flim-flam artists targeting the elderly. Stay tuned for updates on the plans of former Rocky staffers, but in the meantime remain wary of those door-to-door salesmen.

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Ernest Luning

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