Prison industries

Prison industries: AP is reporting that three Texas prisoners bilked hundreds of newspapers and magazines out of more than $8,000, by demanding that the publications give them refunds for subscriptions they never had.


Texas prison officials said William Woods, 33, and fellow prisoners Jerry Dale Walker, 38, and Leighton Smith, 31, hatched the scam after getting their hands on a $375 newspaper directory. The French Robertson Unit inmates used the directory to get subscription information and addresses to send letters to the newspapers. In the letters, they would say they had not received their newspapers and request their money back.

Over 400 publications were scammed. Most sent refunds to the prisoners without doing research. What? Don’t most publications at least have a means to do a simple query of a database? If a person’s name or address is not in the circulation database, why would a check be issued?

The article details the fascinating scam.