Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

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Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby DocEmrick on Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:33 pm

It was a little over a year ago I made a post regarding a scamming mag crew that hit my old apartment in Robinson, and suckered my roommate for $100+ until we tracked the young girl down and terrified her into giving him his money back.

Apparently, they're back hitting areas in some of the more affluent neighborhoods (No I don't reside in one), but some people I work with do. I had to give them the rundown today. They are in the South Park, Upper St. Clair areas.

If you see one of these people, tell them no at all costs. If you are a nicer individual, a good way to approach them is:

- Sit them down, keep eyes on them at all times
- Ask them about their "company"
- After some chatting and loosening them up a bit (if they're not strung out on some kind of drug) ask them if they want to go home

A few cases, after the third point is presented a lot of these people will break down and you can get them serious help. These individuals are in a human trafficking scam that amounts to modern day slavery. Of course, slamming the door in their face is one way, but I just like to throw out the last option there it's entirely up to you.
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby eddysnake on Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:41 pm

DocEmrick wrote: These individuals are in a human trafficking scam that amounts to modern day slavery. Of course, slamming the door in their face is one way, but I just like to throw out the last option there it's entirely up to you.


could you please go on, didn't realize this was the case at all?
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby Hockeynut! on Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:47 pm

One of these guys stopped at my house a couple years ago. When I declined to buy magazines, he responded with something like, "I haven't eaten in days!" I don't know if it was just a sales pitch or if he was serious, but the kid was definitely down on his luck. He had dirty clothes, a thick southern accent and when he left he was picked up in a broken down looking van.
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby pittsoccer33 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:47 pm

They recruit addicted runaways and other young people, basically forcing them into running this scam for dope and a place to sleep.

I posted a while back that they were at a friend's apartment complex in Ross.
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby DocEmrick on Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:48 pm

eddysnake wrote:
DocEmrick wrote: These individuals are in a human trafficking scam that amounts to modern day slavery. Of course, slamming the door in their face is one way, but I just like to throw out the last option there it's entirely up to you.


could you please go on, didn't realize this was the case at all?


While this doesn't apply to all door-to-door salesmen, the people that are peddling these magazines are working for a criminal organization that scams people out of their money without returning any product, they are NOT with publishers. There are many horror stories on the web most can be viewed at http://www.magcrew.com. Activist sites include, http://www.polarisproject.org/human-tra ... ging-rings

The people that sign-up for these crews are often low-income individuals who are promised high paying professional sales jobs, but often times college grads and suburban kids are found in these groups. They are shuffled around the country from state to state, many have arrest warrants for soliciting without permits. They are treated horribly, and are not allowed to leave their crew, or are abandoned with no money, and no way to contact home.
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby KennyTheKangaroo on Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:50 pm

they rolled through regent square a few years back. shady group of characters.
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby DocEmrick on Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:51 pm

Hockeynut! wrote:One of these guys stopped at my house a couple years ago. When I declined to buy magazines, he responded with something like, "I haven't eaten in days!" I don't know if it was just a sales pitch or if he was serious, but the kid was definitely down on his luck. He had dirty clothes, a thick southern accent and when he left he was picked up in a broken down looking van.


He was probably telling the truth. The girl that got my roommate ended up being a graduate from Texas who got into the sales job and ended up addicted to drugs. She had been a clean cut all American kid looking for work, and just got mixed up in the whole thing. Very sad.
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby mac5155 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:52 pm

In related news, I saw 3 different beggars in a one mile trip to walmart in Robinson.
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby DocEmrick on Thu Jan 03, 2013 12:58 pm

I've seen a few beggars up in Robinson Town Centre. One dude had a cardboard sign that said "Laid off, family of 3, please help"
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby Bioshock on Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:04 pm

Never seen these people. Human trafficking? In Pittsburgh? Damn...
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby shafnutz05 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:08 pm

This is a slightly different animal, but I've gotten very good at immediately spotting the incredibly shameful spam advertisements on Careerbuilder and the like. Often, they are the ones that advertise "WORK WITH YOUR FAVORITE PRO SPORTS TEAMS!" and other nonsense like that.

Many times, "marketing" is a codeword for door to door sales and getting paid commission-only.
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby DocEmrick on Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:12 pm

Bioshock wrote:Never seen these people. Human trafficking? In Pittsburgh? Damn...


It's all over the country, they just visit city to city based on where the "manager" decides to target. The "workers" are generally from all over the US.
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby thepittman on Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:15 pm

DocEmrick wrote:It was a little over a year ago I made a post regarding a scamming mag crew that hit my old apartment in Robinson, and suckered my roommate for $100+ until we tracked the young girl down and terrified her into giving him his money back.

Apparently, they're back hitting areas in some of the more affluent neighborhoods (No I don't reside in one), but some people I work with do. I had to give them the rundown today. They are in the South Park, Upper St. Clair areas.

If you see one of these people, tell them no at all costs. If you are a nicer individual, a good way to approach them is:

- Sit them down, keep eyes on them at all times
- Ask them about their "company"
- After some chatting and loosening them up a bit (if they're not strung out on some kind of drug) ask them if they want to go home

A few cases, after the third point is presented a lot of these people will break down and you can get them serious help. These individuals are in a human trafficking scam that amounts to modern day slavery. Of course, slamming the door in their face is one way, but I just like to throw out the last option there it's entirely up to you.


I would never let these people into my house.
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby DocEmrick on Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:15 pm

shafnutz05 wrote:This is a slightly different animal, but I've gotten very good at immediately spotting the incredibly shameful spam advertisements on Careerbuilder and the like. Often, they are the ones that advertise "WORK WITH YOUR FAVORITE PRO SPORTS TEAMS!" and other nonsense like that.

Many times, "marketing" is a codeword for door to door sales and getting paid commission-only.


Yeah, these postings are all related to the SmartCircle false advertising company. This corporation funds multiple legally questionable start-ups to go from city to city and post job openings for door to door sales from anything to sports tickets, to Verizon packages. They used to have a heavy foothold in Pittsburgh, when we graduated RMU they were really big in the "marketing" sector. There were a few in downtown Pittsburgh, and before they left the operation was heading North to Cranberry and the outlying districts of Allegheny County.

They're very similar to the mag crews, but a lot less violent/drug abuse related. Sad to hear they're still around, I figure the government would have cracked down on them years ago. The companies change names so often, it's very hard to pinpoint anyone involved, and SmartCircle stays clean by keeping their records private.
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby DocEmrick on Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:17 pm

thepittman wrote:
DocEmrick wrote:It was a little over a year ago I made a post regarding a scamming mag crew that hit my old apartment in Robinson, and suckered my roommate for $100+ until we tracked the young girl down and terrified her into giving him his money back.

Apparently, they're back hitting areas in some of the more affluent neighborhoods (No I don't reside in one), but some people I work with do. I had to give them the rundown today. They are in the South Park, Upper St. Clair areas.

If you see one of these people, tell them no at all costs. If you are a nicer individual, a good way to approach them is:

- Sit them down, keep eyes on them at all times
- Ask them about their "company"
- After some chatting and loosening them up a bit (if they're not strung out on some kind of drug) ask them if they want to go home

A few cases, after the third point is presented a lot of these people will break down and you can get them serious help. These individuals are in a human trafficking scam that amounts to modern day slavery. Of course, slamming the door in their face is one way, but I just like to throw out the last option there it's entirely up to you.


I would never let these people into my house.


Yeah, it's best to keep them on a porch or outside.
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby mac5155 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:19 pm

I remember my fiancee had an interview with one of these companies and she was clueless. They wanted to interview her in like room 306 of the holiday Inn in Uniontown.. I told her no way
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby DocEmrick on Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:22 pm

mac5155 wrote:I remember my fiancee had an interview with one of these companies and she was clueless. They wanted to interview her in like room 306 of the holiday Inn in Uniontown.. I told her no way


Pretty scary she came that close, obviously probably wouldn't have taken the job, but still to be in the presence of these people who often amount to kidnapping and forcing labor on people is pretty terrifying. They live out of hotels, and operate solely out of hotels, sometimes stacking their personnel in rooms with one bed, forcing those who did not meet their sales quotas to sleep on the floor. Adverse weather conditions don't stop them either, all that matters is getting a check from someone then cashing it.
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby eddysnake on Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:26 pm

thepittman wrote:
I would never let these people into my house.


i made the mistake about 6 years ago. it was very strange, he pretty much talked/forced himself in with my wife talking about kids items. We ended up writing a check for $20 for some magazines. he asked to use the bathroom and I asked him to leave, he insisted and ended up giving in, he was in there for like 10 minutes and no water or toilets were flushed, finally got him out of the house and then called the bank to cancel the check. His demeanor was very odd, I'd say he was pretty good at what he did. At first, you kind of felt bed for him, then he became extremely annoying and you just wanted them out but were afraid of what could happen if you started getting pushy, it was very strange indeed.
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby eddysnake on Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:30 pm

mac5155 wrote:I remember my fiancee had an interview with one of these companies and she was clueless. They wanted to interview her in like room 306 of the holiday Inn in Uniontown.. I told her no way


I went and met with one of these companies right out of college, not really knowing much, just thought the interview would be good experience. I met them at a hotel, and as soon as I walked in, I could tell something was up, it all feels very staged and plain weird, ended up getting up in the middle and running to my car.
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby mac5155 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:31 pm

eddysnake wrote:
mac5155 wrote:I remember my fiancee had an interview with one of these companies and she was clueless. They wanted to interview her in like room 306 of the holiday Inn in Uniontown.. I told her no way


I went and met with one of these companies right out of college, not really knowing much, just thought the interview would be good experience. I met them at a hotel, and as soon as I walked in, I could tell something was up, it all feels very staged and plain weird, ended up getting up in the middle and running to my car.


I want to say this was with like "vector marketing" which sold Cutco knives. But still, the idea of my fiancee, a 21 year old good looking girl in a hotel room with a man... well i've watched videos with the black couch :pop:
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby DocEmrick on Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:32 pm

eddysnake wrote:
mac5155 wrote:I remember my fiancee had an interview with one of these companies and she was clueless. They wanted to interview her in like room 306 of the holiday Inn in Uniontown.. I told her no way


I went and met with one of these companies right out of college, not really knowing much, just thought the interview would be good experience. I met them at a hotel, and as soon as I walked in, I could tell something was up, it all feels very staged and plain weird, ended up getting up in the middle and running to my car.


Don't blame you at all. Despite all the violence, alcohol and drug abuse, these places promote a cult like environment according to the reports with daily morning routines about increasing sales and stuff. It's really strange.
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby Bioshock on Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:33 pm

So, i have a question. What about those people who sell knives and stuff? I think they are called Cutco or something along those lines. I know they are a scam but are they the same type of people? Anyone have experience with those guys?
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby mac5155 on Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:34 pm

Bioshock wrote:So, i have a question. What about those people who sell knives and stuff? I think they are called Cutco or something along those lines. I know they are a scam but are they the same type of people? Anyone have experience with those guys?


My friend was a Cutco salesman. He conned my parents into a $95 knife set of 4 steak knives. I think they bought them out of pity for him.
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby Bioshock on Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:36 pm

mac5155 wrote:
Bioshock wrote:So, i have a question. What about those people who sell knives and stuff? I think they are called Cutco or something along those lines. I know they are a scam but are they the same type of people? Anyone have experience with those guys?


My friend was a Cutco salesman. He conned my parents into a $95 knife set of 4 steak knives. I think they bought them out of pity for him.


I went to one of their sale meetings when i was just out of high school. Was just a really strange meeting. Promised all this crazy pay for doing work that a college kid could do. Seemed like a scam from the moment i got in the door. Anyways, i interviewed just for the hell of it and when i left i never returned their calls.
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Re: Mag Crews Hitting Pittsburgh Again

Postby DocEmrick on Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:37 pm

Bioshock wrote:So, i have a question. What about those people who sell knives and stuff? I think they are called Cutco or something along those lines. I know they are a scam but are they the same type of people? Anyone have experience with those guys?


As long as you receive an actual product it's not a scam.

The people who are doing the magazines always approach with the same pitch. (Note this may have changed recently). The one who got my roommate said something along the lines of: I'm selling magazines for such and such, because the more magazines I sell, I get points to get a trip to France.

So they come at you with a story of how they're doing it for a trip, not for money, or sometimes they might be doing it for a scholarship, etc. That's how you can identify the "mag crews" as they're called. Keep in mind there is no trip, scholarship, or anything else like that involved, they're just trying to get a check from you to give to their "bosses."

As for people selling knives, and what not, as long as you get a product in return it's considered a legit sale, regardless of whether those knives work or not.
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