A reader wrote in to Kiplinger’s Magazine to say he had already subscribed through 2009 and was still getting renewal notices in the mail. It turned out, he may have been the victim of a magazine subscription scam.

Turns out, a number of companies claim to be able to renew your magazine subscriptions for unbelievably low prices. But none of them actually work with Kiplinger’s.

And that’s where you have to be careful. Just because a company sends you a “subscription renewal” form in the mail or is on EBay doesn’t mean it’s legitimate or that it represents the magazine.

The real problem is that magazines have allowed different companies to sell subscriptions at different rates, some of which are less than the cover price or rack rate on their websites or in their own publications. If magazines would offer a “best deal” on their own website, much the way some airlines do, consumers wouldn’t have to worry they’ll be scammed when they renew.

With practical, informative consumer advice, I’m Ilyce Glink, News-Talk 750 WSB