ELYRIA, Ohio — Bendix is warning the public about a recent sweepstake scam that is fraudulently posing under the company name.
Bendix first warned its employees and customers about a similar fraud in late March. The company has since become aware of a recent wave of fraudulent activity that once again is targeting the company name. This round has taken on a new twist, the company states, by playing to the need of some unsuspecting consumers for unexpected cash and employment benefits, under the fabricated company name “Bendix Spicer Research Marketing.”
Bendix states that the parties responsible for the latest scam have distributed fraudulent letters and fake checks to consumers through the US Mail. The letters claim that based on a response to a prior survey, the recipient was selected to participate in a paid consumer research program as “mystery shoppers.” The scam entices consumers with a promise of significant part-time income on a temporary, and then permanent basis.
Recipients of these fraudulent letters are asked to become mystery shoppers and then asked to evaluate well-known retailers (such as Macy’s, JC Penney, or Target). They are also asked to evaluate the effectiveness of financial payment systems, by completing an assignment at one of these retailers. The letter, accompanied by false mystery shopper documentation, requires the recipient to take action by a specified date, and supplies phony reference numbers relating to the request. The letter also urges the recipient to cash an enclosed check, and call a telephone number (that is not related to Bendix), to find out how to confirm receipt of the check.
“Fake check schemes are devious ploys designed to steal consumers’ money,” said Anthony LaPlaca, vice-president and general counsel of Bendix. “As the frequency of this illegal behaviour increases, our concern over the potential for honest citizens to be swindled, grows as well. Working in partnership with our financial service providers and the proper authorities, it is our hope that this harmful activity can be brought to a halt.”
Consumer protection and law enforcement agencies report that there are many variations of the fake check scam. Often, these scams, like the fraudulent activity targeting Bendix, involve counterfeit cashier’s checks. “If it seems too good to be true, it most likely is,” LaPlaca added. “Close scrutiny and continued caution against this type of damaging activity, can help protect innocent citizens from becoming victims of fraud. It is unfortunate that our companies’ identities are being used in this manner, and we hope consumers will question and research this scam before falling victim to it.”
Bendix advises recipients of the fraudulent letter to follow these guidelines: do not call the numbers provided in the letter; do not attempt to cash the fraudulent check; alert local authorities; and, if available, send copies of the fraudulent documents to Bendix for use in the investigation, c/o: the Bendix Legal Department, at Bendix Commercial Vehicles Systems LLC, 901 Cleveland St., Elyria, Ohio 44035.
For more information on this topic, refer to the Bendix Web site at: www.bendix.com.
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