Auto Service World
News   March 28, 2008   by Auto Service World

Bendix Issues Sweepstakes Fraud Alert


Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC and Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC, are warning employees, customers, and other consumers about a sweepstakes scam that has appropriated the companies’ identities.
The companies first learned about the fraudulent activities on March 24 when U.S. consumers began calling their headquarters to inquire about letters and cheques they had received that were marked with the names, logos, and addresses of both Bendix and Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake, a Bendix joint venture with Dana Commercial Vehicle Products, LLC.
The parties responsible for the scam distributed award letters and fake cheques to consumers through the mail, claiming that recipients were winners of a sweepstakes.
The letter urged recipients to cash the enclosed cheques and call a non-Bendix number to find out how to claim the remainder of their monetary prize.
“We want our employees, customers, and consumers to know that this mailing is fraudulent,” said Anthony LaPlaca, general counsel for Bendix.
“Bendix and Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake are in no way responsible for, or associated with, this activity. Although these documents may appear to be authentic, it is important for the public to know that both the award letter and the cheque are fraudulent.”
The fraudulent checks include both the Bendix and Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake logos and display the “Mellon Bank” name.
Letters printed on letterhead for “Bendix Financial,” a company that does not exist, accompany the cheques.
An example of the fraudulent sweepstakes letter is posted on the Bendix Website.
The Mail Fraud Statute of 1872 made it a federal crime to use the U.S. Mail to further a scheme to defraud.
According to U.S. Postal Inspectors, most victims of prize or sweepstakes fraud never report it to the authorities.
Even so, inspectors report that nearly 2,000 suspects are arrested each year for mail fraud.
“Today, consumers need to be even more vigilant to ensure they are not victims of fraud,” LaPlaca said.
“We’re grateful that some savvy consumers brought this matter to our attention, giving us the opportunity to issue a warning about this scam. 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.”


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