Michelin North America today issued a fraud alert to consumers in the United States and Canada. Yesterday, Michelin learned from some savvy consumers that fraudulent Michelin checks were being mailed, apparently part of a scheme to defraud the public.
Letters, claiming to be "Consumer Prize Award Notifications" have been received by consumers in at least nine states. The letters instruct consumers to deposit the enclosed Michelin check and then issue a new check in the same amount from the consumer's bank account to cover the supposed taxes and administrative fees associated with their prize. Consumers are told they will then receive another check and details on their prize winnings. Contact information on the letters lists a Canadian address.
These Michelin checks are completely fraudulent. Michelin has absolutely no involvement in any program or sweepstakes of this nature.
Since yesterday, Michelin has received more than a dozen calls about the scam. The company has alerted the appropriate law enforcement officials in the United States and Canada and is working with authorities to find those responsible and hold them accountable.
Any consumer receiving a letter or other communication of this type should contact their local law enforcement authorities immediately. The checks involved in this scam are counterfeit and not issued by Michelin. Consumers receiving suspicious Michelin checks are asked to contact the company toll free at 1-800-MICHELIN.
Consumers are urged to be vigilant whenever receiving unsolicited offers or prizes. Be very suspicious of offers that require you to pay money or send checks in order to receive a prize. Additional consumer guidelines, including instructions on how to file a complaint are available from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission at: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/telemarketing/tel17.shtm.