Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC (Bendix CVS) and Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake LLC, the North American leaders in the design, development, and manufacture of commercial vehicle active safety and brake system technologies, is warning its employees, customers, and other consumers about a business financing scam that has appropriated the companies’ identities.
The companies first learned about the fraudulent activity on September 23 when consumers began calling their headquarters to inquire about letters and, more specifically, checks they had received that were marked with the names and logos of both Bendix CVS and Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake, a Bendix joint venture with Dana Commercial Vehicle Products, LLC. The parties responsible for this scam have distributed letters and fake checks to consumers through the U.S. mail, claiming recipients have received a significant sum in accordance with their recent business financing request. While the Bendix name is not used in the letter, a fraudulent Bendix check is enclosed with the mailing.
“We want our employees, customers, and consumers to know that this mailing is fraudulent,” said D. Russell Hood, Bendix vice president and general counsel. “Bendix is in no way responsible for, or associated with, this unsavory activity. Although these documents may appear to be authentic, it is important for the public to know that both the letter and the check are fake.”
Bendix has already reported the fraud to the appropriate federal, state, and local legal authorities. The company continues to respond to calls to its facilities throughout North America by recipients of the letters. The number of consumers who received the letters is unknown; however recipients are not limited to those in the commercial vehicle industry in which the companies do business.
The fraudulent checks include both the Bendix CVS and Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake logos and display the “Mellon Bank” name. Letters printed on fake letterhead for “Mike Zack Finance, Inc.” – a company that does not exist – accompany the checks.
Bendix advises recipients of the fraudulent mailing to follow these guidelines:
· Do not call the numbers provided in the letter.
· Do not attempt to cash the fraudulent checks.
· Alert your local authorities that you have received the fraudulent mailing.
· If available, send copies of the fraudulent documents to Bendix for use in the investigation. Documents can be sent to the Bendix Legal Department, c/o Bendix Commercial Vehicles Systems LLC, 901 Cleveland St., Elyria, OH 44035.
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.
“The old adage rings true: if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Now, more than ever, consumers need to be vigilant to ensure they do not become duped by this type of unscrupulous activity,” Hood said. “We’re grateful that a savvy consumer brought this matter to our attention, giving us the opportunity to issue a warning about this scam. It is unfortunate that our company identities are being used in this manner, and we hope consumers will question and research this scam before falling victim to it.”