Pepsi Scam Warning

EverythingHealth is warning readers about a scam that could easily cost you money if you are trapped by it.

I received a very official appearing letter from "Pepsi Co." with the Pepsi and ABC logo on the stationary. The letter is on good stock paper with an official appearing bar code and it informs me that I have won One Million Dollars in the "Play for a Billion" contest in partnership with Pepsi and ABC Network. I will also appear on the ABC network for a chance to win one billion dollars.

The letter goes on to say all the arrangements are being made for me to receive my prize and a check for $5,400.00 is included to cover outstanding fees. The check is appears authentic and is from Mountain West Bank, made out to me.

There are other official appearing details, with a toll free number to call.

Of course I knew immediately this was a scam. But I could see how easy it would be to dupe other people into thinking they had won. The letter and envelope look very real. I am going to try and deposit the check. I suspect it will go through and will only be returned a few days after I have forwarded some amount of money less than $5,400 to cover some unknown fee to the scammers.

So let your elderly loved ones know about this and never, never believe you would really get a real check in the mail for a contest like this.


Anonymous said…
I'm always suspicious of those things in the mail or on the phone.
I think they are trying to do put them on the computer as spam now as well.

I don't drink carbonated drinks because of them being too unhealthy and so much sugar.
Anonymous said…
That is awful. Thanks for the warning. It seems that no matter how many times we hear about these things, people get sucked into the scam anyway.
m.scott said…
Wait at least two weeks after you deposit the check, and alert the Bank Manager about what you are doing so that they can participate in nailing these scammers. When you get the letter requesting more funds from you, save it for evidence. You also might want to contact Pepsico and get their legal people involved.

These people can be caught, but it takes a few people to get involved in the process.
Healthnut said…
Change your bank account number after this is over. Sometimes, crooks do this just to get to know your account number.
Toni Brayer MD said…
m.scott and Healthnut: Thanks for the tips. I found a notice about this scam on Pepsi's website and they asked that these letters be sent to them so I am doing this. It is a Canada postmark. I think it is virtually impossible to ever catch these scammers and they move on to other venues (internet).
Anonymous said…
I also received the letter with the $5400 check and of course knew immediately it had to be a scam. I've tried calling to claim my prize and guess what, Jonathan Chase is never available. I really wanted to catch them at their own game. Why is the check from Integrated Technology Partners and not Pepsi Co??Could be one of those checks you deposit then you end up owing and equal amount with interest.
Anonymous said…
I got the same letter (from Mr. Andy Pearlman 1-866-804-1800 Ext#1), that says I won the One Million Dollars... and it includes a check for **5,400.00... written on a Norwest Bank Minnesota account.

I know this is a scam because it looks like a cheesy letter, and the check looks real, but all the preprinted check info is in french... oh yea, PepsiCo in New York said it was a scam too (I called them...)


I think they can get your account number if you do!

Pepsi said they have all of the info (when I asked them if they wanted the letter), so I guess it will just go into the garbage.

I would love to see these scumbags hang... preying on "unknowing" homemakers... they have no shame. They probably steal money from the collection tray at church too...
Anonymous said…
I got one yesterday - exactly as you described it. I took it to my bank and they called the bank the check was from; they said the acct. # & co. name don't match. I took the whole thing to the District Attorney, Consumer Fraud Div. in my County. Wish they could catch these guys...sure wish I could win a million dollars! Oh well... CL
Anonymous said…
Sick. My mom just got this letter earlier this week. Because of the whole note about keeping it confidential she didn't tell any of us much, said a relative died and that it could be inheritance. I overheard her talking to said lawyer Whitney Port (name of start on MTV's The Hills). She was allowing my mom to confide in her about retiring. My mom isn't getting any younger. Shes 61 and an RN. She has arthritis and diabetes and the strain of work makes it worse on her body.

She thought she was looking into the eyes of a glorious retirement and the shades were pulled. She didn't go through with the Western Union and the check didn't go. The branch manager looked into it and informed her. Too bad none of that rids the pain that she still can't retire well.

Scumbags. I hope and pray they are swiftly brought to justice. No one deserves this, and for me, especially not my mother.
swinney93063 said…
Hello. So the story goes on. My mother received a letter 5-20-2009 in a Pepsi envolpoe as well. The letter had logo's from Reader's Digest and Pespi. The letter stated that my mom who the prize of a $1,000,000.00 as well. And, wait for it.... ... Yes, There was a check for $5,400.00. The name of the company on the check is Fine Sheer Industies(NY,NY). The name of the bank is Sunflower Bank(Manhattan,KS). I called the bank and they told me the check was not a good check. TO GOOD TO BE TRUE.
Thanks for your time, B safe from Simi Valley California.
jenny said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BarbieO said…
I also receive the letter and the check of $5,400. I called the mumer for a week and today I got thru. Asked what did I need to do to collect the million dollars. He said nothing, just set up at time to meet at my bank to make the deposit minus taxes. He then asked me to call in 30 minutes so he could get everything arranged. Called back and could get him just the answering machine. Waited a few more minutes and called again and still the same. So I decided to look up his name and found this blog and am so glad I did, thanks for the heads up on this.
Anonymous said…
I received a letter saying that I won the total amount of One Million Dollars along with a check for $4,980.00. I called the number 3 times and left my home phone number the first time and included my mobile number the next two times. I wish now that I hadn't given out my mobile number. I guess I knew better than to believe that it was for real, but it could have been our salvation. They do say that God works in mysterious ways...why not this? Unfortunately it seems the Devil has his hand in this one!! I am incredibly disappointed, but Thanks for the 'Heads Up'.
Signed, Depressed in CA
Ada said…
I just received one of these in the mail today. Same "Mr. Andy Pearlman", same Canada postmark, same "Reader's Digest & Pepsi Cola sweepstakes" scam. What a crock.
Anonymous said…
samething happend to me . I sent the check and the letter off to pepsi co ,to address posted on the web. Recived a letter back from pepsi co. saying they would share this information with internal security team as well as with federal authorities. Than you pepsico.! You would would think they would at least included a coupon for a free pepsi. from GV Ca.
scandolousass_d said…
ok so my mom just recieved a letter just like this... we were real excited we called and everything seemed good.. but it was weird that the lady didn't want us to tell any one, its "confedential" she said.. we looked it up on the internet and to out disappointment its a SCAM! i thought my mom was gona have a heart atack when she thought she won... SHAME ON THOSE PEOPLE!!!
Anonymous said…
I just got the letter from Reader's Digest/Pepsi too.
But my check was only for $5069. The scammers shorted me! You all seemed to get a bogus check for $5400. My check was from Sports Plus Rehab Ctr
in Jackson, TN.
Anonymous said…
My mom just received a letter today from Reader's Digest and Pepsi Co. I am calling one of the tv stations in my area, maybe they can air a segment about this scam and warn other people who easily believe what they read. Seems these people prey mostly on older people. There has been too many older people losing their savings/retirement money because they believe what they are told.
This is the second bogus win my mom gets.
I knew right away because it was posmarked from Canada with no return address.
I basically told my mom that if she gets this type of letters or weird call requesting money to just hang up.
The check she got was for 5,550 and the Bank is Farmers & Merchants Bank from Berlin, WI.
I tried calling the number to at least give somebody a piece of my mind but it just goes to voicemail.
nature9irl said…
My Grandmother also received this letter and check. She is going to be 80yrs old in Sept. 2009 and has been a long time subscriber to Readers Digest and has always loved Pepsi. So this letter really threw her off. Luckily, this handy dandy blog has confirmed what I suspected to good to be true and smelled like FRAUD! I will be mailing this to the address given by Pepsi Consumer Relations for further investigation. Oh & the letter was from Canada...we live in Los Angeles, CA.
Katie said…
My mother is 91 and lives alone and receives sweepstakes, lottery scams and lots of other stuff in her mail, which I throw out. I'll have to admit, with two of the most respectable names in American business on the letterhead - - - it made me pause. Then I went to the computer and put in 'Pepsi Scam' into the search engine, and the rest is history.

Thank you for 'being there', for caring and taking action!
This will not really have effect, I consider like this.

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