Tyson Notifies FBI Of Sweepstakes Fraud

Thursday, March 29th 2007, 12:09 pm
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ Tyson Foods Inc., the world's largest meat company, said Thursday some U.S. residents are receiving fraudulent notification letters claiming they've won $2 million in a Tyson sweepstakes that does not exist.

Tyson said an unspecified Canadian company is sending out notification packages including a $3,800 check that appears to be issued by Tyson in Springdale, Ark. People receiving the package are then asked in the letter to deposit the check to cover ``award costs'' and then send the Canadian company a personal check for $3,800 from their own bank account.

Tyson spokesperson Gary Mickelson said the company has received five inquires about the sweepstakes, including one call from an Oklahoma bank that had a customer wanting to deposit one of the checks.

Mickelson said there have been some instances where banks have taken the check and submitted it to Tyson's bank for clearance. None of those checks will clear, he said.

People have either inquired about the scheme or have tried to deposit the checks in several states, including California, Delaware, Ohio, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Mickelson also said although most of the fraudulent checks have been for $3,800, some are for $4,500.

Tyson said is has notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the scheme.

Tyson also asked anyone receiving a letter to write ``void'' across the check and take the package to a local post office.

``Tyson officials regret the company has been implicated in this fraud and urge all recipients of these materials to take them to their local authorities,'' the company said.

Tyson shares added 6 cents to $19.25 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Earlier, shares traded at a new 52-week high of $19.27, topping a high of $19.23 set Wednesday.