Dunkin’ Donuts Calls Gift Card Offer a Scam

By Jul 12, 2006

(Direct Newsline)—Dunkin’ Donuts is claiming that an e-mail from a lead-generation firm in Florida promising a free $25 gift card in return for filling out a survey is a scam.

Also, it appears the company Dunkin’ Donuts is accusing of the scam does not want to be contacted.

“A fraudulent e-mail message promising a Free $25 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card is being forwarded around the Internet,” said a warning yesterday on DunkinDonuts.com. “Dunkin’ Donuts is not affiliated with these offers, does not sponsor nor endorse this activity and is unable to fulfill these offers. We apologize if you have received such an e-mail with this fraudulent offer.”

Dunkin’ Donuts claims that Boynton Beach, FL-based USA Research Forums is behind the bogus gift-card offers and that the coffee-and-doughnut chain has sent the online lead-generation company a cease-and-desist letter.

“We have taken the appropriate legal actions to ensure that this company is not sending out e-mails like this in the future,” Dunkin’ Donuts said in a statement.

Canton, MA-based Dunkin’ Donuts became aware of the bogus promotion after receiving an e-mail complaint from a consumer, according to company spokesman Andrew Mastrangelo.

Mastrangelo declined to provide a copy of the e-mail touting the gift-card offer.

Directory assistance was unable to locate a phone number for USA Research Forums. A search of the WhoIs database revealed that whoever registered the USAResearchForums.com domain supplied 123-555-1551 as a contact telephone number, indicating its executives don’t want phone calls.

The company bills itself on its Web site as the Internet’s “fastest growing rewards program” offering deals from well-known brands such as Pampers, Crest, Dyson, Sharp, Apple and Target. “Our strategy is to target serious customers and match their interests with the most relevant and appropriate offers for active and profitable results—so you and your user-base get off to a great start in building your relationship.”

USA Research Forums did not return an e-mail asking for comment by deadline yesterday.

For more coverage on marketing at retail