December 5, 2011 – Applied Industrial Technologies has received numerous reports of fake companies that use our logo and variations of our name (Applied Group, Applied Marketing Technologies, Applied Performance Technologies, etc.) to scam people out of money. These “companies” send a very official-looking letter along with an official-looking check made out to the person for several thousands of dollars. The recipient is asked to participate in a “Secret Shopper” program, proposing that they cash the check to their personal account, and then withdraw funds to: (1) purchase a specific product from a well-known store, (2) pay themselves a “salary” of several hundred dollars, and (3) help the “company” evaluate a Western Union location by wiring $1500 or so of the funds back to the company.
This is a fraud that attempts to trick people into cashing a counterfeit check and withdrawing funds from their own account to wire back to the bogus company. Many companies, not just Applied, have been targeted by similar schemes where their identity is “borrowed” for fraudulent purposes.
Please be aware that Applied Industrial Technologies does not participate in “Secret Shopper” programs, and that our name and logo identity are being used by some unknown dishonest people for fraudulent purposes. We take no responsibility for their actions.
Should you receive a letter proposing that you be a secret shopper for Applied, and the letter includes a check with a program similar to what we’ve described, please email the Applied Industrial Technologies Internal Audit department at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also fax or mail any suspected bogus check and supporting letter to:
Applied Industrial Technologies
1 Applied Plaza
Cleveland, Ohio 44115-5054
Attention: Internal Audit, MS 54
We will file a formal complaint with the US Postal Service and the Better Business Bureau.
Thank you for your assistance.