Is this rebate check a scam?

I can’t imagine how it would work, but I’m wary of cashing a rebate check I just got in the mail. It’s from Scotts Miracle-Gro in the amount of $48, but I don’t think I’ve EVER purchased anything from Scotts. I checked my online banking, but there’s no activity.

Should I cash it?

Other relevant info:

And let me add: It didn’t come in an envelope, just loose all on its own.

Why don’t you call Scott’s and ask them?

It could be legit, but it seems a bit odd that a company headquartered in Maryland, sends rebate checks out from an address in North Carolina, drawn on a small, regional bank in Minnesota. Furthermore, if you google the NC address, a company other than Scotts pops up. It could be that they were contracted to send out the checks, but all together it doesn’t add up to me.

As you say, I don’t know what the angle would be, but if I didn’t think that I had earned it in the first place, I would be inclined not to find out.

Wait, you say it was loose on its own? How did it get in your mailbox? Was it addressed with postage somehow or did someone stuff it in there after the rest of the mail came?

Go directly to the source and ask. Here’s a FAQ on the Scotts rebate program. They list a customer service phone number (877.322.8355), or there’s a contact page if your prefer that method.

The Master knows why the check is drawn on some obscure bank in the middle of nowhere


And now I see that the FAQ page pointed to by anson2995 is run by the same outfit that google returns for that PO Box, so I would say that I was a little hasty in my previous answer.

Rebate checks coming from obscure banks in Minnesota is nothing new. The address in NC is for CMS PromoCheck, so that makes perfect sense as well. Their phone number is on that page.

What somewhat concerns me is that there appears to be only one current rebate from Scotts, and it has a maximum value of $6 per household per year for potting soil.

If it is a scam, it’s a really weird one.

I’d stop by the bank some time when you can actually talk to a person, explain the situation and and see what they say. They can probably give you a better idea about the dangers (if any) of depositing a suspicious check.

When you say “loose on its own,” is it the kind where you have to tear off three strips (one along a long edge, and two along the short edges) to get to the check? I have gotten a few of those, although I don’t remember getting an unsolicited one.

Check the fine print on all of the papers in which it was delivered. I once got one where it said that cashing the check was considered acceptance of some offer (I think it was The strange thing was, I didn’t cash the check, but still got dinged for the “enrollment fee” on my credit card (which I successfully challenged).

I think he probably means a postcard check likethis.

If you haven’t done a lot of rebating, you may be surprised that most checks come in the form of postcards. The front of the postcard is the face of the check and the back is the usual back of the check where you sign. There is a postage permit imprint in the upper right hand corner and a small tear-off strip at the bottom with the postal bar code.

As others have mentioned, there is nothing suspicious about a small bank in Minnesota and most companies use one of the large national processing companies to handle their rebates.

Since most rebates are limited to one per address, I’ve often had friends or family members send in rebates in my name if they’ve made two purchases eligible for rebates. But usually they tell me in advance. Maybe someone you know (probably a homeowner) sent in a rebate in your name and forgot to tell you? (Or you forgot they told you?) Remember that a rebate typically takes three or more months to process, so you may have forgotten.

My WAG is one of your friends submitted a rebate in your name (its fraud legally) since he/she ran out of allowed number of submissions from one address. Ask around, you may find him/her.

Thanks for the help, everyone. I’ll call the customer service number tomorrow when they’re open. And yes, it’s more or less a postcard with instructions to tear my name and address off before cashing.

Very strange stuff… I’ll fill in all the curious Dopers tomorrow when I have answers.

No one scams like that for $48. What are they gonna do- call you and say it’s too much, it was supposed to be $4.80 so wire us back $40 and keep the rest*?

You’re fine.

  • add a couple of zeroes and this is a common scam. Never, EVER wire money to anyone you do not personally know.

Do you feed birds? Scott’s pleaded guilty to selling poisoned bird seed a couple months ago – might have something to do with that.

My experience with rebates is that by the time the check arrives I’ve long since forgotten that I ever had anything to do with the company.

I’ve recieved checks like that that had a statement on them that cashing the check acknowledged that I agreed to something or other. Any wording like that?

It may automatically enroll you in Scotts’ Pesticide-of-the-Month club. It took me two years to get out of that one (but my yard looked great).

I don’t think that’s accurate. Just the other day my wife got a rebate check from earlier in the season when we bought Scott’s 4 step lawn maintenance program all at once. I forget what the amount of the check was for, but it was much more than $6.

Lawns suck.

Ok, everyone. Mystery solved:

It’s not far off from what people have been saying. There are some intricate subplots I’m skipping over, but my parents had purchased some grass seed from Scotts. In fact, they purchased 8 bags of seed. Then, when they went to get their rebate online, their computer auto-filled my information (I was over there a few weeks ago and made a purchase). Hence, the $48 dollars showing up at my door.