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BellaOnline's Urban Legends Editor

The $500 Gerber Savings Bond Hoax

Fax/letters received beginning in 1997 looked a lot like this:

Gerber Baby Food Company lost a class action suite. Gerber has been marketing their baby food as "all natural". The baby food was found to contain preservatives. Under this settlement Gerber is now responsible for giving every child born between 1985 and 1997 a $500.00 savings bond. However, Gerber is not responsible for advertising this settlement in any way.

To obtain the bond, send a copy of your child's birth certificate and social security card to :
Gerber Food Settlement Administration Infant Litigation
P.O. Box 1620
Minneapolis, MN 55480

THE TRUTH: Gerber was never involved in any class-action suite. Shortly after this letter started circulating, Gerber announced that they were working with the authorities to close down any and all of the P.O. Boxes associated with this scam. They also stated that Gerber would never request birth certificates of anyone in order to receive an award or prize. There are no $500.00 savings bonds waiting for your children. This was a completely bogus announcement and a complete ID theft fraud.

It continues to pass around communities through email.
There are various versions of this announcement , some claiming the reason for the suite was that lead was found in the baby food instead of it being an " all natural " product. And the amount or the award varies to as much as $1,400.00 per child. At the same time there was another hoax circulating- The Enfamil / Similac Hoax, and in it the same figure of $1,400.00 was given. Folklorist believe the two have mutated into one another.

The Enfamil/Similac Scam: stated that children born between 1980 and 1991 were entitled to a $1,400.00 dollar settlement . THE TRUTH here is that there was a suite filed against the makers of these products and other baby formula makers in 8 states . The Federal Trade Commission filed suite over price fixing in: Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Tennessee, and West Virginia. However, the settlement was for much less. The companies were directed to pay out rebates of between $5.00 and $45.00 to the plaintiffs, much less then the windfall of $1,400.00.

I urge all my readers to please do your research when confronted with a story that is just a little too good to be true. Always get more information before you act on any letter, email, call or text that requests personal information about you or your family.

If you are unsure about a story, send it my way and I will try to help you figure it out.

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