REI Statement on “Prize Winning Payout” Scam

Sep 22, 2009

Kent, WA – A company falsely identifying itself as REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) recently launched a scam sweepstakes claiming that individuals have won a “Consumer Promotion Drawing.” The company and promotion are not associated with REI in any way and the check included in the mailing is counterfeit.

REI is currently working with the Kent Police Department, the FBI, and the Office of the Washington State Attorney General. REI is also warning consumers in an effort to prevent additional victims of this fraud.

Consumers from several states have reported receiving letters stating that they have won $150,000 but must claim their winnings within 15 days. The mailing also includes a fraudulent check for $3,800 from “Recreational Equipment Inc.” to cover the “Non-Resident Government Tax” allegedly owed to a “British Tax Officer.”

Because the check is fraudulent, consumers themselves are personally responsible for any funds paid over for the check.

REI encourages consumers who have received this letter to contact their local police department and/or state's Office of the Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division. The case number with Kent Police Department is 09-101-84. Consumers are asked to use this information with their local law enforcement as a reference.

Questions and concerns can be forwarded to

About the REI Co-op

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 23 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 188 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.