Claim:   An Internet-circulated coupon can be redeemed for a free hamburger and soft drink at Wendy’s restaurants.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, July 2009]

A new coupon for Wendy’s – free double cheeseburger and medium drink for those who have purchased corporation stock recently. Is this fraudulent or real?


Origins:   In late July 2009, the above-reproduced coupon for a free “Classic Double with Cheese” hamburger and medium soft drink from the Wendy’s chain of fast food restaurants began circulating via e-mail. According to Wendy’s Consumer Relations group, this coupon is not valid — it was not issued by either Wendy’s or Allstate and is not (and never has been) redeemable at Wendy’s restaurants. In fact, this same fraudulent coupon has been circulated via e-mail in previous years; someone has merely updated the expiration date and logo and once again sent it winging through inboxes everywhere.

On 3 August 2009, Wendy’s put a “Fraudulent Coupon Alert” banner on their site advising customers that the coupon in question was invalid:

Last updated:   31 July 2009