• SMPFI warns of fake Monterey GCs

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    Listed processed food producer San Miguel Pure Foods Inc. (SMPFI) is alerting the public on the proliferation of fake Monterey Meat gift certificates (GC), mostly in Quezon City.

    In a letter to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), San Miguel disclosed that the Monterey shops in Quezon City have observed an influx of GCs, which were later on found out to be fake.

    “[Because of this,] the company temporarily suspended redemption of said gift checks in all Monterey neighborhood meat shop outlets nationwide,” the DTI said in a statement.

    Monterey GC holders are encouraged to redeem their checks at the Monterey outlet at Farmers Plaza, Cubao. The central collection of GCs will “allow the company to properly validate authenticity of the GCs.”

    Gift certificate holders outside Metro Manila can also redeem GCs in various Monterey shops, but are required to register their name and contact number. This would allow the company to update consumers on the authenticity of their certificates or track the ones holding counterfeits.

    According to SMPFI, the GCs are counterfeit if the series numbers at the bottom right were manually stamped causing it to be uneven, misplaced, or even smudged.

    On the other hand, real GCs have their serial numbers pressed when printed, having a “shallow indent” once touched from the surface.

    Like fake play money prints, bogus GCs are printed on extra smooth paper surfaces.

    “The original checks are printed on embossed paper that is textured on both sides,” the company said. “The public is enjoined to be vigilant and to report to the authorities, information on individuals or firms responsible in these fraudulent and unconscionable practices,” the DTI said.

    Bes0ides Monterey Meat, other SMPFI labels include Magnolia, Pure Foods, Star, Dari Crème, B-Meg and JellyAce.

    Kristyn Nika M. Lazo

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