Oct 19, 2011 8:37 AM by Lauren Wilson
Did you know that people make fraudulent coupons? Well, they do and it is a huge problem for all couponers. Just recently, there has been an influx of counterfeit coupons. These coupons scanned through the registers at most major grocery stores as legitimate coupons. When people pass counterfeit coupons off as legitimate coupons, we all pay. The first people to pay are definitely the retailers. When retailers send these coupons in to be reimbursed, they quickly find out that these are no good and the manufacturer will not reimburse them for the amount of the coupon. The next person to take a loss is the consumer. Not only does this cause inflation in prices, but it also causes trust issues between retailers and couponers. Fraudulent coupon use causes retailers to tighten restrictions on coupon usage and enforce coupon rules that they may have become relaxed with.
What can I do to help?
You can be aware of the coupons you are using. Know what to look for and what "red flags" that may clue you into knowing you are not using a legitimate coupon.
1. Look at the expiration date - If the expiration date is a bogus date, you know you are dealing with a fraud. Another clue to let you know you need to investigate further is an expiration date that is more than 3 months in the future. Some coupons do have dates that are further away, but if you get a printable coupon that doesn't expire for over 3 months, you may want to look a little further.
2. Check the website - It never hurts to verify the coupon with the website it was printed from. All print at home coupons originate from a website and that website will be printed on the coupon. Go check it out to see if it is a legitimate site.
3. High dollar value - Anytime you find a print at home coupon that has a value high enough to cover the price of a full-size item at the "suggested retail price" you may need to investigate further. Most free items that are purchased using coupons are either travel size or are purchased during a great sale.
4. Check with the CIC - The Coupon Information Corporation (CIC) is a not-for-profit organization that has the most current listing of counterfeit coupons in circulation www.couponinformationcenter.com.
For more information on how to save BIG using coupons and other thrifty living tips, log on to www.acadianasthriftymom.com.