How to tell is a coupon is fraudulent
This is a black and white topic for me. There is no grey area here. I believe that coupons are plain about what they are good for, limitations, dates, etc, and that is how they should be used. I am amazed everyday at how many people commit coupon fraud – sometimes unknowingly – but most intentionally.
What is coupon fraud?
Coupon fraud occurs whenever someone intentionally uses a coupon for a product that he/she has NOT purchased or otherwise fails to satisfy the terms and conditions for redemption, when a retailer submits coupons for products they have not sold or that were not properly redeemed by a consumer in connection with a retail purchase; or when coupons are altered/counterfeited. (read more here)
There are simple ways that you can make sure you avoid coupon fraud. It is really not rocket science – and if you are smart enough to use coupons – you are smart enough to know how to use them the right way.
- DO NOT Photocopy coupons.
- Check the unique 2-D code in the top right corner of your coupon. There is a series of numbers under it that are unique to every print. This is also a good way to show your cashier that you didn’t photocopy your coupon.
- Check the border – when your coupon prints – most coupons have miniature text around the border that states the date and time it was printed.
- Be cautious of high value printable coupons. Make sure you are printing them from REDPLUM, SMARTSOURCE, COUPON NETWORK, or COUPONS.COM.
- PDF coupons have a high tendency to be fraudulent. Only print these if they are on the manufactures website, and even then you need be make sure they still have all the right information.
- If there is more than one coupon on a page this is a big flag – the coupon is fake.
- There is generally a watermark printed on a coupon – if there is not one this is usually a fraudulent coupon.
- On some coupons there is a PIN number and a Offer ID number. The pin number will be different for each coupon, letting you know that it is legitimate and also another of letting your cashier know that the coupon wasn’t photocopied.
You can see if any of the coupons you have are counterfeit on the CIC website. It is a great resource for finding out what coupons are fraudulent, and more about fake coupons.
Other Extreme Couponing Tips:
Extreme Couponing Tip: Printing coupons twice
Extreme Couponing Tip: How to shop for groceries with kids
Extreme Couponing Tip: 5 Simple ways to spend less at the grocery store (no coupons required)
Extreme Couponing Tip: Why you should sign up for store Weekly Ad emails
Am I cheap? or am I frugal?
Extreme Couponing Tip: What to buy at a Drugstore
Extreme Couponing Tip: Use a slow cooker to cut down on cooking and shopping time
Extreme Couponing Tip: Using Store Coupons to save more when Retail Shopping
Extreme Couponing Tip: Making a lifestyle change
Extreme Couponing Tip: When enough is enough
Extreme Couponing Tip: Using Self Checkout when using coupons
How to start couponing – Gathering and Organizing Coupons (Week 1)
How to start couponing – Figuring out how many coupons you need and the three types of shoppers(Week 2)
How to start couponing – Figuring out how much you need to stockpile & why (Week 3)
Extreme Couponing Tip: Cashier Profiling
Extreme Couponing Tip: Multiple Transactions
Extreme Couponing Tip: How to save money on groceries when the sales aren’t good
Extreme Couponing Tip: Shopping the Sales
Extreme Couponing Tip: How to change the zip code on coupons.com
Extreme Couponing Tip: How to Save money on ink when you print coupons
Extreme Couponing Tip: How to Double Coupons at Stores
Extreme Couponing Tip: Using a Price Point List to compare prices
Extreme Couponing Tip: Do you “shop” or do you “buy” when Grocery Shopping?
Extreme Couponing Tip: How many coupon inserts do you need?
Extreme Couponing Tip: How much do you need to stockpile?
Extreme Couponing Tip: How to get coupons on your mobile phone
Extreme Couponing Tip: 10 Grocery Items you should NEVER pay full price for
Extreme Couponing Tip: 7 important things to know about reading coupons
Extreme Couponing Tip: What to do when your rewards (catalinas) don’t print
Extreme Couponing Tip: Easy ways to cut your monthly out of pocket costs on bills and groceries
Extreme Couponing Tip: How to save money when hosting a party, potluck, or barbeque
Extreme Couponing Tip: Buying Multiple Newspapers
Extreme Couponing Tip: Shopping at one store or multiple stores
Extreme Couponing Tip: Calculating the best price to get the best deal
Extreme Couponing Tip: 5 Simple Ways to Save Money on Clothes
Extreme Couponing Tip: Keeping Track of your Printable Coupons
Extreme Couponing Tip: Stacking Coupons
New at Coupons Tip: Stacking Coupons