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Could Clipping Coupons Clip Your Freedom?
Posted By Ron On September 10, 2010 @ 5:15 AM In Frugality,Saving Money | Comments Disabled
Counterfeit coupons? Yes, they DO exist. Clipping and attempting to use a counterfeit coupon could result in your arrest is the clerk gives you the discount. The charge would be fraud and the penalties could be severe.
Why are counterfeit coupons created? Who knows? The world is full of evil people who create viruses and other such destructive nonsense. Makes no sense to me.
One of the best ways is to go to the Coupon Information Corporation and check just to make sure, though they don’t have ALL counterfeits listed – they can’t. Another way to guarantee a coupon is fake is to buy it in an online auction. Thieves will generate a batch of counterfeit coupons (really GOOD ones), snap a few pictures for their auction, and then sell them for half price or less to unsuspecting coupon clippers.
And these fake coupons look real. They have bar codes, and many have expiration dates, the appropriate logos, and believable savings. Use them and you could face charges if the clerk is fooled. If the clerk isn’t fooled, you face the embarrassment of standing there at the checkout counter and having your coupon refused.
Stores bundle up the coupons they receive and send them to the manufacturers for redemption. Yes, they redeem coupons too. When a counterfeit coupon is refused by the manufacturer having been allowed by the retailer, guess who eats it? The retailer. That fake coupon increases the retailer’s cost of doing business and those costs are eventually passed along to consumers.
Fake and counterfeit coupons are becoming a widespread problem. So much that some retailers are now refusing any online print-at-home coupons, which hurts us all.
Here are a few clues that may indicate that a coupon is fake:
Only use offers on manufacturers’ websites. There are other reputable coupon sites such as www.coupons.com ,www.coolsavings.com  and www.couponmom.com . But unless you have previously enrolled at a website to get coupon offers, don’t click on any e-mailed offers you receive.
Is that coupon real or counterfeit? Go to the Coupon Information Corporation site where you can see images of phony coupons. You’ll be amazed at how realistic these counterfeit coupons are.
Prosecutors and law enforcement officials WILL go after the printers of these counterfeits, and you could also face penalties, fines, and possibly worse if you use them.
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