Coupon Fraud is on the rise. There are so many fraudulent coupons floating around right now, as well as talks of using coupons Fraudulently , so I thought I’d repost this post to clarifly both of these situations! I feel very strongly that if you are couponer or even just beginning to use coupons, it is our duty to be educated about this.
If you are going to coupon, which is the equivalent of Making Extra Money for your family, then you should take it that seriously and “Be armed” with knowledge…in other words, KNOW YOUR TRADE ! It’s like working a job and getting paid to do it, but not knowing the rules? That would be absurd!
So, here we go. If you are serious about couponing to save at least $50-100 per week, it’s a MUST.
First up is to know that You CANNOT Copy coupons! It enrages me every time I see someone on Facebook posting that they got 10 coupons because they copied them (and those comments are daily across the blogosphere!). THIS IS FRAUD. Each individual coupon is verifiable through www.veri-fi.com for ONE TIME USE. The coupon format, barcode and scan numbers are coded with the information that tells the retailer, manufacturer and/or coupon verification software what I.P. address was used (your location) and is traceable directly back to you. So if you make copies, once they are used and then returned as invalid, it can be traced to you having made illegal copies. You can and will be prosecuted for Coupon Fraud. Penalties for those convicted of coupon fraud related crimes vary by each case and the number of laws violated.Here’s the breakdown on that:
As of this date:
OK, that’s for the obvious, that you should definately know is a “NO, NO” in the coupon rulebook. I hope that we don’t have anyone here that is doing this. It is the reason behind all of the problems we have at the register and all of the suspicions behind internet printable coupons. PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS!!
Next big mistake/rule breaker is using a coupon for an item other than what the coupon states. We’ve seen this done lately on the TLC Extreme Couponing series. Sure, you might get away with it, but say I use a $1 off Tide 50oz on a Tide 30oz. The retailer/store WILL NOT get reimbursed for that coupon, which results in higher store prices for us, as well as even more in depth scrutiny over using coupons at the register.
Here are more examples of fraudulent misuse of coupons:
Finally, visiting the online authority on COUPON FRAUD will give you a more in depth look at what retail stores are facing with Coupon Fraud. It is a shame and it makes it worse on all of us that are using coupons legitimately to save our families money. View THIS LIST for all the current Fraudulent Coupons that are floating around, and make sure you don’t have any of these. There are rewards on some of them if you should find one, report it.
I hope these tidbits at least make you stop and think about coupon fraud and the responsibility of using coupons legitimately. As you can see through my weekly (sometimes daily) posts here and on Facebook, using coupons the way they were intended can and does save serious money and result in many freebies…just make sure you know what you can/cannot do. Knowledge is power!
Image Credit: Fabulessly Frugal