Wednesday, June 8, 2011

About Coupon Fraud

I wanted to post on coupon fraud and the importance of using coupons correctly.  Coupon Fraud is serious and affects us all.

There is a lot of lingo when dealing with coupons and I know it can all get very confusing.

Why Use Coupons Properly?  ...Other then because it is the RIGHT thing to do!
  • Learning to use them the right way will help you save more money. You will know how to maximize your savings
  • You won’t have to deal with legal issues (YES there are legal issues and penalties from using coupons fraudulently)
  • Companies will continue to put out coupons
  • Using coupons the right way will save money on grocery prices rising
  • Some stores give issues about using legitimate coupons, using fraudulent ones just makes them not want to accept the ones that are legit.

What is Coupon Fraud?

Using coupons in a way that the manufacturer intended. This includes using multiple coupons on 1 item, photocopying or scanning coupons, using them on products the coupon is not intended for. There are serious penalties to coupon fraud.

Some examples of coupon fraud:
  • Using a coupon on a product that the manufacturer did not intend it to be used on (different size, quantity, product)
  • modifying or changing a coupon in any way, this can be changing the date, value, etc. of a printable coupon, creating your own coupon
  • photocopying coupons
  • Using more then 1 coupon on 1 item, only 1 Manufacturer’s Coupon can be used per item
  • Using counterfeit and fake coupons
If you are unsure if a printable coupon is legitimate you can check the Coupon Information Corporation’s list of counterfeit coupons here.

Penalties for Coupon Fraud-There are serious penalties for coupon fraud
  • Losing your privileges of shopping at a store that you are caught using coupons fraudulently at.
  • Longest allowed prison sentence is 17 years-a normal prison sentence ranges from 3-5 years
  • Highest allowed fine is $5 MILLION dollars-the fine amount varies but is around $200,00 dollars

Now you ask "Why should I care about coupon fraud?"... Well because it affects YOU, and not just a little bit.

How it affects YOU!
  • Grocery prices rise-companies are losing money and need to make up for it, the stores are also losing money when they accept a counterfeit coupon because they are not reimbursed.
  • Using coupons at the store can become difficult because stores become suspicious of all coupons
  • Manufacturer’s stop putting out coupons
  • The values of the coupons will be lower

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