Jun 20

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What is Coupon Fraud?

With so many coupons floating around, how do you know if you’re using them properly? Coupon fraud and misuse hurts everyone – it’s estimated to cause 500 million in losses a year. If you misuse your coupons and your store has high losses, they could decide to change their policy or stop accepting coupons altogether. You can also face penalties for coupon fraud. According to the CIC, you can face up to a 17 year prison sentence and fines up to $5 million!! (The average is 3-5 year prison sentence and $200,000 in fines).

First, you should never copy or alter a coupon in any way – it is illegal! If you have an internet print out coupon, all you can do is print it – altering or manipulating it in any way is illegal. Copying ANY coupon is also illegal.

Second, read the coupon, even the fine print. You can only use the coupon for the item spelled out on the coupon. If it says “$1 off 1 64 oz bottle of grape juice” then 1 64 oz bottle of grape juice is what you should be using it on, nothing else.

Third, you should make sure your coupon has all the crucial information on it and nothing has been accidentally cut off when you were clipping. Your coupon should have the expiration date, bar code, retailer redemption info, and value/amount information. If any of this information is missing or altered, you should throw away the coupon.

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