Monday, May 7, 2012
UPDATE: 3 people have been arrested in Phoenix, AZ in connection with the SavvyShopperSite for coupon fraud. Full story HERE.
There are a couple of new websites that have been brought to my attention that specialize in selling fraudulent coupons. While buying and using these high-value coupons can certainly be tempting, it's highly illegal and makes us all suffer. Why?
When fraudulent/counterfeit coupons are used - the store does NOT get reimbursed from the manufacturer for the amount taken off at the register. In turn the store loses money and you've just STOLEN from them. Yes, you shoplifted!!
When this happens, stores will scrutinize yours and everyone else's coupons and may even refuse to take coupons in the future because of the trouble they went through. Do you blame them?
Here are the two websites that I know of and there may be even more out there. I'm in NO way promoting these sites - quite the contrary! I want to give you this information so that you are in the "know".
The minute I read the information given on this site, it sent up red flags.
#1 - You must have a referral to buy from them?
We welcome referrals, for your family and friends. We caution you to protect this information and only share with trusted and honest people who have common sense. If we have any problems with someone that you have referred, your future orders may be cancelled. We request that you not share our information with people that you don't actually know. This includes forums and any public viewing areas or websites. We do not educate people on coupons. This is entirely the consumer's responsibility. Common sense and good judgement are required. No new couponers.
#2 -They have a wall of shame in which they post your name and address for everyone on the web to see.
Wall of Shame:
This section has been created and reserved especially for
Bad Check Writers, Con Artists and Scammers. Make no mistake, these people have taken items and not paid for them.
#3 - Most of the coupons they sell are for completely FREE items and the rest are extremely high in value. These coupons are not listed in any legitimate coupon database!!
There are very few 100% FREE product coupons out there. FREE product coupons usually come straight from the manufacturer to the consumer through snail mail, facebook promotion or other means but will not be available in unlimited quantities for someone to buy and sell.
#4 - The price of these coupons is extremely high - up to $20 for only one coupon.
Same red flags come up with this site:
Must have a referral, minimum of $50 for each purchase, completely FREE and high-value coupons not found in legitimate databases and high prices on these coupons.
Now I know that most of you would not dream of using fake coupons on purpose and that's why I'm giving you this information. If you're ever in doubt, you can look for a list of current fraudulent coupons on the Coupon Information Corporation (CIC) website. You can even contact them with information on suspectious coupons that you come across.
Leave me a comment and let me know how you feel about this.
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