Monday, May 9, 2011

Coupon Fraud, Part 1 :: Photocopying Coupons


Last month I had several posts in a series titled, Savings 101.  If you haven’t read those posts yet, you will be able to find a lot of information valuable for the beginning couponer. 

This month, I’m going to try and cover a new subject—Coupon Fraud.

I have several ideas for posts on this topic:
·         Photocopying Coupons
·         Using a Coupon for the Wrong Item
·         Abiding by Expiration Date
·         Recognizing Fake Coupons
·         Coupon Information Corporation
If you think of some other topics that you have questions on, please submit them to me and I’ll be more than happy to answer questions or explain it further.

Let’s start with photocopying coupons…
Is this okay?  Actually, this is considered coupon fraud!  I know, especially as a new couponer, it's so exciting to get all those printable coupons and you just want to find more and more.  The easiest solution would be to make copies!  But, each and every coupon states that copying or altering coupons in any way is considered coupon fraud.  Plus, the printable coupons have special markings on them that would make it somewhat obvious that it was a fake.  Every coupon that you print has a unique code called the dot bar code, located directly under the expiration date.  This number is different for every coupon printed from and Red Plum.  Smart Source coupons have a pin number that is unique.  Even if you legitimately print your limit of two coupons per computer, the numbers will be different. 
Altering or copying coupons is illegal and harms not only the store, but also the cashier that accepts them.  So next time your cashier is looking over your coupons, reading every little detail.  Just remember he/she is doing their job.  Try not to get agitated, because as long as you are using your coupon properly you have nothing to worry about anyway!  Just be thankful your cashier is paying attention before just accepting the coupon.  We want them to pay attention and encourage us to use coupons correctly because if the store was accepting too many fraudulent coupons they would eventually have to stop accepting coupons at all.  We don’t want that, now do we?

Check back in a few days for the next part in the Coupon Fraud series!

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