Posted on Thursday, February 11th, 2016 at 7:00 am
How can you tell a fake coupon from a legitimate one? There are several clues that can help you spot a fake coupon. Experienced couponers might already be aware of some of these tips. For them, the trick is to prevent themselves from getting so excited over a coupon that looks too good to be true, and realize that it is actually a fake.
1. No Expiration Date
What is the expiration date on that coupon? There should be one.! The only exception to that rule is with coupons that come directly from the manufacturer. Even those have the words “No Expiration Date” on the front of them. Typically, it is not easy to find those kinds of manufacturer coupons. If you found a coupon with no expiration date – it is probably a fake coupon.
2. It Wasn’t Free
Coupons are supposed to be free. They come to you via the inserts in your Sunday newspaper, or through an email from a legitimate brand. You can find a bunch of free coupons on the website of the grocery store that you have a loyalty card with. It doesn’t make sense to spend money in order to obtain coupons.
If you are asked to pay for coupons – say no! It is not legal to sell coupons. There is no consumer protection option for people who buy coupons and end up with ones that are expired or fake.
3. It Looks Photocopied
It is not legal to make additional copies of a coupon. (Doing so is called coupon fraud). Most coupons are printed in two or more colors. If the coupon you found is black and white, that is a sign that it is a fake coupon. There is no good reason to try and use that coupon because the cashier isn’t going to accept it.
4. It Came from Facebook
Ok, that probably sounds a bit cynical. However, there is good reason to avoid the coupons that you find on Facebook. Thieves have started using Facebook to trick honest people into giving the thief their personal information by offering what appears to be a fantastic coupon. It may be safer to just skip the coupons that are on Facebook and stick to more legitimate coupon sources.
5. It Came From a Pop-Up
Have you ever been online, browsing the internet, when a pop-up ad appears? It might cover over part of the website you were looking at, or it could appear after you close your browser. That pop-up might have what looks like a great coupon on it. The pop-up may tell you to click a link in order to get the coupon.
Don’t do it! There is no way to know what that link is connected to. You may think you are about to receive a coupon, but could end up with a nasty computer virus instead.