How to Avoid a Coupon Scam
Posted on Tuesday, June 7th, 2011 at 12:12 pm
We all love to coupon and want to trust that the coupons we find are legitimate, but sadly enough there are those out there who are trying to scam us. What can you do to help protect yourself? Read on!
Different Types of Coupon Scams
There are several ways that you can get scammed while couponing. Here are two of the most common:
- Coupon Certificate Booklet Scam – These are booklets you buy containing about 20-50 certificates that are redeemable for $10.00 each in grocery coupons. When you want to redeem these, however, you have to fill out and mail a form indicating which products you’d like coupons for, and include a self-addressed, stamped envelope and processing fee. To get all $500.00 worth of coupons, you might end up paying $100.00 or more in postage and processing fees! What’s more is that these booklets often say their coupons have no expiration dates; we all know that very few coupons have no expiration date. Don’t trust them! Save yourself the trouble and money, and clip your own coupons.
- Counterfeit Internet Coupons – The Internet makes it all too easy to duplicate and distribute fake or expired coupons. Be very wary of internet coupons. Make sure to get them from a reputable source, like FreeCoupons.com, and remember that it is highly unlikely that you will ever encounter a legitimate internet coupon for a free item with no purchase necessary. Also, even if you do have a legitimate internet coupon, check your store’s policy to make sure they take them. A lot of stores are very cautious about internet coupons.
Tips to Avoid a Scam
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a page of Facts for Consumers featuring “Costly Coupon Scams.” Read more about coupon scams, how to avoid them, and how to report them when you find one. Here are a few tips the FTC has for identifying a scam:
Be cautious of anything that says the following:
- No risk involved!
- Big profits! High income! Amazing savings quick!
- You must act now!
- You just can’t miss this opportunity!
Anything that guarantees no risk and high profits, and pressures you into taking action is likely a scam. It’s always better to be safe anyways, so even if it does look legitimate do your research!