How to Identify a Counterfeit Coupon
Posted on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 at 7:00 am
Everyone knows that using coupons is a great way to lower your grocery bill. People who are brand new to couponing might not be able to tell a legitimate coupon from a fake one. You are going to want to avoid the counterfeit coupons, because you could, potentially, be charged with a crime if you use them. Here is some advice to help you sort out the good coupons from the counterfeit coupons.
Use Safe Sources
It is not a good idea to download coupons, or print out coupons, from websites that are questionable. You have no way of knowing where that coupon originated. Instead of taking a risk, only print coupons that come from safe sources.
The printable coupons you find at FreeCoupons have been checked out and are safe to use. Another reliable source is Coupons.com (which is one of the most popular places for people to find coupons). It is also safe to use store coupons that you find on the official website of the store itself. For example, if you want to shop at Target then it is safe to use the coupons you find on Target’s website.
Check the List
Unsure about the legitimacy of a coupon? Check the list at the Coupon Information Corporation. They work hard to keep the list as updated as possible. If the coupon you were considering using appears in their list – don’t use it! It is definitely a counterfeit coupon.
Print Manufacturers Coupons
Another good way to find legitimate coupons is to get them directly from the manufacturer. Often, this requires you to sign up with the company through their official website. (It won’t cost any money to do it). For example, print your Kellogg’s coupon from the Kellogg’s website instead of from some random blog that you came across online. There are several other manufactures that offer safe coupons to people who sign up with them.
Skip the Questionable Coupons
Never print out a coupon from a website that wants you to pay money in order to access the coupon. Someone at that website is trying to scam you (and may be interested in obtaining your credit card information for nefarious purposes).
Don’t use a coupon that lacks a barcode, or one that has a barcode that contains one digit (over and over again). Be careful if the coupon says “print out this email”. These coupons are only for people who joined a loyalty club at a restaurant or grocery store (or who signed up with a particular manufacturer). Using the coupon, without having the email that is supposed to accompany it, could lead to problems. When in doubt, don’t use the coupon!