That 50% Off Everything Coupon is Fake
Posted on Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 at 7:00 am
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed by, but we are still within the time of year when a whole lot of extra shopping happens. It can be difficult to fit it all into your budget. Unfortunately, scammers are trying to take advantage of your desire to be frugal by creating fake coupons.
Recently, there have been several varieties of fraudulent coupons being passed around on Facebook. Each one of these fake coupons says that you can use it to get 50% off your entire purchase. You may have seen one for Target or one for Walmart, and there could be others out there, too.
If something looks too good to be true – it probably is. This old saying applies to coupons that appear to give you such a huge savings that you become very tempted to use them. Keep in mind that if you use one of these fake coupons, you could get in trouble for coupon fraud. The stores are not going to accept these fake coupons, and that could lead to a very embarrassing shopping experience (as everyone behind you in line judges you).
One way to tell if a coupon is fake is to visit the Coupon Information Center and view their list of coupon alerts. If you find a coupon mentioned in that list – you can be absolutely certain it is a fake coupon. The reverse isn’t necessarily true. If the questionable coupon you found isn’t on the list, it means that the Coupon Information Center hasn’t become aware of it yet. Not being on the list does not mean a particular coupon is the real thing.
Target offers coupons on its website. Those coupons are specific to Target and cannot be used anywhere else. Walmart also has its own coupons on its website. Before you click on, print out, or share a coupon that you see on Facebook, take a second or two to see if that coupon appears on the store’s real website. If you can’t find that coupon on the legitimate website, there is a good chance coupon you see on Facebook leads to a scam website.
Does the coupon look funny? That is a very bad sign. Big stores (like Target and Walmart) can afford to create good looking coupons. If the coupon you see being passed around looks like someone ran it through a copy machine – that means it is a fake coupon.
Another sign is if the coupon lacks a bar code, or if there is no expiration date listed. Blurry lettering, or typing that doesn’t sit right is a bad sign. If the font style, or the color of the text, seems different from the usual coupons from that store – don’t use the coupon.