Posted on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022 at 7:00 am
The Coupon Information Corporation (CIC) is a not-for-profit association of consumer product manufacturers dedicated to fighting coupon misredemption and fraud. It was founded to encourage integrity in connection with the redemption of manufacturers’ coupons and participation in other programs.
One of the things the CIC is doing is tweeting articles about people who were (allegedly) caught using fraudulent coupons. Here is one example:
The CIC tweeted an article from WNTV NBC15 titled: “DA: Bogus coupons at Monona Walmart added up to $20K in illegal discounts”.
According to the news article, a 54-year-old woman was accused of trying to use counterfeit coupons at a Walmart last year. The woman spent nearly three months passing similar bogus coupons at that Walmart and walking away with tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise after paying a small fraction of that amount. Over the course of 13 visits, starting last August, the woman allegedly spend just over $1,000 dollars, but took home more than $22,000 worth of merchandise.
It appears that this woman got caught by the Walmart Loss Prevention Officer who called the local Police Department. The detective who signed the complaint explained that the pattern of purchases, including quantities being purchased and that they were name brands, were often linked to retail crime.
The CIC has a Suspect Coupon Checker App, that can be used by retailers to determine if a coupon is valid or fraudulent. The retailers can use it to instantly identify known counterfeit coupons, and it is available to retailers free of charge. It does not need any expensive or time-consuming infrastructure modifications, and it doesn’t touch the sensitive systems that retailers use.
All of this is to point out that you shouldn’t use counterfeit coupons. People who have been caught using them have been arrested, and retailers now have a tool that can quickly identify the fake coupons that a person is trying to use.