Coupon fraud – Spot a fake coupon

03/03/2012 6:02 am · 4 comments

by Sarah A Thrifty Mom

This is a two part post, the second is tomorrow.

This recently came up in a Facebook chat on our page. And it has been a long while since we talked about it here. With couponing and the Extreme Couponing show there has been a large growth of couponing, saving money, and more and more coupon moms. Which is great! With that each of us try and save money at every chance we can get. With the couponing is a seasonal work. Certain times of the year, certain coupons come out from the manufactures. So when that time has come and gone and we miss that coupon, or have used up our portion of the stockpile, we need to find ways to replace those items in the stockpile. But what if the manufacture decides to post pone a coupon? So people make their own coupon. Some may not know it is wrong. So as part of our education here on our site about finding great coupons, we also want to share what not to do and what to watch out for.

Many of us want to share a great coupon. Many times they are too good to be true. I recently was sent this PDF image of coupons. Not that PDF’s are fake, many are, but many legitimate companies do publish them. So how do you spot a fake coupon then? We want to empower you to help yourself and all of the other coupon moms by spotting and not using fake coupons. Why? A fake coupon may be scanned and work just fine  in a store and they would never know it… UNTIL they submit it for reimbursement. Then it is flagged and denied. The store will lose that value of the coupon multiplied by how many it took in. If fake coupons spread like wildfire, like they do, then stores will be forced to stop taking coupons all together, to avoid losing money.

Look at this image. It is the way I received it, minus the big circles that say FAKE… Can you spot all the clues just by looking at the image? Leave a post here telling all the reasons why you think it is fake. Click on the image to enlarge.


Tomorrow we will post all of the answers!

Readers Update***I work for Walgreens, and the last two days I have seen several counterfeit coupons come through that I hope you can warn couponers about. They are for a free pack of Marlboro Cigarettes and $7.50 off Pampers. If you could let everyone know that these are not legit, hopefully it will save some companies some money. Thanks!

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Leave a Comment: 4 comments

Filed Under: Coupons, Coupons 101 part 4

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It is for a product that NEVER has coupons. No size restriction. Multiple coupons per page.


* No dollar amount/limit on the coupon. * Coupon says they will refund the store $5.00! * Coupon is good for 1 free Doritos and no Doritos is valued at $5.00 for one. * No size restrictions. * Expired date (but depending on when you received this)


It's for a free item with no purchase. Big red flag :) If it's to good to be true it probably is :)


I don't have my glasses on, but 1) the date looks weird, 2) you NEVER see coupons for FREE Doritos and 3) you wouldn't get a whole sheet of free coupons for anything. I don't even understand how someone could make a coupon to begin with. It's only hurting those of us that are doing what we can to save our family money. I think it's a disgrace!

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