You Asked I Answer: Counterfeit Coupons

Over the last few days I have received emails from some of you asking me about some coupons you received via email.  These coupons are saved in pdf format and are for free items.  Anybody see the big red flag there?  Well, you emailed and I answered back.  Some of the couposn you listed are already reported as counterfeit by the Coupon Information Center.  Others are not, BUT I am 99% sure they will be soon.  Here are some of the coupons you emailed about:

Free Doritos
Free Duracell Batteries
Free Freschetta Pizza
Free Pepsi
Free Dannon

I have written about Counterfeit coupons before and how to spot them and also tips on how to become more “printable coupon savvy.”  Here is the cliff notes version though:

  • Don’t trust coupons in pdf format that are NOT hosted on the manufacturers website
  • Don’t trust printable coupons you get via email that are too good to be true.  Chances are they are NOT true.

Also, don’t be tempted to use them because someone told you they scan.  Just because it works doesn’t mean it’s OK to do something!  The bottom line is this:

The store will NOT get reimbursed for these coupons.  This results in a loss to the store from accepting fake printable coupons which makes the store less willing to take printable coupons in the future.  In short:  This is a short term gain but long term loss for EVERYONE.  YOU included!

So if you have friends that emailed you coupons that you suspect are too good to be true, do yourself (and them) a favor and explain to your friend in a very gentle manner that by using fake coupons they are committing coupon fraud.  That in the end they are hurting their own chances of saving money in the future.  This is NOT worth a free bag of Doritos in my opinion.