Big news in the coupon world! Police are calling this case the “first of it’s kind”. 3 woman in Arizona were taken into custody this week for coupon forgery and counterfeiting.
Excepts from news article on the case:
Police seized boxes of coupons, vehicles, guns and other property. Investigators say those coupons are worth about $25 million dollars.”We’re talking about anywhere from $400 to $600 million in loss,” said Holmes. “This is to American companies who produced American products and hire American citizens.”
Investigators (from the Coupon Information Corporation, CIC) discovered most of the fake coupons were being used in Arizona. Investigators also found that the coupons were being sold through the website,Savvyshoppersite.com.
The Coupon Information Corporation is calling this the largest counterfeit coupon case the industry has ever seen.
“They are variations, reproductions of what were at one point legitimate coupons,” said Bud Miller with the Coupon Information Corporation.
So the coupons often worked and as a result manufacturers lost millions.
IMO, what’s the moral of this story- Don’t buy coupons on the internet! If you use a fraudulent coupon you can be charged with a felony. I have never bought a coupon from a “clipping service” or ebay. Like life in general, I am sure that the majority of these companies are legit. But as this new arrest shows, you just never know. And I would just hate to unknowingly redeem a fake- it just makes couponing harder for us all. And not only are fraudulent coupons an issue, stolen ones are too. How many times have you heard of people saying someone ripped off their Sunday paper inserts!
You say, but no one really cares about fake coupons. Not so, this is becoming a major problem, especially with the news that many fakes are also being used on Extreme Couponing. And think of the American companies that this is hurting. Here are some more tips on avoiding coupon fraud.
Ok, off my soap-box. 😉 My bottom line is find coupons other than by purchasing them online:
- do a coupon swap with a neighbor
- ASK to dumpster dive in a school’s recycling dumpster (it’s actually illegal to do otherwise)
- get them out of magazines
- print online from legit printable sites and directly from company web pages/ Facebook
- contact companies to see if they will send coupons to you for a fave product.
- buy an extra paper on great insert Sundays (Each week I preview Sunday’s inserts so you can know ahead of time if you want more than one, Drug Mart sell the paper for $0.99 on Sunday!)
What are your thoughts on this mess?! 😉