We are bringing you a new Weekly Series on Wednesdays called Coupon 101. We will share important information pertaining to to couponing, how to coupon, the best way to coupon, and if you have any questions please send them in and we will be happy to answer them and help you out the best we can!
This week, something I feel is a very important topic to discuss is coupon fraud and the importance of using coupons correctly. This week I saw multiple pictures of someones “savings” where they were using coupons fraudulently and sharing with others to do the same. Coupon Fraud is serious and affects us all.
There is a lot of lingo when dealing with coupons and I know it can all get very confusing (which the weekly Coupon 101 Series will help you out with this:) )
Why Use Coupons Properly?– Other then because it is the RIGHT thing to do!
- Learning to use them the right way will help you save more money. You will know how to maximize your savings
- You won’t have to deal with legal issues(YES there are legal issues and penalties from using coupons fraudulently)
- Companies will continue to put out coupons
- Using coupons the right way will save money on grocery prices rising
- Some stores give issues about using legitimate coupons, using fraudulent ones just makes them not want to accept the ones that are legit.
What is Coupon Fraud?
Using coupons in a way that the manufacturer intended. This includes using multiple coupons on 1 item, photocopying or scanning coupons, using them on products the coupon is not intended for. There are serious penalties to coupon fraud.
Some examples of coupon fraud:
- Using a coupon on a product that the manufacturer did not intend it to be used on (different size, quantity, product)
- modifying or changing a coupon in any way, this can be changing the date, value ect of a printable coupon, creating your own coupon
- photocopying coupons
- Using more then 1 coupon on 1 item, only 1 manufacturer’s Coupon can be used per item
- Using counterfeit and fake coupons
If you are unsure if a printable coupon is legitimate you can check the Coupon Information Corporation’s list of counterfeit coupons here.
Penalties for Coupon Fraud-There are serious penalties for coupon fraud
- Losing your privileges of shopping at a store that you are caught using coupons fraudulently at.
- Longest allowed prison sentence is 17 years-a normal prison sentence ranges from 3-5 years
- Highest allowed fine is $5 MILLION dollars-the fine amount varies but is around $200,00 dollars
Now you ask Why should I care about coupon fraud? Well because it affects YOU, and not just a little bit.
How it affects YOU!:
- Grocery prices rise-companies are losing money and need to make up for it, the stores are also losing money when they accept a counterfeit coupon because they are not reimbursed.
- Using coupons at the store can become difficult because stores become suspicious of all coupons
- Manufacturer’s stop putting out coupons
- The values of the coupons will be lower
Do you have any coupon questions that you want answers to? Are there any coupon topics you would like us to cover? Send and e-mail