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Wrongfully Accused of Coupon Fraud?

If you’ve been to the register much with black and white printable coupons, chances are the cashier has doubted the validity of the coupon, and thus accused you of photocopying and coupon fraud. Read on to find out how to deal with the situation!

Photocopying coupons is illegal and considered coupon fraud. When coupons are photocopied, they may scan at the register, but the store will not get reimbursed for the coupon’s value. This constitutes stealing and can land you in prison, along with a hefty fine.

Unique numbers: Coupons printed from, and will have individual barcode numbers in the upper right hand corner that are unique to one coupon and link to your computer (and thus its location and users). The majority of printable coupons have a print limit of 1 or 2 prints per computer.

If your checker accuses you of photocopying, the easiest solution is to point out the individual barcode numbers. If you find a particular store consistently has a problem with your coupons, don’t clip your coupons until you’re at checkout. This way the cashier can look at the URL source and the date and time stamp. This should help to prove your coupons are valid and not photocopied.

Black & white: Printing in grayscale can save money on ink. A store should never refuse your printables solely on the fact that your coupon is black and white. Let them know you print in grayscale to save money, and point out the barcodes as mentioned above. Many store coupon policies specifically state that they allow Internet printed coupons printed in black and white. Check out your store on this Extensive Store Policy List.

PDF coupons Portable Document Format enables the customer to print out multiple copies of a coupon. However, many store scanners don't like reading PDF barcodes because they do not have unique numbers and will make an angry beep. Read more about why this happens and what actions you can take here.

Helpful Links:
How to save on ink & paper
Coupons that won’t scan
Accidental coupon usage