What Is Coupon Fraud?

Coupon fraud occurs whenever someone intentionally uses a coupon for a product that he/she has not purchased or otherwise fails to satisfy the terms and conditions for redemption or when coupons are altered/counterfeited.

How to Avoid Coupon Fraud

1. If a coupon specifies a certain product, only buy that product. Example: Save $0.50 on Cheerios Original (in the yellow box) means you can only buy the Original Cheerios and not other varieties.

2. You can only use one coupon on one item, even if they are different values. Example: If you have two coupons for Venus razors, you have to buy two razors to use both coupons. Even if they are different value coupons, from different sources, or a mix of printable and newspaper coupons.

3. Don’t photocopy coupons. Ever. End of story.

4. Don’t use expired coupons. You can use a coupon on the expiration date but not after.

5. If there are size limitations listed on your coupon, you must abide by them.  Example: If a coupon states “Excludes Trial Size,” you cannot purchase a trial size product with that coupon. If the coupon says 5 oz or larger, you must abide by that verbiage.

6. Don’t purchase, use, or manufacturer fake coupons. Use caution when purchasing coupons online.  Make sure you can verify the source of the coupon (which insert it came from) and don’t buy “free product” coupons online.

Remember, it’s not a valid excuse to say, “But the register scanned the coupon” or “My cashier let me do it.” It’s coupon fraud whether the register or cashier allows it or not.