Using an illegitimate or photocopied coupon or a coupon on a product for which it is not intended is considered coupon fraud and is punishable by fines and imprisonment. Read on to educate yourself on how to tell a real from a fake!
Legitimate Internet Printable Properties
- Expiration dates usually 30 days to 3 months from printout
- Scannable bar code
- Print limits, usually 1–2 per computer
- Individual codes unique to one coupon, linking the coupon to your printer and IP address
- Printed using a downloadable software that enables printing of the individual code
Red Flags That May Indicate a Fraudulent or Fake Coupon
- Unusually high value coupon
- No expiration date, or an expiration date more than one year away
- "Free product" printable coupon
Stay safe by printing from legitimate sites like Coupons.com, Smartsource.com, RedPlum.com,CouponNetwork.com, and Target.com. Other places to find online coupons include manufacturer websites and Facebook fan pages. For an extensive list of current coupons, check out our Printable, Newspaper Coupon and eCoupon Databases.