Couponers United

Coupon Fraud and Preventing Coupon Fraud

by Crystal on June 22, 2012

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I know this is a touchy subject for many couponers, but I felt the need to write something up to “remind” people that there are plenty of deals out there by using coupons the right way! There is no reason to intentionally use them the wrong way.

The reason I felt the need to remind everyone about this is because of the following situation a couponing friend of mine encountered recently. She was in line behind another “couponer” & ultimately paid very minimal out of pocket. Then as my friend went up to Customer Service for a raincheck, the other couponer from the line came up to Customer Service to get reimbursed for coupons she said she “forgot” to give the cashier (while she was actually turning in duplicate coupons she had already used at the register-my friend saw them as they were used at the register). Customer Service questioned her & said it looked like she had already used those coupons, while she said “those were for other items.” In the end they paid her for those coupons.  (Now I might have spoken up about this at the time it was happening, maybe not, it would depend on the particular situation & if I wanted to get involved.  Either way, what that person was doing was just plain wrong!)

So, last week I mentioned that I could take coupons in at a later date to be reimbursed at Publix (they’ve said within 2 weeks of the transaction). This is something I’ve been able to do for quite some time. When I went in to return my coupons, they did not question me, but they stated that they have been having issues with people turning in duplicate coupons for the same items they were already used on.  They said they have  no way of knowing which coupons were for which items – I completely agreed! How would they know? Plus they will most likely stop accepting them after the transactions due people that do that.

I know I have forgotten to give them some of my coupons, just because I forgot to grab them out of my coupon pouch (especially when I’m at the store with my kids, that’s when I seem to have this problem). I do not encourage anyone to intentionally commit coupon fraud, as we need to be honest couponers, plus you could be punished by a fine or even jail time & the company you’re using them at will most likely not be reimbursed for those coupons. While it is definitely tempting, the coupons were used fraudulently & issues such as this could cause the store to change that policy.

Here is a little more information about coupon fraud & how to prevent it:

*The Coupon Information Corporation describes coupon fraud as anytime a coupon is redeemed for a product that it was not intended for or in any manner that violates the terms and conditions printed on the coupon. Coupon fraud is using an altered or counterfeit coupon. And a retailer can commit coupon fraud by presenting coupons to the company for payment for items that they never sold.

*Read and understand the terms and conditions of each coupon that you plan on using. Every coupon has these printed clearly in the fine print somewhere on the coupon. Some manufacturers such as Proctor and Gamble have made the decision to limit the number of like items and coupons that you can use in one transaction. Trying to purchase more than that limit is a violation of the terms and conditions of the coupon and can be considered coupon fraud.

*Using coupons for a size or product not stated on the coupon is a form of coupon fraud.

*Do not try to turn in coupons for items you know you already used coupons on. Whether they are manufacturer or store coupons. If you couldn’t use them together in the original transaction, then you certainly shouldn’t turn them in to get additional money back.

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