WARNING: Fake alert!
Warning……. Warning , …..Warning,
Someone is doing the unthinkable at the moment… they’re faking coupons.
Unbelievable as it seems there are people not happy with the wide variety of legitimate coupons out there and have decided to fake their own! They usually come in denominations over the £2 amount and first came to the supermarkets attention when £6 Carling coupons flooded the market a while back. They were quickly followed by those for Nestle, P&G and Unilever, as well as other major brands.
The fraudsters seem to be taking the expired barcodes from legitimate coupons and mocking up their own versions in bulk, even selling them online on auction websites.
Many of the retailers are now cautious about taking high value coupons and a lot of the manufacturers are putting more security measures in place to prevent fraud. Huggies for example have been known to issue gift cards rather than coupons so that they can’t be copied.
People may not be aware that the coupons they innocently buy online are fake until they receive them, and even then the quality of some of them are so god that they still might not realise what they have is in fact a forgery.
Ebay has clamped down hard on anyone selling these coupons and has changed their policy regarding the selling of coupons to help stem the tide. It is also suspicious of anyone paying over the odds for a legitimate coupon, for example if someone is bidding £5 on a £3 off coupon that’s going to raise a red flag.
But this should in no way put you off using coupons, the best way of avoiding these fake coupons is to stick to printing them off yourself from the internet where many sites are set up to direct you to the legitimate sites, or getting them from the manufacturer directly by either emailing or writing to them. There are lots of bargains and savings to be had using the legitimate coupons issued by the manufacturers and if these fakers in question put the same amount of effort into couponing properly they would probably save themselves a tidy sum, without the risk of criminal prosecution.