Every so often, there is a surge in counterfeit coupon creation, and it seems that we are deep in the middle of one.
In the last 2 hours, I have heard about the above Huggies coupon (which is making the rounds of the Internets in .pdf form) AND had one of my Facebook friends post the following on my personal FB page:
I have a quick question for you. Do you know anything about Pedigree giving away coupons for a free 40 lb bag of dog food? Can't find anything on the ‘net and someone is at my husband's store trying to get ten free bags. Seems fraudulent to me 🙁
So let's go over this again:
In most cases, any coupon emailed to you in .pdf form (where you need Acrobat Reader or a similar program in order to read it) is either counterfeit or a scanned copy of a “real coupon”. Both are illegal to use in your store and if caught, can get you arrested. Don't believe me? I can point you to plenty of news stories of people being arrested and charged (and convicted) of fraud for doing exactly that.
There are some legitimate .pdf coupons out there. They are few and far between and tend to be a nightmare. They are often created by companies that want to issue coupons, but don't want to pay the fee to a site like Coupons.com to control the number of times the coupon can be printed. Then people print off 100 of them, they start to be redeemed WAY more than the company ever intended and then the company declares the coupon that THEY created to be fraudulent (when the reality is that the company was stupid in the way that they issued the coupon in the first place)
Coupons that are “too good to be true” generally are. In the case of my friend, her husband had a customer trying to redeem a coupon (actually 10 coupons) for an approximately $40 item. While companies do release legitimate free-item coupons (I get a ton of them), a dog food company is not going to start giving free $40 bags when they have smaller bags. She said that the coupon LOOKED legit….it was color and glossy on one side, the weight of the paper was correct, etc, but coupon counterfeiters are now able to find and use the same paper and technology to create these coupons. Once again, we need to use some common sense here and know that they just AREN'T going to give out this high-value coupon.
And check out this list of all the current counterfeit coupons circulating. Your head will explode just from the sheer volume of them!