How To Spot Fake Coupons?Prisha Kumar
In recent year the use of coupons has become quite global. Saving coupons have been around for a long time, previously their use was restricted to grocery stores only for low-budgeted families. As times have changed so have the use of saving coupons. Now almost every store offers their own saving coupons or promo codes that are being utilized by people from all classes. From high end stores to local departmental stores, they have arrays of promotional codes to lure people to their door step. The saving coupons have made shopping very economical, it allows you to purchase something you were not able to afford on its original retail price, also you do not have to wait for sales, in which only selected items are put on discount. The use of coupons has spread from grocery shopping to cosmetics, jewelry, household items, furniture, restaurants to other countless services. Although in recent years coupons have surged the ratio of sales and benefited both customers and retailers, there are few people who have suffered at the hands of coupons. Once you begin using coupons frequently you are in then constant search of new coupon to avail, that is where coupons scamming comes in. The fake coupons are widely circulating on websites which entices people to use them and in return people are being scammed.
The question is how can fake coupons possibly scam people? The fake coupons can seize your personal information, financial details, infect your system with multiple viruses and in worst case scenarios holds your computer for ransom. The scammers can now take advantage of your personal details and exploit it for fraud. It is very tough to get out from sticky situations like that, therefore before using any coupons always make sure that it is not fake. The next question is how can you spot a fake coupon? There are few pointers which easily differentiates fake coupon from real one.
It’s Too Good To Be True!
Lets all be honest here why would a high-end store which had spent quite an amount on manufacturing their items will offer you their products on half of the original price? Even local departmental stores who already have reasonable prices are willing to offer 50% discount flat on all items? Some of the coupons are simply too good to be true and that’s how you know it, that they are not real.
Coupons That Cost Money
The coupons are free of cost, that is the whole point of it. The stores often give promo codes to their loyal or subscribed users only and there is no cost involved it is up-to customer if he/she wants to avail that particular offer. The coupons selling and copying is considered theft and fraud. There are people who make copies of the original and try making money out of them by selling them. Also, scammers print their coupons which are affiliated with store in any capacity and sell it for money as scam.
Coupons With Free Products
Coupons are already offering discount on store products why would they give you another for free. Usually these types of coupons are bogus and are made to attract people for scams, when you click on these coupons you are directed to unknown page where personal details are required for free gift. These details are then exploited, always be wary of coupons like this and double check them to ensure their validity.
No Link To Store’s Website
All legit coupons can be traced back to their stores. The digital saving coupons are linked to store’s website, the coupons that are not linked to intended store website should raise red flags for you. These coupons are bogus and are not affiliated with original store in any way. Always trace back your coupon to its origin to validate it.
No Expiry Dates
Like sales, saving coupons also comes with limited time offers. You cannot avail same coupon again and again for entire year. The coupons come with stamped expired date and once they are expired, they no longer can be used. So, the coupons which have no expiry dates are bound to be fraudulent.
Extremely Short Time Span
Either fake coupons do not come with expiry dates at all or they come with pretty short time span. This urgency is to force customers to instantly click on the bait.
Stores are very meticulous when it comes to marketing their products. Coupons are considered as one of the great marketing tactics, so special consideration is given to coupons design, logo and instructions. The forged coupons do not have such fine details on their coupons. They have grainy pictures, misplaced logo, fonts do not match, even they have spelling and typo errors. These forged coupons are diluted copies of the original one and that is how you can spot a phony coupon.
All legit coupons have barcodes on them, the fake usually doesn’t. Even if there is a barcode on coupon, one of the bars maybe missing or not printed clearly. This should again give a danger sign to you.
Fishy Payment Methods
Another trick to spot a faux coupon is their payment method. Scammers try to opt for method that cannot be traced and linked to them. They try to be as discreet as possible. If you feel like the payment method is little too inconspicuous and unusual, run as fast as you can!
Recently fake coupons circulated which offered 50% off at target and people were drawn to these coupons instantly and become victims of online fraud. Specially on social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter there are hundreds of fake coupons circulating each day. I am proud coupon user and daily I came across numerous coupons, with few hints you are almost immediately able to sniff scam. Once you became familiar with these telltale marks you can immediately spot bogus coupons. Whenever you come across any of these coupons fraud immediately report it to authorities so they can take it down and save other people from being duped. Saving coupons are savior to our economical budget but it is important to carefully validate each coupon before using it so you do not become a victim of coupon fraud!
Tell us in the comments below, have you been scammed by faux saving coupon? How you dealt with it? Do you have any other pointer to point phony coupons?