Yes folks, there are actually people out there making fake coupons to rip you off.
The article that caught my eye was about a coupon for Doritos. It was for a "free" bag. Frito Lay says they are going to lose millions over it because it wasn't caught and stores allowed them. So I did a little more digging and found out it's a big problem out there!
Some people say that it doesn't hurt them, just the companies, but it does. As a result of counterfeit coupons, more and more stores are changing their policies. For example, Kroger will not accept any internet printable coupons for FREE items that have no purchase requirement. Most others stores are going the same route and I can't say I blame them.
You're probably thinking the same thing I did at first - so someone makes a fake coupon, how much are they really saving? But it's not about saving. They print these coupons in bulk and go to sites that allow you to sell or trade coupons and sell them. If you're an avid coupon cutter, you've seen these sites - buy a $.50 off coupon for $.05.
I found a great site called www.cents-off.com that has a list of counterfeit coupons. You'll be amazed at how many there have been over the last few years. That good old technology again!
Now, here's the good news (at least for the good guys) - one of the arrests that was listed showed arrests on felony charges. That's right, this is not a misdemeanor crime! Charges ranged from forgery and access device fraud to theft by deception.
So, if you have a coupon for a "Free" item, and you got it off the internet, I'd make sure and check with the store before trying to use it!