Dian is a mom of four grown children, Nana to 6 beautiful grands, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer, and blogger. I love all things gardening, saving money, tips & tricks to make life easier, ANY cool new gadget, and feeding my Reality TV addiction (it's real y'all, you have no idea!) Dian has been featured in person, in print, and on sites like Huff Post, CBSNews, Blog Talk Radio, NBC DFW, Babble, Woman's Day, All You Magazine, Super Market News, Clark, & Pinner's Conferences. Want to know more? Check out the full bio here!
I just wanted to say thank you for the info. I have come across a few coupons that were fraudulent and thought they were real. Not only has this caused me to waste paper, ink, trip to the store (leaving empty handed), but it is also embarrassing. I mean – it just makes me feel like I am trying to rip off the retailer. Most recently was a Macy’s coupon for free pair of Jockey on the spot undies. No good. A couple of my local grocers won’t even accept coupons from the internet anymore. 🙁
@Julia: I know, we all suffer when people try to cheat! I am happy to supply this info to help us all.
Thanks for sharing!
I’ve been having the same problems as well. The checker at Albertsons on Saturday accused me of fraud because I was trying to use an Internet coupon for the Huggies diapers coupons and the libbys veggies. I explained that they were real and pointed out several spots to show her. All she said was all Internet coupons are fraud and we are supposed to report it. She called the manager up there and he took them, they went through the system no problem. Now, I’m fighting with the store over the whole thing. Its ridiculous what we as true couponers are having to go through just to save a little bit of extra money.
@Michelle: Very True! I am sorry for what you went through, that cashier should have been more well trained! I hate it when they aren’t and then they make us feel like we are trying to do something wrong! I hope you can get your manager to train his/her staff better!
I had some issues using my IP coupons at my local Price Chopper store. I live near Kansas city Missouri. The manager even told me that very soon they would no longer be accepting IP coupons due to fraud issue.
I was very concerned, so I e-mailed the Corporate office about the possible change in their policy.
Here was the response i received….
Thank you for your feedback I have forwarded your concerns on to be considered in any changes that are coming to the program.
Chopper Shopper Rewards Customer Care
Not much of an answer so I suggested that they look into e-coupons & this is what they said ….
I apologize that I did not mention the E-Coupons in my earlier eamil to you. The E-coupons are currently in the process of being implemented. We were advised that the programs availability is going to be advertised via email alert, in the weekly ads and in local stores. We are anxiously awaiting this new feature as well.
Thank you again
names withheld to protect the innocent Laugh
@Sharon: Great Sharon! Thanks for sharing that! It’s always best for us to fully informed on whatever changes are being made at the stores we frequent!
One of the easiest ways to tell is if there is no upc code. I am pretty sure that legitimate coupons these days always have a barcode.
@Melody: Yep! That is definitely 1 major way to tell, if there is no barcode – it’s is probably not a real coupon!
It’s interesting that you have a picture of a starbucks coupon as fraudulent.
I have received a coupon from Starbucks right from the cashier when I came back because he messed up my drink (left the coffee out.. hehe). It also did not have an expiration date, and I’m not sure about a bar code either. I have seen them being sold on ebay. All coupons with these features are not fraud, so this is even trickier than it looks; it’s not always just a matter of common sense.
I am sure if you compared the fake coupon to the one you received you would be able to tell the difference. I would be wary of purchasing FREE item coupon for anything, other than the coupons that come out of the Sunday morning inserts.
Also I’m getting an error when I click on the CIC link.
Thanks, I fixed it.
Thanks for the great information. I know our local HEB store said that if the internet coupons do not scan (even due to lack of ink) then they will not accept them, but as long as they scan they will accept them. I have noticed though, in our HEB a lot of the manufacturers coupons are hanging by the products, which makes it a little easier.
This has happened to me before. It is extremely embarrassing. I was planning on going to a particular store and decided to do a google search, found one. The cashier explained that they had a recent coupon similar and found that someone tried to duplicate it. They real one was only something received in the mail. I wasn’t the only one who had come in with this fake. She was nice enough to pull the real thing out and let me use but I felt so bad. Like you said Dian, one bad apple is all it takes to spoil the bunch. Sad!
I live in ATL, GA and last week atWalMart one of my printed coupons wouldn’t scan, so I asked th young cashier to try the others, and if they didn’t work to type in the bar code – which is done quit frequently if it won’t scan. When he said he needed to call the front manager I knew I was doomed.
Not only the front end mgr come over, but two other coupon natzis swarmed on me like I had my own printing press in my purse.
The FEMGR said:”These coupons are fraudulent and by you using them YOU are commiting faud, and we do NOT get reimbursed for these FRAUDULENT coupons!” She said this rather loudly, which made everyone around me stare at me like I was a criminal.
I very calmly told her that the printed coupns were from a reputible site, showed her my print out sheet, and said I had used THE same coupon last week and it scanned. They didn’t care. If it won’t scan, they won’t accept it, period.
I didn’t make a fuss about it because I love shoping at my local WalMart and don’t want to be seen as a DEMANDING COUPONER!
My next stop was Publix, who is super great when it comes to accepting printed coupons. They scanned the same coupons I tried to use at WalMart, with no problem. Go figure?!
Tammie » Wow! I hate that stuff, people think they know something and they don’t! What possesses people who don’t know you to say you are a criminal? I am glad you had a calm reaction and handled the situation well, and I laughed outloud at your description at the checkout!
I’m sorry that happened to you but I also laughed out loud at your description of the whole incident and the whole while seeing myself at Walmart register in the exact same predicament, feeling the exact same way, as it just happened to me a couple of weeks ago, and you’d never guess where…@ Walmart! I’ve gone there a hanfuld of times and only once did it go smoothly. Out of 5 cashiers, 4 were coupon Nazis, so I’m staying away unless I can figure out what shift the one cashier works! 🙂
Tammie, I’m beginning to think it’s just a “thing” with Walmart. I live in Canton, GA, just north of Atlanta and our local Walmart does NOT like accepting coupons. While I like shopping at Walmart I won’t shop there with coupons for the exact same reasons you described above. My local Publix however, is awesome with coupons so unfortunately for Walmart, they’ve lost my grocery business to Publix. Sorry for their bad luck! LOL!
It’s not just at Walmart. It’s at Kroger too. It happened to me to day with a coupon printed from Oikos website for yogurt. Honestly for someone to stand there and accuse you of fraud is accusing you of a felony and it is slander. I can understand that stores have to be diligent about not being taken advantage of but they really need to train their employees to handle a situation better. Sorry Kroger but you just lost a $400 a month customer today. I’ll be shopping at Publix.
I was at Kroger yesterday. I was trying to use a coupon I got from Pepsi, they had a giveaway of 1 million free Pepsi Next coupons during the Super Bowl. I signed up for it, and got my coupon in the mail. tried using the coupon at kroger and a worker came over because it wouldn’t scanned. First thing out of her mouth was “this is photocopied”. And then kept repeating it quite loud and everyone was staring at me, and she pointed out all of the security things on the coupon and said those are proof it’s fake. I stood there maybe 4-5 minutes, she didn’t look at me once but just repeating it’s a fraud, they do not accept fake coupons, it’s a photocopy. She said photocopy a good 8-9x, quite loudly too where everyone in the area was staring. And not once did she look at me. And I said ” I want my coupons back and take the items off my order”. I reached my hand out for the coupons, she handed them back to me, not looking at me again and repeated “We can’t take fake coupons.” I emailed corporate with her name. Waiting on a response.
Deanna » Wow! I am so sorry that happened to you!
I have that same coupon! It is NOT fake and that was just wrong! I would also speak to the manager at that store – that employee needs more training and should apologize to you.
This is what happens because so many have done it wrong and have tried to cheat the system, now we are all under scrutiny because of people who can’t do things the right way!
Let us know what happens with corporate, plese.
i get alot of free coupons for signing up also on their sites or calling the companies and giving compliments
Hello Ruffles lover!
There is a $2 off Ruffles wyb Pepsi or Pepsi Max out there. Exp. 9/11/11
Just an FYI
Diana Parker says
I tried to redeem a coupon at Krogers but it was rejected. I received it directly from the manufacturer and they tried to tell me it was a fake. I told them to call the manufacturer and they could verify. They refused. It is not on the Coupon Information Center as a fake coupon and the sole reason they gave me was that it was a free coupon. I hear Krogers is over zealous in their coupon enforcement policy. Maybe they have to be….but there ARE some real free items out there. Whoever is doing this with fake coupons is ruining it for everyone.
Diana Parker » I am sorry they treated you badly – I am not happy with them right now. What was the coupon for?
I Have a coupon for a free cooks ham up to 20.00 it has a water mark on it i think it’s real what happens if i go to the store and it’s not real?
Carla » Where did you get the coupon? That will help determine if it’s fake or not, too.
I bought it on ebay but it has a watercrest on it I also bought one for a free product threw mcneal but i called the company and that one is a real coupon!!!! so i’m hoping the cooks ham one is not a fake i will call the company just to verify.
I have had so much trouble using coupons at my local walmart. Our Target has it’s own coupon policy to stop coupon fraud. They make me feel like a criminal everytime I go there coupon shopping! I am a very honest coupon user however I have seen a lady use the wrong coupon to get products for free and her coupons all went thru! How can I be harassed while this woman gets no trouble?
She was using Crest whitestrip coupons to get free oil-of-olay gift packs. she received the gift packs free and also received a $5 Target card for each 2 gift packs. How can that work and the question every honest coupon I use?
Arienne » It is annoying – it’s like the car that is flying down the road never gets spotted but, if we go 10 over here they come out of nowhere after us!
It can be frustrating, but, we just keep doing what’s right!
Arienne » That’s annoying I know! Sorry – we just have to do what we know is right!
How can you rant about coupon fraud but then in a video tell people how to use a coupon on a incorrect item. For example, in your video you step by step explain how you can use a raisin bran coupon on rice crispies.
In which video?