How To Avoid Online Coupon Scams

The Internet makes it super easy to share e-commerce coupon codes and even printable coupons. However, it also provides more opportunities for counterfeit coupons to circulate, which annoy retailers and disappoint shoppers. How does a beginning online coupon hunter know what to look out for?

Our friends at Coupon Sherpa created a list of
tips to help you avoid fraudulent coupons. Some highlights:

Never pay for coupons. If you have to pay for coupons, you’re not really getting a deal. And there’s a high likelihood you’re simply being scammed or the deal is available elsewhere online for free.

Watch for “bait and switch” tactics. This scam offers you online coupon codes and, once you agree, requires you fill in a form with personal information, including your credit-card details, passwords and other financial data.

If a store refuses to accept an Internet coupon, send a letter or email to the company customer service department and provide the name of the store, the name of the person with whom you spoke, a copy or link to the coupon and where you got it.

Go straight to the source. Sign up for emails from the retailers you shop with to get coupons directly from the retailer.

Report fraudulent activities to the FTC.

We would add, be wary of online coupons for a free item with no purchase required. Even if the coupon isn’t a scam, many retailers are now wary enough not to accept any printed coupons for free items.

Are You Getting Clipped? 9 Tips to Avoid Coupon Scams [Coupon Sherpa]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.