Coupon Forgers Busted In Florida

We like to post stories about honest shoppers accused of wrongdoing and tag them “Couponing is not a crime.” But there really are cases where couponing is a crime. Namely, when you take online coupons and alter the discount amounts, then pay off a grocery store manager to manually type in those Fakey McFake coupon amounts.

Three people were arrested in the scheme: the alleged shopper, the Publix manager, and a third accomplice. Grocery chain Publix matches competitors’ coupons, so the schemers printed out Target coupons, altered the amounts, and brought them to Publix to “match.” The manager would type in these coupons manually, and each order finished with an average of $600 worth of free groceries. To keep the purchase totals from raising suspicion, they would buy a few hundred dollars worth of gift cards as well.

Over time, the schemers allegedly scammed $20,000 worth of fake coupon purchases. They weren’t complete monsters, though: they donated some of the excess food they bought to charity.

Police: 3 busted in coupon scam at West Melbourne Publix [13 News] (Thanks, Joe!)

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