Consumer Watch: Watch out for fake coupons – KOKH FOX25

Fake Coupons — it might sound like a strange scam, but a scam nonetheless. Sometimes it’s about scamming a store out of money, and other times it’s an attempt at getting your information online.

We are in the middle of one of the biggest spending seasons of the year. There is a lot of shopping, a lot of sales, and many of us want to get the best deal possible—which is why scammers know it is prime time to strike.

“Because we are all bargain hunters. We love a good deal and you see something online that says, you know, save 50 percent off here, print out this coupon,” says Dave Moore, a local IT Consultant.

Moore is also the founder of the Internet Safety Group. He says the problem is that many of these fakes are easy to make. Often, scammers just need a decent printer and a bar code generator online. Many stores likely don’t realize they’ve been defrauded right away.

“It won’t scan, ok– they are trying to be nice and they will go ahead and give you the discount anyway, but then they find out later, that oh, it was a fake, “says Moore.

It’s not just a problem for stores, but also for you. You might think you are searching for a good deal, but really, it’s an internet baddie stealing your information.

“A lot of websites out there are designed just to have a hook– to hook you and lure you in– to make you look and to make you click on something,” say Moore.

There is a national database that can help track fake coupons. It is called the Coupon Information Center.

It also includes wanted posters when police nationwide are looking for fraud suspects in counterfeit coupon rings.

We’ve got your back with three simple tips before you sign up for what could be a fake coupon service.

1. If the coupon looks too good to be true, it probably is.

2. Coupons normally come from the manufacturer or store.

3. Check for incorrect or expired dates on coupon, that is a major red flag.