Sunday, July 3, 2011
Coupon Fraud and what you should know...
First off, I would like to say that being an Army wife has been such an awesome experience. I'm glad my husband is a lifer and that I'll always have access to the commissary because It is absolutely my favorite place to shop with coupons. However, with that being said, I do not agree with all the fraud that is happening especially at Fort Bragg. I am completely amazed at how many people have the guts to commit fraud knowingly just to get something for cheap or free. One thing that these people may not understand is that you CAN go to jail for coupon fraud.
Coupon fraud includes but is not limited to the following:
1. Matching Barcodes
2. Using a coupon for a smaller size that what the coupon states
Example: Using the $3 off 150 oz. Purex coupon for the 50 oz. bottle and getting overage
3. Buying a product with a coupon and returning it to get gift cards, cash back or other merchandise. For instance, if you go to the commissary and get a case of Advil for overage then try to return it and get cash back. You HAVE committed fraud!
4. Intentionally using a coupon in your transaction when you knowingly did NOT buy that product.
5. Changing a coupon using a computer program or knowingly using one that is fraudulent
Here's a case that cost P&G over $200,000 in just a few weeks time. Case of fraudulent coupon making
What happens when people commit coupon fraud?
There are a number of things that are already starting to happen...
1.Companies may stop giving out coupons. Red Bull has already stopped issuing coupons from what the CIC says. Here's the PDF file to explain why. Red Bull no longer issuing coupons
2. The store will take the loss for the coupons. They have to pay for the product to be on the shelf and when a fraudulent coupon comes along and is used towards a product, they do NOT get reimbursed and that money comes out of their profits. This is the exact reason why some stores have limits on the number of coupons that can be used now days. Also, to cover the losses, some stores may have to raise prices on items.
3. Couponers in general will start getting looked at like criminals because of others stupidity.
4. You could spend years in jail for fraud. There have been cases of up to 17 years in jail and it is not uncommon for 6-12 month sentences to be issued for coupon fraud. I personally love my freedom and refuse to commit coupon fraud to get something for free with the chance that I could end up in jail.
5. When someone commits coupon fraud at the commissary, the TAX PAYERS have to cover the losses. Can you imagine our taxes going up because of couponers who commit fraud!!! What point would it be to get items for free when you have to pay more in taxes. I think that defeats the purpose!
I hope this clarifies some recently asked questions and make you more aware of what coupon fraud is so you can hopefully be less likely to commit it.