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How to Avoid Getting Scammed by Fraudulent Coupons

How to Avoid Getting Scammed by Fraudulent Coupons

In 2017, we had the Sainsbury’s scam. The scam involved fraudulent coupons. They (scammers) promised shoppers £75 off in “celebration of Sainsbury anniversary.” 

This scam was shared widely on Facebook and all shoppers had to do was click on links to unlock the huge discounts. What most shoppers did not know was that it was a hoax and so are countless other social media scams.  

Black Friday scams are common too and a vast majority of shoppers end up losing a lot of money. 

Want to avoid getting scammed by coupon scams?  

Read on and learn how to avoid getting scammed by fraudulent coupons. 

Use Mobile Wallets

Planning on making Black Friday or Cyber Monday in-store purchases? Do so with your mobile wallet. By using mobile wallets such as Apple Pay, rather than your debit or credit card, you protect your personal information.

Mobile wallets use a token system which encrypts your card information. As such, it makes it difficult for cyber thieves to steal your credit card or debit card information. 

Avoid the Coupon Scams Altogether

Every year, countless fraudulent coupons are posted on social media by cybercriminals. These coupons have a clever design which can fool you right away if you are not careful. But if you are, you can spot that it's a scam right away.   

Want to spot social media scams right away? Before you click on the link “to redeem your huge discounts,” visit the brand’s official social media page. Check out if the same coupon appears there.   

To confirm if it’s the official social media page, check for a blue circle next to the brand’s name. Don’t forget to check the brand's website for the coupon.   

Use Your Credit Card

A vast majority of shoppers opt to use debit cards to avoid interest rates. Others do so to prevent themselves from overspending. What shoppers don’t know is that credit cards are more secure than debit cards.   

Unlike credit cards, a debit card is linked to your bank account. If a cyber thief steals your debit card information, they have access to your bank account. Credit cards have extra protection – extended warranty coverage and price protection. 

Spotting Fake Coupons

As a couponer, you can protect yourself by spotting fake coupons. What you need to know is that there are industry standards that all brands have to follow. If the coupon does not meet these standards, then it's a fake.  

Here is what you should look for.  

  • Is the coupon worth more than the price of the item?  
  • Does the coupon lack conditions of usage?  
  • Does it lack bar codes?  
  • Coupon is for a brand that does not need shoppers to redeem coupons   

You also have the option of checking the Coupon Information Corporation. The organization maintains an up to date list of counterfeit coupons available online. Be aware of coupons that request you to disclose your personal information. 

Check Before You Click

Most shoppers receive an exciting deal from their favourite retailer. Before they confirm if the URL is genuine or not, they have already clicked the link. What you need to know is that failure to double check a URL will lead you to a phishing site. 

Phishing sites steal your personal information by posing as legitimate websites. Before clicking a link, double check the URL.  

Is the brand name spelt correctly? Does the URL match the retailer’s real URL? Does the link have an HTTPS?    

If the URL has added paths, has misspellings or it lacks HTTPS, then do not click on the link. 

Protecting Yourself from Fraudulent Coupons

Each day, cyber thieves post fraudulent coupons online. They do so via social media, text message, messaging apps, and games. To protect yourself, never click or download an attachment you are not sure about its origin. 

Did you enjoy our post on how to avoid getting scammed by fraudulent coupons? Check out this post on 6 reasons why you struggle to save money.