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7 Effective Ways to Spot Coupon Scams a Mile Away

7 Effective Ways to Spot Coupon Scams a Mile Away

If you want to make sure if your coupon is real use these 7 effective ways to spot coupon scams.

If you're a couponer, then you know it's a true addiction. Do you need to go grocery shopping? With a coupon, you can save 25% on your purchase. Do you need new clothes? You can find a coupon and can save £10!

But have you found a coupon that's too good to be true? Well, that's because it is. While there are many legitimate coupons, there are plenty of fake ones. As a consumer, you have to outsmart the system and find those fake coupons.

Don't let a fake coupon interfere with your savings. Here are 8 ways to spot coupon scams.

1. Check the Source

On a legitimate coupon, you can easily tell the source. You'll likely receive the coupon from the source. If you don't, the source is printed on the coupon.

But fake coupons don't have a source or they don't have one you recognize. You'll find these coupons circulating around social media or they will end up in your email. This is so the source isn't detected.

If you find or receive a coupon from an unfamiliar source, you should immediately feel suspicious. Search that coupon and find the source before using it.

2. Read the Fine Print

Have you ever read the fine print on any of your coupons? If not, you should start.

Legitimate coupons have a big block of text. This details the rules, regulations, and any laws pertaining to the coupon use. That's because they're under legal obligation to include the fine print.

Fake coupons will ignore their legal obligations and only list the basic details. Some may not have any fine print at all.

3. Pay Attention to Branding

Branding is a company's personality. You can tell a coupon belongs to a specific company by their logo, the colour scheme, or even the font. In other words, legitimate coupons are well-made and stand out from fake coupons.

  • Fake coupons will usually look generic or have a bad design.
  • But keep in mind, some coupons mimic major retailers or other coupon brands.

They may look real, but you should always pay attention. There may be slight details that are off.

4. Be Real

We have all seen those coupons that are too good to be true. If you come across a coupon that offers a ridiculous saving number or percentage, it likely isn't real.

Here are examples of "too good to be true" coupons.

  • Anything more than 50% off
  • A coupon for a ridiculously high number such as $100 off
  • A coupon for a store that's already cheap or discounted
  • A coupon from a store that never has sales or is going out of business
  • Anything advertised as free

With this being said, there are times when these stores have serious savings or produce "too good to be true" coupons. But make sure these savings are distributed by the retailer.

To know if this coupon is legitimate, go to the retailer's website. They will promote those huge savings or coupons everywhere. And trust us - other customers will know about them.

If you're still unsure, take the coupon to the store and ask a manager. You can also email the company directly and ask.

5. Use Your Gut Instinct

The best indicator a coupon is fake is if you get a bad feeling about it. We have a gut instinct for a reason; before civilization, we used our gut instinct to survive.

Even though we don't have to worry about being prey to large animals, our gut instinct still informs us when something is bad or isn't right.

How do you know when your gut is telling you the coupon is a scam? If you hesitate before downloading the coupon, it's likely a scam. If you still want to use the coupon, research first before downloading it.

6. Is There an Expiration Date?

This is probably the easiest way to identify a fake coupon. If it doesn't have an expiration date, it's likely a scam.

But just because the coupon has an expiration date, doesn't mean it's legitimate.
Many people called out fake coupons for missing an expiration date, and the fake coupon manufacturers caught on to it.
Most often, the expiration date is a date that doesn't exist. For example, if it says 31/2/2019 or 6/3/12019.
Legitimate coupons also have pretty short expiration dates. For example, they will expire by the end of the month. If a coupon doesn't expire for another couple of years, it's probably fake.

7. The CIC is Your Best Friend

If you come across a coupon you think is a scam, inform the CIC. The CIC, or Coupon Information Center, is the organization that runs the coupon business.And sure enough, they have a blacklisted section for all faulty coupons.

If you come across a sketchy coupon, you should contact the CIC for two reasons:

  • It's the easiest way to prove the legitimacy of a coupon, and
  • The CIC will blacklist the coupon quickly

If you come across a coupon and get a bad feeling, inform the CIC immediately.

8. Compare It to an Existing Coupon

Did you know many fake coupons are bred from existing coupons? If you easily found the fake coupon, you can easily find the real coupon.

If you get a bad hunch about a coupon, visit the retailer's site. Find their coupons and see if you can find one that looks similar to the fake coupon.

The fake coupon will change minor details from the original. This helps it look original but not a complete replica. They usually change the price or the coupon percentage.

They also might change some of the information, such as the expiration date. They may also change the overall design, resulting in a cheaply or poorly made coupon.

Identify Coupon Scams

Coupons are a great way to save money on the products you need. Unfortunately, there are many coupon scams out there. Use this advice and spot fake coupons.

Are you in the U.K. and are looking for legitimate coupons? See what we offer.