Everyone loves a good deal, and scammers know it. Counterfeit coupons are a popular way for scammers to steal your identity and money. Motives and methods vary, but phony coupons often mean serious losses for retailers, consumers, or both.
How the Scam Works
You come across a website, either through a web search or an ad on social media, for coupons from major retailers. Usually, fake coupons are worth much more than real ones, offering steep discounts like 80% off. By using brands’ official logos, it’s nearly impossible to tell if it’s fake or not.
In some cases, getting the “coupons” requires subscribing to a coupon service and paying a monthly membership fee. Once you sign up, the service promises to either send you digital coupons or paper coupons in the mail. You may never receive any coupons, or you might receive coupons that are fake. Plus, by signing up, you’ve handed over your personal details and possibly your credit card information to a dishonest stranger.
You may also come across coupons that offer deals in exchange for sharing a link on social media. Don’t do it! The link leads to a third-party website where visitors enter personal information in exchange for the…