Couponing 101

Spotting Fraudulent Coupons

DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.

I just got back from a trip to Wal-Mart.  The lady in front of me handed the cashier a Free Doritos Coupon.  Now, she didn’t know that the coupon was a fake.  However, the store would not take it because they already knew.

But, how do you know if a coupon is fake or fraudulent??

Almost all coupons that are in a .PDF format (meaning you can print as many as you want) are fraudulent.  The only time this statement isn’t true is when a company puts a .pdf coupon on their own website.  That doesn’t happen a lot though.

If you are ever unsure if a .pdf is real, chances are it isn’t- unless you have seen me post it on the site.  I will only post .pdf coupons that come directly from the manufacturer!

So if you have friends that have emailed the Free Doritos and other Free .PDF coupons, or maybe you unknowingly did so, let them know that the coupons are fake.

If you get away with using fake coupons, that hurts everyone in the long run.  Stores will not get reimbursed for the Fake Coupons.  So, they may decide to not accept ANY printable coupons in the future, or stop accepting coupons altogether. So, let’s spread the word about fake coupons and just use the ones that help us save money and make the stores money in return!

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  1. Cost Less Foods in Modesto, CA won't accept any computer printed coupons – only coupons from ads and magazines.

  2. Did they tell you that they won't take and Free coupons anymore? Not even if it an add coupon? They told me that yesterday when I was at the Walmart in Riverdale, Utah.

  3. As far as I know, Wal-Mart's coupon policy has not changed. Make sure you take a copy of it with you if you have managers tell you differently.

  4. They told me this started this last week.

  5. I went there on Thursday and used some free cream cheese singles and buy one get one on body wash and they accepted them no ?'s asked.

  6. Melissa- Your store manager is incorrect. Take a copy of the Wal-Mart policy with you: It has not changed. If she still gives you problems, let her know you will be contacting corporate and letting them know she is not following policy. And, then actually call up WalMart corporate or email. They need to know if a store is not following policy

  7. Thanks bunch! She made me feel so bad! I am going to contact Walmart. I love using coupons, but I don't like mean people.

  8. I was accused of trying to use a fraudulent coupon at Smith's today. I was trying to use the Nabisco buy milk and cookies and get a free cookies from their Facebook page. The cashier said it was fraudulent because it didn't have a "watermark" like the ones from I told her I printed it from Nabisco and they print through Smart Source, which never prints "watermarks" on their coupons. She finally took it, but I'm wondering if there's something more I should do, like contact Nabisco or Smart Source?

  9. Rebecca-No you were definitely right. Next time, I would talk to the manager or even contact Smiths corporate about how rudely you were treated. You can even give them the link in your email to the real coupon.Melea


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