The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about counterfeit online coupons, which have caused an estimated $6 million in annual losses nationwide.
The Coupon Information Corporation (CIC) cites the internet as one reason why it has become difficult for manufacturers and retailers to build security measures to combat fraudulent coupons.
According to the CIC, the internet is the key reason for the growth in the use of fake coupons because they can easily be printed at home.
According to the BBB, consumers can unwillingly get stuck in the middle between retailers and coupon sites with coupons that are phony or worthless, or require personal information to obtain them from the fraudulent sources.
The BBB offers the following advice for consumers who redeem online coupons:
According the BBB’s press release, the CIC also advises consumers to never pay for a coupon from companies or individuals who “sell the service of clipping coupons” — reselling coupons is illegal.
The BBB warns consumers that “such websites deny that they are selling coupons, but rather selling a service, covering costs of clipping managing and mailing coupons.”