Consumers can legitimately save hundreds of dollars per year on household essentials and special products. Everything from food to toilet tissue and coupon clipping has become as easy as a click of your mouse. However, along with that ease comes risk, says the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Millions of product coupons are offered online but it’s imperative that consumers know the difference between what’s real and what’s not. Recent reports state that bogus coupons circulating on the internet are worth up to $600 million dollars a year.
“There are scams that impact individual consumers and others where unsuspecting charities get ripped-off,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Money savers need to do their homework before getting involved in any online offers or “business opportunities” that involve the selling of coupon books or the purchase, selling or transfer of coupons.”
According to the Coupon Information Corporation (CIC), the internet is the key reason for the growth in the use of fake coupons. Previously, they were distributed in newspaper inserts or by mail. Today, they can easily be printed at home. However, because of that, it is more difficult to build in specific security measures.
The BBB offers the following advice on redeeming online coupons:
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation. BBB of South Central Louisiana, Inc. has been serving the local community since 1950 and services the parishes of Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. James, Tangipahoa, West Baton Rouge & West Feliciana.