Beware of the coupon scams!

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coupon1 Beware of the coupon scams!

There are too many scams out there these days and fake coupons is one of them. I mean, when you’re at a store buying something you want or need and you’re nearly dependent upon this coupon, how emabrrassing is it when you get denied?! On a coupon?! Yes, pretty embarrassing. Clipping coupons has become something of a national pastime lately. Largely a result of the past recession and still shaky employment picture, many Americans are still counting their dollars and cents, working under tighter budgets and, naturally, trying to save whenever and wherever possible. Unfortunately, the recent craze has created a market for spammers, who doctor countrfeit coupons and distribute them online or via email. This is bad news for manufacturers and retailers, of course, who are losing millions due to these scams. On the flip side, as consumers, we don’t stand to lose much if we try to use a fake coupon — other than the unrealized savings, that is, and our dignity. It’s no fun to be told at the register that the coupon you’re trying ot redeem is a sham, especially if you were hoping to use it on a big ticket item. However, knowledge is power, and these steps walk you through seven ways to distinguish a real coupon from a fake one. Among the telltale signs:

1. The expiration date is too far out (six months or more) on a free item. The better the deal, the sooner you’d have to redeem it.

2. The deal is too good to be true. A free iPod, no purchase required? We don’t think so.

3. The coupon has someone’s name or email address. A sign that the manufacturer or retailer is trying to limit the number of deals available, and you may be asked for ID in order to redeem the coupon.

Those are just a few but the rest are pretty obvious. You fall victim to a coupon scam, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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