Ask Andy: Coupon scams - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ask Andy: Coupon scams

By Andy Wise - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC TV) - Almost every coupon scam originates on the Internet.

Consumer Reports' ShopSmart magazine warns us about these coupon scams:

* COMPUTER POP-UP'S.  These just suddenly pop-up while you're browsing the web. Never click on them. They are bait to either steal your credit card number or infect your computer with a virus.

SOLD ON EBAY. The tell-tale sign here is an EBay offer of a bunch of coupons in bulk, usually for free meals at a restaurant. ShopSmart's editors said coupons sold in bulk on EBay will ALWAYS be counterfeit.  They said the restaurant chain Chili's got hit hard recently on this one.  Someone faked a bunch of its coupons and sold the counterfeits in bulk on EBay.

"FREE WITH NO EXPIRATION DATE." Big red flag! ShopSmart said they simply do not exist. These coupon scams are also conspicuously missing the fine print of legal language.

SIGN UP FEES or PERCENTAGE CHARGES.  ShopSmart's folks said grocerycoupons.com is really bad about this one, charging your credit card ten bucks when you sign up, then 10 percent of the value of every coupon it chooses for you, plus a 75-cent shipping fee.  By that time, your savings are sapped.

ShopSmart recommended these coupon sites:

www.couponmom.com

www.dealseekingmom.com

www.consumerqueen.com

www.smartsource.com

www.coupons.com

www.valpak.com

The magazine's writers also recommend checking out your favorite products' own web sites for their manufacturers' coupons, as well as the web sites of the stores that sell them.

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