CoolSavings Warns Against Fraudulent Coupons

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Online coupon and direct marketing services provider CoolSavings Inc. issued a warning last week to retailers cautioning them to beware of fraudulent manufacturer coupons.


CoolSavings said it made the alert after a few cases in which reproductions of direct mail and Sunday newspaper coupons were discovered. Most faked coupons are for free products or high value discounts, the company said. Scammers even scanned and sold the fraudulent coupons on eBay and other Web sites.


The concern for CoolSavings is that the fake coupons have made some retailers stop accepting even legitimate Internet-generated coupons such as the ones available through the company.


"The problem is not coupons printed from the Internet," CoolSavings president/CEO Matthew Moog, said in a statement. "The real problem is 'free product' coupons that were originally distributed via offline methods and then illegally scanned and sold."


CoolSavings said it is working with retailers, manufacturers and trade associations to develop new standards for free product coupons. Until they are in place, the company said it will not distribute free product coupons online.


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