Counterfeit coupon backlash

July 9, 2008

With food prices on the rise, more and more consumers are turning to coupons to cut costs and they frequently look to buy and sell different coupons online.

Several supermarket chains, including SuperFresh, are refusing to accept coupons printed at home because thieves have been altering the coupons and replace UPC codes from legitimate coupons on ones for other products. When that happens, supermarkets are getting stuck with the bill.

"Counterfeits tend to come in waves, and right now we seem to be at the beginning of a very large wave," Bud Miller, executive director of the Coupon Information Corporation, told ABC's Good Morning America. Coupon Information Corporation is a nonprofit organization composed of manufacturers fighting coupon fraud.

Miller says he's talked to many unknowing coupon lovers who are stopped at checkout counters because their coupons could be counterfeit.

"The great majority of people are very honest, and they're being taken advantage of by people who are selling counterfeits on auction sites and other locations," he said.

Target has stopped taking a $5 coupon for a toy that had been sent to customers through e-mail. Too many fakes were coming in.

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