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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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See some tips on how to spot fraudulent coupons.  Just a few bad couponers can ruin it for everyone. / / Frugal Living

I hope you are with me when I say that coupons are awesome!  They are a vital part of how I stick to my weekly budget and keep costs down.  Unfortunately, like many good things, there are folks out there who take advantage of a great system and it can mess things up for all of us.Fraudulent Huggies Coupon

 

Fraudulent coupons are a huge issue and they are likely why you get questions or funny looks from cashiers and managers from time to time – even if you are using coupons properly.

A Southern Savers reader and cashier shared on Facebook that someone tried to use an $8 off Huggies coupon in her line. When questioned about the source of the coupon, the shopper yelled at her and demanded that she take it.

If you’ve been couponing for a while, you probably know that $8 Huggies coupons don’t really exist.  Maybe if you had a complaint or issue with diapers and the company mailed you a coupon, but more than likely it will have holograms and all sorts of other fraud protection features on it if that were the case… it’s most certainly not printable.

How can I check out a specific coupon?

Head to the Coupon Information Center website, who maintains a running list of known fraudulent coupons. Turns out, the $8 Huggies coupon is on that list!

What are some red flags?

I want us all to be informed on how to use coupons properly and how to spot fraudulent coupons, so here are some tips and resources you can use. Before I post a new coupon, you can be sure I research the source.

Here are some things that should get your fraudulent coupon radar going:

  • It sounds too good to be true (very high value)
  • It’s for a completely free product (Free Tide, free Olive Oil)
  • It’s a PDF and not hosted directly on the manufacturer’s site
  • It was forwarded to you as an email attachment from a friend

Where can I find legitimate coupons?
If you print a coupon from Coupons.com, Smartsource, CouponNetwork, RedPlum, or links from the coupon database, you can be sure that what you have is a valid coupon.  However, you may notice a coupon on the fraud list that looks like a valid printable. If someone mass copies a printable coupon – it will show up on the fraudulent list.  Always be sure to print your two from a legitimate source and never copy a coupon.

    • Jule

      I’ve been couponing for almost 3 years and I’ve NEVER EVER SEEM a $8 off huggies coupon before! I hope everyone do their jobs and use the right coupon for the right item.

      • Doodlebug70

        I had a coupon for a free bag of huggies and several coupons That were high value coupons. This was in the 90s. But was sent to me by Huggies because diapers I bought had flaws. They also sent an envelope to send one of the diapers back to them for them to see the problem.

    • Kymmi2471

      OMG i didnt realize how many fake coupons were out there. Didnt even know there was such a thing.. CRAZY!!!! I apparently dont have the criminal mind to even think of something like that.. Honesty is always the best policy.. anytime…

    • I have 50 sheets of baseball card protectors with 9 pockets on each sheet. Lots of people use these for keeping coupons. The first person to email me at hillskd at gmail dot com can have them for minimal cost.

      •  OOPS! That’s hillskd at yahoo dot com. Sorry!

    • Leenie

      Someone emailed me some coupons for free Dr. Pepper and when you read the coupon it said that Coke would pay for it.  Dr Pepper is a Pepsi product not coke…..

      • amy

        Actually Dr. pepper is an independent company. Its neither coke or pepsi. Dr. pepper pays coke and pepsi to stock it at stores. Where I live it is stocked by coke and where my sister lives it is stocked by pepsi.  

      • Guest

        I believe Snapple and Dr. Pepper are owned by the same company.

      • Desihatt

         dr. pepper is a cocacola product

      • Eaparker83

        Its according to where you live. But a true dr pepper q will be put out by dr pepper.

    • Amanda

      I had printed one that was linked from this site for a $10 off petsmart coupon that they told me was fraudulent. Like you said, to good to be true. They NEVER provide discounts or coupons off the Science Diet Lamb and Rice large bags. I should have known better. :)

      • I think you might be talking about the $8 Science Diet coupon and it was a printable directly from Hills.  http://www.hillspet.com/new-pet-owner/new-pet-owner-dog.html It’s a legitimate coupon, but if folks copied it, the copies would be considered fraudulent.

        • Rita

          Yup – I printed the Science Diet q’s from the Science Diet website and Petsmart refused them saying they don’t accept 3rd party q’s anymore (I think they are from coupons.com) and showed me their coupon policy.  I still have those q’s and now won’t be shopping Petsmart with IP’s.

        • snowdogmom

          When I tried to use the Hills $8 off coupons that I got from the the link on southern savers at PetSmart they wouldn’t take it. The manager said they had a way to validate it via a website which he tried to do and it didn’t validate. I showed him on my phone that I got it from the Hills site. It was a Saturday so he took the coupons and my contact info and said he would call Hills. Surprisingly he actually called me back, apologized, and said they were in fact valid and I could come back in and use them and get the dog and cat food at the sale price that I was trying to buy. By the time he called me back the sale had ended. He said corporate actually sent out a letter telling the stores they were valid. Apparently Hills had not put up on the site what was needed for the stores to validate those particular coupons. Can’t fault PetSmart for being cautious and they did follow through. I was buying the food to donate to my local humane society and was disappointed when I got home and saw on this site that others were able to use the coupons without any problems even at other PetSmarts. It all worked out in the end and I was able to donate.

      • peg

        I signed up at Science Diet and they sent me $ 8.00 off any size bag and 2 $ 3.00 ones

    • Carlizzle11

      Babies R Us had $8 manf Q’s along with store Q’s that you get at check out. It required a value purchase and wipes.

    • cashier

      I am a cashier and the funny thing is that I had to turn away somebody yesterday for using fraud coupons. Sad thing is that she knew it was fraud. If a product is not on sale and the coupon is off the full price it is a red flag! She got upset and I told her that the IP numbers were the same that means it is a copy. I actually found the coupon on the website that you provided. I have seen many coupons that are copies or fraudulent. It is really sad because there are real people who are honest and coupon correctly! Thank you Jenny for sharing this!

    • Sewhartsc

      Great words of wisdom here for everyone. Coupons helps us save alot especially when we need to stay within a budget these days. Everyone should use them properly and be honest with their savings. It helps all of us. Thanks Jenny for posting this info for everyone. Keep up the good work.

    • Jen153

      I was at walmart Sunday and someone tried to use a coupon for a free dsi… I was shocked and he had quite a few of them too that he was attempting to redeem!

    • Sweet349071

      What good does it do someone who emails you fraudulent coupons? Crazy!!

    • Jessie

      At a couponing even I held recently, we have a swap table set up.  Someone left a STACK of coupons- all COPIED.  You could tell they’d copied it MANY MANY times.  I took those coupons off the table but sadly I didn’t notice until everyone else had left :(

    • Kim N.

      Years ago as a cashier, I had a customer try to hit me for not taking 11 of her 12 Pupperoni coupons as they had all been copied from the original. I tried to destroy them, but she jerked them from my hands and told me she would go use them at Harris Teeter where they were happy to take them, so as she was leaving, I made sure to call them and tell them what she looked like and what she was trying to do.

    • CG

      Yesterday at BIlo I was accused of using a fraudulent coupon when I tried to use the free milk with purchase of 3 breakfast items. I had bought 8 boxes of raisin bran so it should have worked fine. The CSM even went and got this gigantic notebook and had to go through almost the entire thing to make sure the  coupon wasn’t listed. She did eventually take it after drilling me on where itcame from.

      • Shamsandy

        My Bi Lo would not take the free milk coupon even though I had the breakfast items also!!!  :(

      • Nikita

        Even though it’s real, I am not going to use the ones I printed either, because if you look at the expiration date, there are not little yellow dots around it like there are on most online coupons.  I printed off Incredible Edible Egg coupons from Facebook a few months ago and they were also missing those dots so my Kroger wouldn’t take them.  Not sure why this happens from time to time, but it stinks.  Do yours have the little dots?  If so, you’re probably fine to use, but it not, that might be why they kicked out.

    • One of my computers, one that I don’t even use often, got banned from printing smartsource.com coupons 1 1/2 years ago, when I first started couponing.  The reason given was that coupons from that computer had been reproduced.  I have ALWAYS, from day one, only printed the two legally allowed coupons.  If I need more than two, then I use one of the other computers in the house to print more since, I learned early on that legally, you can print two per computer. 

      I have no need or desire to copy an already printed coupon and at the time, I didn’t even own a printer that could photocopy!  I don’t fancy any deal enough, regardless of how great it is, to do prison time!   After pleading my case, I was told that, sometimes, store workers may reproduce them to get their own good deal or unscrupulous managers may photocopy the coupons and submit them for extra $$$ for their store. 

      That’s scary that you can be penalized for something an unethical person might do with the coupon once it leaves your hands.  I don’t know if they tracked down the store where the coupon was redeemed and took action or not.  All I know is I got my printing privileges back on that computer so I’m happy.

    • Krismjs

      That’s quite a list. $10 off of yogurt? I would be stressed out beyond belief if I were a cashier. This is probably why our Piggly Wiggly doesn’t take IP coupons.

    • amy

      Confession time: When I first started couponing several years ago, I didn’t know there was anything wrong with photocopying my IP coupon.  I only did it one time (coupon was for a couple dollars off a movie), but I felt terrible when I found out what I did was wrong.  I do my best to coupon honestly and appreciatethat you post these reminders for us all!  :) 

      • Kristy

        I must admit Amy. I did the same thing but I never did it again- but this also before I got way into couponing. I feel horrible that I did it.

    • Jlcarpenter04

      There was a lady in front of me at the store last weekend that had eight to ten coupons of each coupon she printed from the internet.  How is that possible?  I was just curious because I normally have only two (maybe three if I also clip it from the newspaper) coupons per coupon.

      • Wendy

        You can normally print at least 2 coupons per computer, so she probably has more than one computer.

      • Bethany

        We have two computers at home and I have access to two at work. That means I can get 8 of every coupon 100% legally if I really want to!

      • Jlcarpenter04

        I have two computers at home as well but I can never print more than two (still gives the you’ve printed your max even if I’m using my husbands computer). 

        • flower_mom

          If you are signed into coupons.com on both computers, then it will register you as the same person.  Just make sure you are not signed in with your email address and you ‘should’ be able to print two from each computer.

    • collsers

      This is why I only use coupons that I get from the Sunday paper, or print from a reputable site like coupons.com or the manufacturer’s website.  I have heard that a lot of coupons from ebay are counterfeit. 

    • Cherylandstanley

      I get funny looks when I use my free 12 pack coke coupons and free Powerade coupons that I collect my lids and Coke packages ends to earn these coupons. They are not a fraud but they sure get questioned even though they have the hologram on them.

    • Sara

      As a graphic designer, I don’t think it would be hard at all to make fraudulent coupons (don’t worry, I’ve never tried). It’s a designer that created them in the 1st place. 
      The old bar codes were easy to decode. Hopefully the new bar codes will be too difficult to decipher and will deter people from making illegal coupons.

      • grrlpanda

        I am a designer too and I had to create barcodes for some forms we were doing, and there are barcode fonts! I want to save as much as the next person but using fakes is stealing and that isn’t helping anyone.

    • Mommaresha

      My sister actually got some of these coupons. She goes to church with a lady that works for DFAS and she was giving them out at church last night. She said they have them at their office to give out to needy families.

    • Guest

      Wow!  Some of those look really real!  I wouldn’t even think to question the ones that are of reasonable value.  No wonder the CVS cashier almost wouldn’t take the $1/2 Diet Coke coupons I printed directly off their site.  Pepsi & Coke counterfeit coupons are popular!  Thanks for the link to the site!

    • Jtdjagos

      Wow, I had no idea this is going on. I saved the site on my favorites so I can make sure I don’t end up with something fake.  Human nature never ceases to amaze me. Here i am, like most of you, happy to save a few bucks. Others, decided to make a business out of it-I am amazed how real the coupons look-I would never know they were fake. I guess the old saying is true-if it seems to good to be true, it probably is…

    • Guest

      I think I remember seeing some coupons on “Extreme Couponing” for something like $11 off toilet paper or something similar…and I was like ???? really?!?

      • The CIC released a statement about Extreme Couponing if you want more details. http://couponinformationcenter.com/extremecoupon.php

        • mrn1

          Funny thing is those same coupons used on Extreme Couponing for $14 off TP that were proven to be fraudulent were still listed on ebay a few days ago when I looked.  There were bids on them.  People don’t know what they are buying. 

          • Ttara81

            My mom bought one of those off ebay a while back…at that time, she wasn’t aware of fraudulent coupons…but she later found out it was after doing some investigation…anyway, she checked on the seller’s profile and they’ve sold LOTS of them! And guess what? Everybody was leaving them positive feedback!! What a way to rip people off!

      • Rochelle

        I watched “Extreme Couponing” also, and always wonder where did they get the high value coupons to get the products for free.  Now I know.

    • Jaja

      I work for cvs and had someone use this coupon. funny thing is the register takes it. and after telling my manager it was fake he said if it scans, take it.

      • Ginger

        How in the heck is it possible that the register would take it? Wouldn’t someone, somewhere have had to program that barcode into CVS’ computer system? Maybe Jenny knows…..

    • Sjhoward5

      I didn’t know anything about this till I was at BiLo yesterday and had a coupon for free small bag of dog food and a few other high value coupons.  The cashier called a manager over and had them go check most of my coupons.  Of course they were all good. 

    • Sjhoward5

      I to was wondering how all the Extreme Couponers from the show got all those cases of large bags of dog foods, toilet paper, paper towels and cokes for free….. I never see any coupons like that.  Since that show came out, I have noticed that there are not as many good coupons as there used to be.  Not as many “freebies”

    • Nadia

      Is there a way to report a fraudulent coupon, like the one on ebay, she is selling coupons that are 28$ value for 5-10$, and has like 900 positive reviews,  i mean we all know that no manufacturer gives 100’s free product coupons to somebody so that they can make money. Just wondering if I could report it somewhere? one day we all will lose the privilege cause no stores will accept coupons anymore, its awful…

    • Laurel

      My Kroger told me that they are no longer accepting Smartsource printable coupons since there has been some kind of fraud linked with them. I thought Smartsource was pretty reputable, but now I can’t use those at Kroger.

    • Savealotstella

      Some of the coupons I’ve printed from places like the websites for Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, etc. are no longer printing with what looks like a UPC code (with the digits under it). The other two longer barcodes are on there, along with the “verify” number and barcode, but that’s it. They actually scanned at BiLo, but won’t work at Walmart. Is anyone else noticing that the “UPC” barcode/numbers is not printing on their coupons? Thanks!

      • mrn1

        As of last June, all that is required on the coupon is the new barcode which is called a GS1 barcode.  It is more specific to the product the coupon is intended for and can’t be decoded like the original UPC codes.  It can include information like sizes, varieties, flavors, etc in that code so that it is used as intended.  Not all stores have updated their systems to scan these yet.  

    • Aidankelli

      Has anyone had a problem with the nature made vitamin coupon ringing for $1.00 instead of $5.00?

      • mrn1

        Yep, and they are beepers too.  I ended up not using mine and chunking all 6 of them.  What a waste of ink.  

    • Ucmba97

      Jenny,  with the changes in the snac code on coupons, will there be a new rule as to how to tell if a coupon will double?  The 5 or 9 codes are going to be a thing of the past.  Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.

      • Ucmba97

        *scan* code, I meant.

    • I received an email with the Huggies $8 coupons. They are a full sheet in a PDF form. I assume people are just printing off sheets of them. The crazy thing is they are scanning and being accepted places. I heard they were accepted at Publix, Walmart and Walgreens around here.

    • Gena

      what can I do if a store does not accept printed coupons?

      • Go to another one. That’s really all you can do. Sedano’s in Central and South Florida does not take internet coupons.

    • 302799

      The FREE COUPONS are not all “fraudulant” if they have the HOLOGRAM … plus they usually have the company or charity name listed on the bottom.  I’ve received quite a few and they were ALL legit.  My aunt received a “free ham” from her job for up to $20.

    • Smeeks67

      I talked with a cashier today who told me someone used 40 of the $8 diaper coupons in her store. I hope they are real and not fakes or it will cause problems for legit couponers. 

    • Lauren

      I got the $8 off huggies coupon and it WORKED! It scanned into the register without a problem and i only paid $6 for 143 diapers!!

      • Katie

         You are glad you used a FAKE coupon so the store will lose $8 dollars?!???

        • Katie

           Oh wait I misread that. You used a ton of FAKE coupons so the store will lose a TON of money!!! What is wrong with you!!!

    • Jessica

      I used some of these coupons today…What am I suppose to do!!!  I really don’t want to get into trouble. I feel terrible about it  :(  My friend who is having triplets gave me some and she said her friend who works for kimberly-clark sent them to her.  I knew it was too good to be true. 

      • Suescoupons

        I’ve used them too. I had no idea they were fake!!! I feel really bad and like you I don’t want to get in trouble. I received the email from a family memeber and just thought wow that’s awesome since I’m expecting in 3 weeks and wanted to stock up. Neither one of us knew they were fake. Both Publix and Kroger have accepted them.

        • Jessica

          I called everywhere I used them. Not one single manager gave a crap. I feel fine now!

      • Jane

         give it back to store. I used this coupon today but didn’t know it was fake. I feel so shame about it even I was like you, one of my friend passed it to me.