A Note to Consumers

Coupons are a great promotional tool and provide consumers from all walks of life and countries with direct, honest and substantial savings. Indeed, over a billion dollars are saved with coupons every year by savvy consumers. These savings benefit retailers, manufacturers and an entire industry employing thousands of people across the globe. Ideally, it is a win-win situation and all participants benefit accordingly.

Unfortunately, as with anything of real value, coupons are subject to misuse and fraud, just like credit/debit cards, checks, currency and virtually every type of legitimate economic activity. Does this mean you shouldn’t use a credit card or coupon at your favorite store? Of course not! Most people are honest and the CIC’s efforts to fight coupon fraud benefit everyone.

You can help the industry and yourself by:

  1. Learning more about the legitimate use of coupons-browse our web site for news about new counterfeit coupons
  2. Using coupons as they are intended. We love it when you get a great deal!
  3. Being patient with the occasional mistake after all, with billions of coupons in circulation at any given time and tens of thousands of retailers each employing numerous cashiers, there is bound to be an occasional glitch.

You can protect yourself from fraud by:

  1. Never paying money for coupons. This includes buying coupons from companies/individual who “sell the service of clipping coupons” instead of the coupons themselves. (Think about it, you really ARE BUYING the coupons, yet the business will insist you’re not. Does that make any sense? Does it inspire your trust? Do you really want to provide them with your financial information?)
  2. Beware of e-mails (even if they are from your friends and family) that attach coupons for free products or other offers that seem “too good to be true.” They are almost certainly counterfeits. Legitimate coupons are almost never visible on your computer screen.

If you have a hard time using coupons at your local store, suggest that the retailer attend the Association of Coupon Professionals (ACP) couponing class, preferably in conjunction with the CIC Industry Summit held every March.

Click Here for more Info on Considerate Couponing

How Does Coupon
Fraud Affect You?

CIC is working with retailers, processors and other industry participants to seek economical and practical solutions to mutual security challenges.