Copying Coupons | Is it Ok to Copy Printable Coupons?

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by on June 1, 2011


Copying Coupons | Is it Ok to Copy Printable Coupons?

Is Copying Coupons ok? I’ve received several questions recently regarding copying printable coupons, especially after all the talk from Extreme Couponing, so I want to make sure this is clear:

Copying coupons – from the newspaper or printable is NOT ok, and is actually considered Coupon Fraud.

Why is it Wrong to Copy Coupons?

1. Coupons are not just a discount. They are a form of payment, in which the store is reimbursed. You wouldn’t think of copying a $1 bill, right? The same goes for that coupon in your binder.

2. Printable coupons have a set print limit that can be used. You may have noticed that each printable coupon has a unique serial number (in upper right corner). Those serial numbers help the stores get reimbursed by the manufacturers.

3. There are other security features on printable coupons that tell the store when it was printed, the correct product, the expiration dates, and more. Just like your dollar bill, the coupon has these features to help protect against miss-use.

But Copying Coupons Doesn’t Hurt Anyone

1. Oh yes it does! You may be able to use that coupon in the moment, but the truth is that that store will not be reimbursed for the copied coupon and that will just cause stores to change their coupon policies, raise prices, or worse, not allow the use of coupons in the future.

2. Manufacturers may decide to stop issuing coupons in the future – or at least limiting the number of coupons printed.

3. Plus, copying coupons is considered Coupon Fraud and it is prosecuted by the CIC (Coupon Information Center), which means that by copying those printable coupons, a person may be fined or worst, go to jail.

“As of this date,
Longest prison sentence: 17 years
Highest financial penalty: $5 million
Prison sentences of three to five years are not uncommon. Financial penalties generally vary, but have often been in excess of $200,000.”

The bottom line, don’t copy coupons. If a coupon that you want has reached its print limit, most likely another coupon will come up in the future. It isn’t worth it to commit coupon fraud to save a few dollars.

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Don’t forget to check out the Coupon Database for all available coupons. This site uses affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

 

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