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Are Those Office Depot Coupons For Real? Here's How to Avoid Coupon Scams
Businesses promoting their products through discount coupons are outraged. Scammers are using fraudulent coupons to get discounted items, and it's no little joke because $200 to $500 million is lost to scammers annually. Those $20 or $70 discounts can add up to millions! To combat this, coupons are now scrutinized, and it would be embarrassing and legally harmful for you, even if you unsuspectingly give fake Office Depot coupons or jewelry coupons.
Business Beware - How to Spot the Genuine Coupon
Be smart. Before you accept that good-looking coupon, check out if it contains the mandatory UPC or Universal Product Code - those familiar bars on every trade item you see in stores. You've seen this in those genuine Office Depot coupons you've been issuing and the bar codes will be familiar by now.
The bar code has numbers below, which indicate the digit of the coupon, the number of the manufacturer, the family code assigned to the product, the value of the coupon, and the cash register validation.
Check the bar codes and the UPC. Does it look tampered with and does the price of the discount value match with the value printed on the coupon? These irregularities can be found in high value and on free item coupons. It might be that scammers have faked Office Depot coupons because these are popular with entrepreneurs.
If you suspect that a coupon is a fake, ask where the coupon was sourced. It would help you, too, if you call on your distributors to find out if they are profiting from the promotional or discount coupons.
User Beware - Internet Coupon Scams
Using fake Office Depot coupons is punishable by law. Don't be conned, or you'll face 17 years in prison, or pay $200,000 or $5 million in penalties. Hence, be wary of websites offering coupons but demanding you pay upfront before you can participate. If this happens, check out the coupons available - do they seem photocopied or scanned? Photocopied coupons have a faded look, which is enough to warn you.
Sometimes, you will get coupons in your email purporting blockbuster discounts. Do not follow it up or print it and show it to the merchant for verification. If you suspect that you have been dealing with a scam, keep all those documents and submit it to the proper agency for investigation. This is to protect you from legal problems and help consumers. Coupon frauds increase costs and the burden is passed on to consumers - and that includes you.
Be vigilant. Do not let fake Office Depot coupons ruin your day or your business.
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