CONSUMER REPORT: Online coupon scam costs manufacturers millions - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

CONSUMER REPORT: Online coupon scam costs manufacturers millions

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WKOW -- A major online coupon scam is costing U.S. companies millions of dollars and they're passing those costs on to the consumers.

Investigators say counterfeit coupons are being sold to customers online. The scammers gain contact information for consumers and email asking people to buy large amounts of coupons.

U.S. postal inspectors learned the coupons were fakes.

"Initially, these counterfeits will scan and be accepted at your local retail company but it is costing the manufacturer money and in turn costing the consumer money," says inspector Roberta Bottoms.
 
According to the Coupon Information Corporation, coupon fraud costs manufacturers hundreds of millions of dollars ever year.
 
Companies say they're forced to pass along those losses by raising the prices of their goods. Manufacturers sometimes will tell retail businesses they will no longer reimburse them for coupons.
 
Officials say no consumer should ever pay for a coupon. They say you should not download coupons from Internet forums, but they are safe to use from manufacturers' web sites and newspapers.
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