KENTUCKY -- Millions of us are stretching our dollars with coupons found online as well as in newspapers and magazines. But a new coupon scheme is on the rise and it is costing us all.
U.S. Postal Inspector Roberta Bottoms said, "For every coupon successfully counterfeited it costs the manufacturer one million dollars."
These counterfeit coupons are usually sold on the internet.
Bottoms said, "Customers went online and were the winning bidder on some internet auction." Once the site had contact information - consumers would be messaged or emailed asking if they would like to buy a large amount of coupons.
Bottoms explained, "The initial online auction was just basically for them to find people that they could sell a large quantity of coupons to at one time."
Initially, postal inspectors say these counterfeits will scan and be accepted at your local retail company. But it costs the manufacturer hundreds of millions of dollars every year and in turn costs the consumer money.
Manufacturers say they are forced to pass along these losses by raising the prices of their goods. Bottoms said, "The manufacturers have put retail establishments on notice that they will no longer reimburse them."
The bottom line is that no consumer should ever pay for a coupon.
Postal inspectors say its safe to use coupons you find in newspapers, manufacturers' web sites or their authorized coupon distributor. Do not download coupons from internet forum.
Postal Inspectors/WFMY News 2