Scam of the day – August 13, 2017 – Phony online coupon scam

Everyone loves coupons and like many things in our lives, coupons which used to be found commonly in newspapers and magazines have migrated online.  As I have warned you many times in the past, Facebook has become a hot bed for phony online coupons.  Recently the Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina issued a warning about  a number of phony coupons appearing on Facebook including coupons for Target, Lowe’s and Bed Bath and Beyond.  A copy of a phony Bed Bath and Beyond $75 coupon is reproduced below.   Don’t click on it.  If you click on it, you are prompted to provide information to a survey in order to receive your coupon, but there is no coupon and the information you provide may be used to make you a victim of identity theft.

Bed Bath & Beyond warns customers about Mother’s Day coupon scam


No company could cover the cost of giving away vast numbers of $75 coupons although sometimes participants in legitimate surveys are promised a chance to win a coupon in a drawing.  Facebook is a favorite venue for scammers perpetrating this type of scam because often unwary victims will unwittingly share the scam with their friends.  One way to determine if a coupon is legitimate is to look for the expiration date found on most coupons.  Most phony coupons do not carry an expiration date. In addition, if the coupon appears too good to be true, it usually is a scam. The best place to go to find out if a coupon is legitimate is to the company’s website to see what real coupons are being offered.  For Bed Bath and Beyond you can also call their customer service number of 1-800- GO-BEYOND to confirm the legitimacy of any their coupons.

Scam of the day – December 4, 2013 – Online coupon scams

Cyber Monday was. by some accounts, the biggest day of online shopping in history as many of us find the convenience and comfort of online shopping very attractive.  Whether you shop at a brick and mortar store or an online retailer, legitimate coupons can save you a great deal of money.  Consequently many people are always on the lookout for helpful coupons to reduce their shopping costs.  Unfortunately, scam artists and identity thieves are only too aware of how much we like our online coupons and have tied phony coupons to many scams.  One of the scams involves an email that you receive that appears to come from a legitimate retailer with a link for you to click on to access a coupon that you can use either in online shopping or shopping at a store.  The problem is that sometimes these emails which appear to be from the real store have malware attached to the phony coupon so when you click on the link to download it, you are actually unwittingly downloading a keystroke logging malware program that will steal all of your personal information from your computer including credit card information and banking information.  They will then use that information to make you a victim of identity theft.


As always, if the coupon looks too good to be true, it usually is and you should immediately be skeptical.  You should also be skeptical if the email requires you to provide personal information that can be used to make you a victim of identity theft.  Finally, the sad truth is that it is so easy to counterfeit an email to make it look like it is from the legitimate company that you cannot trust any email that you receive with a link until you have confirmed that the email is legitimate.  In the case of emails with coupons, the easiest way to deal with this dilemma is to merely go to the real website of the real company (and not through a link provided in the email) and look for the coupon.  Any coupons that you would legitimately receive in an email will also be available at the company’s official website.  Also, you can further checkout the coupon’s validity by going to the website of the Coupon Information Corporation, a non-profit association of manufacturers that has a section of their website devoted to notifications of counterfeit coupons.  Go to their website at and merely click on the section entitled “Counterfeit Notifications” to see the latest list of phony coupons.  Merely because your coupon does not appear there does not insure that the coupon is not a phony, but if it does appear, you can be pretty confident that the coupon you received is indeed a scam.