How do you know if you have a fake coupon?

With the current Quaker Oatmeal coupon scam, I got to wondering if I actually had some of the unauthorized non-valid coupons myself. So, I decided to go to http://www.veri-fi.com/ and check it out. Guess what? I actually have one!

This is what it said:
"You entered Veri-FI code: 0809109918082801
This code is INVALID.
Please check that you typed the code exactly as it appears on the coupon.
Coupons, Inc. did not produce this coupon!"

This really surprised me because I had printed all of my coupons from the banner ad (which is still up) and the 3 other coupons were valid. BTW, I don't advise doing this because it may invalidate it. The remaining 3 were valid, but when I put their numbers in again, they were invalid and I got the same message that I did with the original invalid coupon.

There are a lot of mixed information over this debacle. The memo I saw yesterday indicated that it was only the cereal coupons with the expiration date of 4/30/10 were to be refused. Fabulessly Frugal, over in Idaho, is reporting that at least one of their local Albertsons is taking the time to verify the coupon and are still accepting the valid ones with the 4/30/10 expiration date. That store is really going above and beyond, because most stores simply don't have the manpower required to do that right now and will in all likelihood simply refuse printed Quaker coupons for all products, like the ones in the Tri-City, WA area where it has been reported the original fraud took place.

Nichole at the Alaska Coupon Diva wrote a really good article earlier this month that outlines how some people are ruining it for all of us, and things to watch out that might indicate that it's a fake. Sadly, this is exactly what happened in the Tri-Cities on Wednesday, and now we are all taking it in the shorts. And, as this continues to happen more often, we are going to have to learn how to gracefully accept being accused of trying to scam the stores, and tolerate being treated like a thief. Not something I'm real happy about, are you?

BTW, Money Saving in WA came up with a really clever way to catch the culprit! And...bookmark this website, it has a list of known counterfeit coupons and is update frequently.

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