What Exactly are Coupon Scams
These days crimes related to Coupon Scams online are on the rise. People are getting duped into trying fake coupons and then getting their information or worse, their money stolen. In this day and age, it is imperative to stay on top of things and ensure that you do not get duped.
Coupon Scams can be of two types mainly. One is when the scammer merely wants to gain your information so they can resell it to third parties. This act is as illegal as it is unethical. The scammer will put up a deal for coupon on a fake website they are hosting and ask those who wish to use the coupon to provide the website with their number and email address and that once they do this, the coupon will be sent to the immediately. This is merely a ploy for scammers to get your information so it can be sold to third parties. In this day and age, information is power and people pay a lot for it. Hence, once your information is received by these scammers and is sold to third parties, it is likely that your email account will receive thousands of spam emails as well as your number getting dozens of calls and text messages for random items. This can be incredibly frustrating but if you read on, we will tell you exactly how this situation is easily avoidable.
The other method scammers use when it comes to coupon scams is even more dangerous. They will ask people to pay certain amount to retrieve or receive a very enticing coupon. This ends up making people pay for the coupon since they love the deal and in the end, they will have ended up giving their banking information to the scammers. This is very dangerous since these scammers will end up using your banking information for nefarious purposes.
It is incredibly important to know what fake coupons look like and to ensure that you stay away from them. You can do this by reading on and learning about what things will give away a fake coupon and what things and practices you need to avoid.
Signs of Coupon Scams
Coupon scams are incredibly tricky and they are getting harder to differentiate day by day. However, you need to be very alert and always in the know. If you know what to look for you will be okay. Since these days hosting and building a site is incredibly easy. Not to mention that on these websites you can write and publish logos for the companies very easily and not be found out. All of this makes it very hard for people to know which are actual coupons and which are coupon scams. However, if you know what to look out for you can easily make sure that you are never duped again. Make sure that the graphics of the website and the logos featured on it are not the only things that you are going for.
- The Outlier
When you are trying to buy a product and think of searching for a good coupon for it to get some money off of the price you usually search for a coupon online and go with the best deal. But if most websites are offering at 10% discount and there is only one website promising 75% off, this might be a sign that this is one of the coupon scams that you need to be wary of. This, however, is not the only way to decipher whether a coupon is legitimate or it is a scam.
- High Offers
Again, if it isn’t a coupon but a gift card promising you $500 or another similarly ridiculous high amount like that; do not take the bait! This is a tactic coupon scams used to entice people into taking the bait and falling into their trap. Think of it in a collected manner and calmly; why would this offer be available? Look at all the other signs we discuss below before taking the coupon and falling for one fo the many coupon scams you find online.
- Legal Language
The terms and conditions we all dread might just save you a lot of grief when it comes to coupon scams. This is because when there is a lack of legal language on a coupon you can safely assume that it is fake. Most coupons will always have terms and conditions attached to it as well as an expiration date hence you will need to make sure that there is something like that on the coupon you have an eye on. If the coupon does not have any legal restrictions attached to it then you can safely assume it is fake since no company out there will ever give out a coupon that has no conditions.
- Verify the Source
If the coupon is real then the company it applies to will have posted about it on their social media. This means that they will have given customers a heads up that this coupon indeed does exist. Make sure that the coupon has been talked about by the company itself that the coupon claims to be applying to. If the company has never sent an email about it, tweeted about it, posted about it on Facebook or their website there is a good chance that another one of these coupon scams we are talking about.
- Pay for the Coupon
There are a lot of coupons available online. Some are authentic and a lot of them are coupon scams. One of the best ways to deduce whether a coupon is a scam is if the website asks you to pay for the coupon. They might phrase this as a gesture of goodwill or that they will reimburse you but this is merely a ploy to get your banking information into their hands so they can misuse it in the future. One should be very wary of any website that asks for your banking information since you should never provide it to anyone that does not seem trustworthy.
- Check it Online
If you see a website and feel that something is off or you just want to check the coupon for good measure, then google it right away. This is because if it is a scam then you will find out immediately since other people must have reported it too and you will definitely find something online telling you about the fact that the coupon is fake and should be avoided at all costs.
- Don’t Download Anything
If you are in search for a coupon and the website you come across asks you to download something so you can unlock the coupon; do NOT do it. This is because you will probably be inviting a virus into your computer. This is very dangerous and can potentially harm your computer so always be wary of anything you download on your computer.
This is the number one way to figure out whether the coupon is fake. If it is one of those infamous coupon scams, it will ask you for your email address and number so they can send you the coupon momentarily. However, this is an absolute lie since the website will just mine your data and sell it to third parties so they can inundate you with emails and calls. Sometimes it will get so bad that you will feel the need to change your email and number just to get rid of those unwanted pesky calls!
- Website Design
One of the ways to figure out whether the website is legitimate or just another of those coupon scams is to see the website itself. If the website uses cheap graphics and low-resolution images, there is a big chance that the website is totally fake. And if the website is fake, the coupon is just another one of the many coupon scams found online. You do not need to have a keen eye for graphics to know when a website is badly made and just looks plain shady.
Tips to Avoid Coupon Scams
While we have talked about what coupon scams are and what you need to do to know when it is indeed a coupon scam, we also need to address how you can shop happily without even needing coupons. Usually, people turn to coupons when they want to save a few dollars off of a purchase. There are several legitimate websites which provide coupons that will help you save money. Apart from that, most websites will have sales from time to time so if you know when the sale is going to be you will have no need for coupons since during the sales the prices will be marked down anyway.
When you are shopping online, you need to be very careful. Do not give your banking and credit card information to any online retailer out there. Only do so for websites you know have a secure connection and are legitimate and have a good reputation.