I’ve been emailed a few times this week about a coupon that is being widely distributed by email for FREE Doritos. This coupon is fraudulent, as confirmed by Frito Lay. The store will not be reimbursed by the manufacturer. If you receive this coupon from an unknowing friend, please let them know that it is not legit.
This brings up an issue that I have not discussed before: how do you know if a coupon is legit, meaning truly released by the manufacturer and intended for the general public? Here are some things that should raise red flags when it comes to coupons that can be printed from the internet:
1. It’s a pdf coupon that is distributed from anywhere but the manufacturer’s website (emailed to you, some random link that you can’t trace back to an actual legit website). In general, pdf’s that are released from a company’s own site are legit.
2. It’s a pdf coupon that is for a FREE product — no purchase necessary. Always, always, always a fraud. Think about it: why in the world would a company in the business of making money allow you to print an unlimited amount of coupons for a FREE item? FREE product coupons will usually be mailed to you or at the very least have a print limit and have some sort of a watermark or hologram.
3. It’s a coupon without a barcode. You know an internet printable coupon is legit because it has it’s own unique barcode.
4. It’s a FREE coupon you’ve purchased on ebay or somewhere else on the web.
This particular FREE Doritos coupon raises two of these red flags: it’s a document with six coupons on each page and can be copied as many times as you want AND it’s for a FREE item, meaning no purchase is necessary to use it.
There is also a coupon circulating for a free burger and sundae from Red Robin that is also fraudulent. Red Robin does email coupons for free burgers on your birthday if you’ve signed up for their birthday club. The coupon comes directly from Red Robin. Not legit if your friend emails it to you.
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