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“My Coupon is Real!” 4 Security Features That Prove It

by Freebies4Mom on January 26, 2011 10:30 am

Have you received a coupon in the mail for a free product only to find that when you try to redeem it the store cashier says “this looks like a fraudulent coupon’?  Here’s how you can prove your coupon is real if you received that coupon by mail from Coupons, Inc. You may need to speak to the store manager and feel free to point out the four security features of your legitimate coupon.

Well, chances are that the coupon you received is a completely valid coupon that is issued by Coupons, Inc. (same company as Coupons.com) for companies who want to offer consumers a “try me free” coupon by mail.  I wanted to point out the security features on the coupons by mail issued by Coupons, Inc. so that you will know exactly why these are legitimate coupons. This may help you if you speak to a store manager about the coupons you are using.

Example: Remember the free Excedrin offer (offer has ended)? They mailed out tons of coupons to get a free bottle of Excedrin and here are the security features of those coupons.

At-A-Glance: This looks like a printable coupon that you could have printed at home. But it isn’t and there are several ways to prove that.

Security Feature #1: Scratchable “Coupons, Inc.” Coupon Backer

Take a penny to the back of your coupon and you’ll see a “Coupons Inc.” watermark-like background (you can actually see it without even scratching with a coin). In small print the back of the paper it will say “This is a Veri-Fi protected coupon. Scratch with coin to reveal Coupons Inc. logo.”

Security Feature #2: “VOID” Background when Photocopied

When you photocopy or scan this coupon (which you would never do because it’s illegal to photocopy or scan coupons) you’ll see the words “VOID” appear from the special security background. There is also a light color image of the brand name behind the “Free” wording.

Security Feature #3: Unique Veri-Fi CodeDot

Look below the expiration date for a unique dot scan bar code that contains a unique Veri-Fi code.  Every valid coupon issued by Coupons, Inc. has a different code. Even printable “bricks” coupons have this unique code. Evner that code at the Coupons, Inc. Coupon Resource Center (or just http://www.veri-fi.com) to confirm the validity and exact terms of the coupon.

Security Feature #4: Yellow Dots within Expiration Date Box

Inside the box with the expiration date you’ll see randomly distributed yellow dots. You’ll also see these yellow dots on any printable coupon (as long as it was printed in color, please note that printable coupons usually can be printed in black ink only and still be valid to use). It’s another visual indicator that this coupon is the real thing.

Remember that these security features are found on coupons issued by Coupons,Inc. by mail and that there are other types of security features used by other companies.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie January 27, 2011 at 9:16 am

My Kroger store informed me they will not take any free coupons printed from the Internet. I was trying to use a free Milk coupon that required a $100 purchase and had all of the coupons.com security features. Is that hard for stores to teach their employees on what is fake and what is real?

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rachelle whitaker January 29, 2011 at 6:53 pm

I only shop at Meijer and have never had an issue with my coupons. Walmart and Target haven’t given me any trouble either but from all the stories I’ve read I rarely head there with coupons. I flat out refuse to go to WAGS because the stories make me so mad and with my temper I know better than to put myself in that situation. CVS has been awesome with coupons the 3 times I’ve gone with them. I probably just jinxed myself with that one!

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Dori January 30, 2011 at 8:22 am

I think maybe Kroger not taking printed free coupons is a chain wide thing. They do that in Monroe, MI too.

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Melissa February 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm

My Kroger here in Houston is still taking them. We’ll see how long that lasts!

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Jen September 20, 2011 at 8:08 am

My Kroger in London, Ky takes the printable coupons & even doubles them up to 50 cents. 

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CP February 2, 2011 at 12:24 am

I too got the free Excedrin coupons in the mail. Safeway in Seattle would not accept them. The cashier was clueless. She went and got one manager who was equally as clueless, then got second manager to come “examine” the coupons. Both managers on site said that it looked like a printed coupon and said they do not accept printed coupons for free items. I mentioned that there should be an authentication in the back. They looked on the back and still wouldn’t accepted. I should have saved the envelope it was mailed in for proof. There were others in the line so I just took the coupons back, not wanting to hold the line up. I guess I will try to use them at a different store next time.

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Rayannchick July 14, 2012 at 9:02 am

i get this all the time too. shaws especially as i live in the state of maine and thats one of the big chains along with hannaford. thankfully hannaford hasnt been to picky. shaws has a new coupon policy. no internet coupons over 2.00… its crazy how they try and say they try and save you money yet wont take coupons they get reimbursed for plus tax and 8 cents per a value of a coupon. so they make a lil more money off a product when you use a coupon. yet they are so strict. i like walmart. they have never refused any coupons from me EVER. i use to hate walmart shopping but how the other chains keep changing there coupon policies i have to go with walmart when others wont use them. i had 7 free ice cream coupons from blue bunny for a house party and they wouldnt take them and said they look counterfiet. they say anything to not accept them. so even if there not printed coupons they will find something to refuse the coupons.

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Cyndi Schrempf-Rosenthal October 6, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Where do i get free product coupons?

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Anonymous January 4, 2012 at 7:49 am

Free product coupons are available from different brands and retailers for a very limited time. When I find them I share them by posting on my blog Freebies4Mom.com

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