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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2845 - July 11, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065    3 of 4

Women Arrested for Selling Coupons on eBay

By Ina Steiner
July 11, 2012

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Yes, you can get arrested for selling coupons on eBay - if they're counterfeits, that is. Three women were arrested in Arizona for selling counterfeit coupons online, according to the Coupon Information Center.

A press release issued by the organization said the case demonstrated the dangers of purchasing coupons on the Internet, and said buyers may also expose themselves to additional risk by providing their names, home addresses and financial information to organized crime rings.

The Coupon Information Center (CIC) said the investigation involved the Phoenix Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, ICE, FinCen, US Postal Inspectors, and Maricopa County Attorney's Office, as well as the Hershey Company, PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble.

The CIC said consumers can protect themselves by following some guidelines, such as never paying money for coupons; and looking for disclaimers such as, "You are not paying for the coupons, but for the time and effort it took to clip them." It also said free product coupons are seldom, if ever, distributed on the Internet, and said if a coupon is visible on a computer screen, it is probably counterfeit.

The Federal Trade Commission has more information about coupon fraud on its website.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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