Archived Fraudulent Coupons and Recalls

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So my store is having an extreme issue with fraudulent coupons. Multiple people are coming in with coupons for $10 off, $8, $7, $5 off tons of items (coupons printed from the internet and copied) that work in the register but my AP tells me are fake. They look super real and they scan, but theyre not real. (some of them are pretty obvious, but the cashiers cant seem to figure it out) Also, people buy items and the register tells you to pick the item, but the coupon is worth more than the item.

I want to know, do any of your stores have huge issues? How do you deal with this (especially the 'pick item' issue)? I'm trying to teach all my cashiers what I do know, but for some reason they keep taking the coupons without calling someone over to verify. I'm really curious about what you do with the whole item being less than the coupon is worth.

We already do not allow guests to purchase any types of gift cards on the same transaction as coupons because they were getting the gift cards for next to nothing.

Also, some of the really devious ones Try to return the items at different stores in our district. Sometimes we know in advance, sometimes we don't. Do you just tell them no? I'd love to hear some valid reasons we give these people to refuse them.

And! Can someone please tell me as much as they know about how to handle recalls? I was just told today that recalls can only be processed during certain times of the day... Not so happy guest and no one in the store knows anything about recalls except maybe 2 people that weren't available. Information please?

Thanks in advance!
 

BrokenPDA

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And! Can someone please tell me as much as they know about how to handle recalls? I was just told today that recalls can only be processed during certain times of the day... Not so happy guest and no one in the store knows anything about recalls except maybe 2 people that weren't available. Information please?

Thanks in advance!

Just take the item and have someone remove the rest from the floor and send them to your receiver and they'll process them out.
 
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And! Can someone please tell me as much as they know about how to handle recalls? I was just told today that recalls can only be processed during certain times of the day... Not so happy guest and no one in the store knows anything about recalls except maybe 2 people that weren't available. Information please?

Thanks in advance!

Just take the item and have someone remove the rest from the floor and send them to your receiver and they'll process them out.

Oops! I meant a guest trying to return a recall :) but that's great info too since I've run into that issue too!
 
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Well the most a coupon can do is make the item free before tax. A coupon never refund the guest money. Just go to discounts->Manufacturer/Target coupon and type in the price of the item. And a lot of the time those coupons have a shiny foil type thing on them, and they have a disclaimer saying 'If void can be seen through foil' do not accept.' or something like that.

Edit: What a lot of people do is find an item on sale and bring those in and a lot of the time they will have something like "Up to a maximum retail value of 10.99" The coupon will almost always apply the maximum value. But the item is on sale for 7.18 or something. So that's when you need to manually type in the price.
 
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Well the most a coupon can do is make the item free before tax. A coupon never refund the guest money. Just go to discounts->Manufacturer/Target coupon and type in the price of the item. And a lot of the time those coupons have a shiny foil type thing on them, and they have a disclaimer saying 'If void can be seen through foil' do not accept.' or something like that.

Edit: What a lot of people do is find an item on sale and bring those in and a lot of the time they will have something like "Up to a maximum retail value of 10.99" The coupon will almost always apply the maximum value. But the item is on sale for 7.18 or something. So that's when you need to manually type in the price.

So if that happens, you just go to the regular discount screen And enter the price, and don't "pick" the item?
 
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So my store is having an extreme issue with fraudulent coupons. Multiple people are coming in with coupons for $10 off, $8, $7, $5 off tons of items (coupons printed from the internet and copied) that work in the register but my AP tells me are fake. They look super real and they scan, but theyre not real. (some of them are pretty obvious, but the cashiers cant seem to figure it out) Also, people buy items and the register tells you to pick the item, but the coupon is worth more than the item.

I want to know, do any of your stores have huge issues? How do you deal with this (especially the 'pick item' issue)? I'm trying to teach all my cashiers what I do know, but for some reason they keep taking the coupons without calling someone over to verify. I'm really curious about what you do with the whole item being less than the coupon is worth.



We already do not allow guests to purchase any types of gift cards on the same transaction as coupons because they were getting the gift cards for next to nothing.

Also, some of the really devious ones Try to return the items at different stores in our district. Sometimes we know in advance, sometimes we don't. Do you just tell them no? I'd love to hear some valid reasons we give these people to refuse them.

And! Can someone please tell me as much as they know about how to handle recalls? I was just told today that recalls can only be processed during certain times of the day... Not so happy guest and no one in the store knows anything about recalls except maybe 2 people that weren't available. Information please?

Thanks in advance!

Just use manual discount and take the price of the item off. Make sure you are taking the correct item for free. Teach your cashiers to actually read the coupons when they're a high value coupon (well, read all of them if they aren't accept by the POS) and if over 8 dollars they should call you to their lane.
There shouldn't be any reason why guests can't buy gift cards in the same transaction because if you are using coupons right that amount shouldn't go towards the giftcard. Target doesn't allow overages so if that's happening something isn't right.

In regards to the returning items this is a huge problem everywhere. This is what my store does:

If the "guest" is a repeat offender than we deny the return. We don't give a reason we just say we won't be taking it back. We've had several guests freak out and i've had a couple even call guest relations right there in front of us. We have never gotten in trouble for denying. Target reserves the right to deny any return to a guest. If this happens (which is SUPER rare now) we call our sister store up the street and they will also deny the return.
If it's not a repeat offender or we're not sure we always give the amount back on a giftcard so at least they have to spend it back in the store.
If it's a repeat offender trying to use a drivers license we deny the return.

I haven't seen this really talked about on here but we have a group of people who will bring in receipts from different stores (usually out of town) and say that they forgot to use their coupons and would like it adjusted. The coupons are always legit because twice i made her bring in the items from her car so i could actually confirm they were the correct items instead of going off the brand on the receipt. After the second time i called the store she had come from and talked to AP to see if she had used coupons and she did. I then called every single store in our town and a town about 20 minutes away and she went to every single one of those stores and used coupons too. Our policy is that if it's the same day we will take a coupon after the fact but we no longer accept coupons after the fact on a receipt from another store. I hope that story makes sense.

Now.. about recalls! If someone is returning a recall i usually ask if they have a receipt or if it's on their card. (still needs to be in the last 90 days.) if it's not then you just use their ID to return it and it doesn't count against them. If it's in our system as a recall it will not count against their drivers license. If you do do the return with the ID it will force it back on a giftcard. I've had people really upset about that and have called for an override and always gotten it. (this is why i try the card or receipt first). If it's not in our system as a recall you will need to call the override people.
You can return recalls at any time. Not sure why they would say you couldn't.

Hopefully that answers all your questions but let me know if i need to clarify something!
 
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redandkhaki, I think the reason they were denying the giftcards is because people WEREN'T using coupons correctly. We have 1 guest (that I know of, it may be more) at my store that has now been asked "not to return" to our store because of her fraudulence. Almost every time she would come in, she'd have at least 1 fake coupon that caused an overage, and would usually try to choose a different cashier (often a newbie) so she could use the overage to purchase a gift card. Rumor has it that she scammed 1 cashier for almost $100!!! When they "caught on" to her little scheme at the front lanes and started denying her coupons, she then started checking out at electronics (usually buying something little like a cell-phone case or headphones that were locked up), then at pharmacy (usually buying generic sudafed, which HAS to be rung up at pharmacy and is only $3). She was (un)fortunate enough to get me as the tech who rang her out on her little escapade at pharmacy and I'm a couponer myself (albeit, I only use LEGITIMATE ones ;) ) so I knew the fake ones when I saw them and refused them.

Question, why does a recall have to be within 90 days? When a manufacturer recalls an item, it's usually NOT within that time frame. I've only had a few items recalled, but on the larger ones, I was instructed to "return them to the place of purchase for a refund" and it was WELL past 90 days (more like a year or more). I've never had a store refuse an item because it was outside of their "return policy timeframe"??? I would think a recalled item would be returnable regardless of the timeframe???
 
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Yeah, I get that about the gift cards. I more meant once they were using them correctly that it shouldn't be an issue.

Sorry that I was unclear about the recalls. You can return them at any time and doesn't need to be within 90 days. I just like to use their card or receipt if it has been because then they automatically get it back how they paid for it vs it forcing it back on a gift card.
 
B

Barcode

Guest
You can start by going on target.com and printing the coupon policy, that should get you 90% there. Have it handy for the offenders, and just be polite with them on any coupon violations. If they throw a fit, show them the policy.

If a coupon is fake: no hologram, matching coupon serial to another Internet coupon, etc. then you need to tell the guest that we are unable to accept these coupons. I think the coupon policy says we have the right to refuse coupons iirc, so if they throw a fit, cite that. Don't accuse the guest ever.

The gift card scam is where coupons take off more than the item values. Correct this by making sure cashiers know that a tgt and manuf coupon combined cannot exceed the price of the item. Best practice is to leave the manufac full value, and lower the target coupon value. Tax is never taken off by coupons either.

For lots of coupons, turn lane light off and sort coupons to each item to ensure proper usage. If there is fraud involved, call ap to maintain a presence in the area.

Recalls can be handled at any time... Denying a defective return=bad. Surprised guest relations hasn't got any pissy calls yet,

If you need help recognizing fraud coupons, ask ap. otherwise I listed a few examples in par.2



Also coupon fraud is a criminal offense. Tgtcpht your ap should at LEAST be able to give her a trespass notice and ban her from the store.
 
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M

mxrbook

Guest
Manufacturer's coupons should not be adjusted by the cashier. Target receives the full amount from those coupons and if we reduce the amount we allow our guest, Target is actually committing fraud by accepting over-payment. If accepting the coupon means that the transaction would be negative (the guest would receive $$ back), then the POS automatically adjusts so that there is a zero balance plus any tax due.
 
M

mxrbook

Guest
Last week, I had a guest with a $50 mobile coupon. No minimum purchase. No expiration date. No limitations. She was shocked, shocked I say, that the bar code wouldn't scan and that I wouldn't just key in $50 off her $60 purchase. My new in role AP walked by and decided to "help" me out by taking her phone, gazing thoughtfully at it and pronouncing, "Hey, it looks real to me." I chuckled and told the guest, "Sorry, I'm not accepting this coupon."

Facepalm.
 
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You can start by going on target.com and printing the coupon policy, that should get you 90% there. Have it handy for the offenders, and just be polite with them on any coupon violations. If they throw a fit, show them the policy.

If a coupon is fake: no hologram, matching coupon serial to another Internet coupon, etc. then you need to tell the guest that we are unable to accept these coupons. I think the coupon policy says we have the right to refuse coupons iirc, so if they throw a fit, cite that. Don't accuse the guest ever.

The gift card scam is where coupons take off more than the item values. Correct this by making sure cashiers know that a tgt and manuf coupon combined cannot exceed the price of the item. Best practice is to leave the manufac full value, and lower the target coupon value. Tax is never taken off by coupons either.

For lots of coupons, turn lane light off and sort coupons to each item to ensure proper usage. If there is fraud involved, call ap to maintain a presence in the area.

Recalls can be handled at any time... Denying a defective return=bad. Surprised guest relations hasn't got any pissy calls yet,

If you need help recognizing fraud coupons, ask ap. otherwise I listed a few examples in par.2



Also coupon fraud is a criminal offense. Tgtcpht your ap should at LEAST be able to give her a trespass notice and ban her from the store.

The policy you're speaking of... is that state specific? I'm not big on coupon knowledge, but I am pretty sure my state is really strict regarding coupons. I AM making coupon training a priority at the moment since we are getting slammed pretty hard with fakes.

I like the idea of making them sort it out the coupons with the product. I know I already make the cashiers sort through the coupons for expired ones, but since it takes an hour to two hours to ring these people out, I guess spending some extra time putting them with the products wouldn't hurt.

What I was told in my store is this: Let's say the guest has a coupon that goes up to $5 off, but they choose a product that we charge $3 for... when the cashier accepts that coupon, they now have a free item and $2 extra to spend. That is why they were putting the AMEX giftcards on the transactions, so those extra dollars would go towards free money to use anywhere they please. To make it easy for our cashiers, we just implemented the no gift cards on any transactions involving coupons.

Right now we are getting hit with these $10 off and $8 off coupons that are fake but they look pretty real and they have a barcode that automatically scans. So they bring up the correct merchandise, a coupon that looks real and scans and isn't expired, and then they turn around and return that merchandise with a receipt and get the full value back. (The fact that my guest service and cashiers refuse to call us over is another issue altogether) But I just want to know exactly what to do in any scenario, especially when it's the coupons that are doubled and end up being worth more than the item.

AND that dang PICK ITEM screen. I know some of my cashiers will just hand those coupons back automatically, but some will go through, find the item that matches the description, and then pick it, but it'll be worth more than the item.

To make matters worse, the couponers come at extremely inconvenient times (ie when the sales floor is backing up/during rush times/at closing) when I am with guests, solving problems, or closing registers so I can't spend the two hours to monitor the transaction or I have to close the store so it has to be a hurried transaction. Those people are way sheisty. They know when to come and which of my cashiers are lacking in lightbulb wattage in the attic. I'm fine telling people no, I just want to know what I can and can't do to make it better.
 
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Last week, I had a guest with a $50 mobile coupon. No minimum purchase. No expiration date. No limitations. She was shocked, shocked I say, that the bar code wouldn't scan and that I wouldn't just key in $50 off her $60 purchase. My new in role AP walked by and decided to "help" me out by taking her phone, gazing thoughtfully at it and pronouncing, "Hey, it looks real to me." I chuckled and told the guest, "Sorry, I'm not accepting this coupon."

Facepalm.

OMG I was called to electronics once and this guest had an online gift card that stated it could only be used online (they had some issue with a return online or something) and the guy was SO ticked because we wouldn't just give him $25 in store. People....
 
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Manufacturer's coupons should not be adjusted by the cashier. Target receives the full amount from those coupons and if we reduce the amount we allow our guest, Target is actually committing fraud by accepting over-payment. If accepting the coupon means that the transaction would be negative (the guest would receive $$ back), then the POS automatically adjusts so that there is a zero balance plus any tax due.

I know they do this on Extreme Couponers to use items to pay for other items... I feel like that's not allowed in my state though. Does Target have a general policy for this? Or do state laws apply? I need to research this.
 
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OH forgot to address the RECALL thing. So apparently we get a lot of recall fraud as well. I don't even know the process as they have never happened during one of my shifts yet.

What TPS told me was that we have to call the help desk for every return, but they are only open certain hours. This *might* be because our store gets hit so bad, so they do this to be able to say no to the repeat offenders (that I am informed dig through garbage cans to obtain these items??? um gross). I'm really unsure, which is why I would like to know what people do for recalls, especially in stores that have a lot of recall fraud too.
 

redeye58

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Pro scammers will ALWAYS come at rush/inconvenient times - it's part of their M.O.
So is going to a newb who doesn't know policy. I had scammers who 'told' my newbs what to do & they complied.
If you have cashiers who refuse to follow policy (lazy, don't care, intimidated), let AP start coaching them.
We had a cashier who didn't give a rat's a$$ about coupon scams & let a scammer take $400+ off a cart full of HBA products (many of them unmatched or expired). AP printed out the trans & presented it at his final. Soon he was gone.
 
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Pro scammers will ALWAYS come at rush/inconvenient times - it's part of their M.O.
So is going to a newb who doesn't know policy. I had scammers who 'told' my newbs what to do & they complied.
If you have cashiers who refuse to follow policy (lazy, don't care, intimidated), let AP start coaching them.
We had a cashier who didn't give a rat's a$$ about coupon scams & let a scammer take $400+ off a cart full of HBA products (many of them unmatched or expired). AP printed out the trans & presented it at his final. Soon he was gone.

bastards...

I'm liking the sound of that. I'm sure my ETLAP would love to have a chat with some of my cashiers.

Have you had anyone come in trying to cash out $9 giftcards? We are having a problem with this too. It appears as if another store is letting them purchase tons of gift cards with the generic promotion and store credit gift cards, and then they come to my store and get cash for them. Which leads me to believe they are also stealing merchandise or doing returns on promotional gift card items. NOTE: I do not allow this, they are coming again when it's a newbie or backup at guest service.
 
M

mxrbook

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Pro scammers will ALWAYS come at rush/inconvenient times - it's part of their M.O.
So is going to a newb who doesn't know policy. I had scammers who 'told' my newbs what to do & they complied.
If you have cashiers who refuse to follow policy (lazy, don't care, intimidated), let AP start coaching them.
We had a cashier who didn't give a rat's a$$ about coupon scams & let a scammer take $400+ off a cart full of HBA products (many of them unmatched or expired). AP printed out the trans & presented it at his final. Soon he was gone.

bastards...

I'm liking the sound of that. I'm sure my ETLAP would love to have a chat with some of my cashiers.

Have you had anyone come in trying to cash out $9 giftcards? We are having a problem with this too. It appears as if another store is letting them purchase tons of gift cards with the generic promotion and store credit gift cards, and then they come to my store and get cash for them. Which leads me to believe they are also stealing merchandise or doing returns on promotional gift card items. NOTE: I do not allow this, they are coming again when it's a newbie or backup at guest service.

We're only allowed to cash out gift cards with balances less than $5. Our POS won't allow anything more.
 
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Pro scammers will ALWAYS come at rush/inconvenient times - it's part of their M.O.
So is going to a newb who doesn't know policy. I had scammers who 'told' my newbs what to do & they complied.
If you have cashiers who refuse to follow policy (lazy, don't care, intimidated), let AP start coaching them.
We had a cashier who didn't give a rat's a$$ about coupon scams & let a scammer take $400+ off a cart full of HBA products (many of them unmatched or expired). AP printed out the trans & presented it at his final. Soon he was gone.

bastards...

I'm liking the sound of that. I'm sure my ETLAP would love to have a chat with some of my cashiers.

Have you had anyone come in trying to cash out $9 giftcards? We are having a problem with this too. It appears as if another store is letting them purchase tons of gift cards with the generic promotion and store credit gift cards, and then they come to my store and get cash for them. Which leads me to believe they are also stealing merchandise or doing returns on promotional gift card items. NOTE: I do not allow this, they are coming again when it's a newbie or backup at guest service.

We're only allowed to cash out gift cards with balances less than $5. Our POS won't allow anything more.


Interesting... ours will let us do up to $10. This one person has already taken us for $500 and causes a scene when he comes in :-( Still haven't been present to give him a piece of my mind.
 
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Question, why does a recall have to be within 90 days? When a manufacturer recalls an item, it's usually NOT within that time frame. I've only had a few items recalled, but on the larger ones, I was instructed to "return them to the place of purchase for a refund" and it was WELL past 90 days (more like a year or more). I've never had a store refuse an item because it was outside of their "return policy timeframe"??? I would think a recalled item would be returnable regardless of the timeframe???

What they meant by inside the 90 days was if you were going to use the receipt. Unfortunately the receipt still wont let you return a recall item if it's expired. So then you can use the guests ID and it wont count against them.
 
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We aren't supposed to mark down manufac coupons. A few cents is generally okay though. Coupon value must never exceed the value of the item. Ever.

If you know they have fake coupons, decline them. Gstl has authority to deny coupons for any reason they deem prudent.

http://www.target.com/HelpContent?h...arget_coupon_policy/target_coupon_policy.html

What about this part? What exactly do they mean? We have couponers that return their items they used their coupon on, but POS always gives them the full value back. We turn away any of those people that did not purchase at our store and those who don't have a receipt.

•Returns of items purchased using Manufacturer Coupons may receive coupon value returned in the form of a Target GiftCard.
 
B

Barcode

Guest
I think its something they are trying to integrate into POS but its still in the works. They're trying to make return process smarter to thwart people getting higher amts of cashback from manufac coupons.

Turn away only people returning greater than reasonable household quantities, otherwise if they call Guest Relations it could bite you in the ass.
 
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I remember reading a communication when the pick item first started rolling out that we weren't to adjust the value of a manufacturer's coupon because Target was still getting reimbursed for the full value. I haven't had it come up where it would have made a transactions negative, however.
 
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I remember reading a communication when the pick item first started rolling out that we weren't to adjust the value of a manufacturer's coupon because Target was still getting reimbursed for the full value. I haven't had it come up where it would have made a transactions negative, however.

You are correct. This has been the policy for a while now. At least 6 months, if I had to guess. Probably longer.
 
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