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Online Deals & Coupons: Staying Safe and Smart When Trying to Save

by Allyson Robison 5 September 2012 11:37

Coupons, and now online deals, are a great way to save money, especially in the midst of a struggling economy and tough job market. In fact, 68% of American adults use print coupons, and 22% of these adults use digital coupons from email or the Internet.

But, with the rise of online scams and identity theft, you may be wary about which coupons and deals you can trust.

One way you can definitely stay safe is to use Valley Yellow Pages’ coupons. They’re available in print under ‘C’ in each of our Yellow Pages directories or online at—just select the Coupons tab and identify your city to browse our selection. We have personally worked with each advertiser offering a coupon so we can guarantee they’re valid. Plus, you don’t have to provide any personal information, thus eliminating the risk of identity theft.

But, if you can’t find a deal that fits your need, here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau on how you can stay safe when using online coupons:

  • Check who is offering the coupon: The best way to go is to only use coupons being offered directly by the story. If they’re offered by a third-party that asks for additional information or a sign-up, use extreme caution.
  • Be cautious of pop-up offers: Clicking on ads may automatically sign you up for something or download a virus to your computer. Don’t click, just close the window immediately.
  • Read the fine print: Of particular importance are the expiration date, limitations of use, and if it’s an online coupon, will it be accepted at a physical location or only online.
  • Will the coupon be honored: Not all businesses want to redeem coupons because of concerns about fraud. Your best bet is to contact the store directly and ask.
  • Be wary of phone calls: If the coupons requires you to call the company to redeem the coupon or provide personal information, don’t!
  • Don’t pay for coupons: You should never have to pay for coupons, even if it’s a minimal amount.
  • Email coupons aren’t always safe: Many fake coupons are passed around. Just because it comes from a friend or family member, doesn’t mean it’s legitimate.

Better Business Bureau in Central California
Experian Simmons Research

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