Glittering, Shining, and Sparkling are all words that sound delightful. However, in the coupon world, these glowing words are often attempts to cover up an ugly truth: Theft by Deception aka Fraud.

  • Glittering and the like are terms used by some “Dark Side” couponers to describe the practice of stealing products using coupons for items other than authorized by the issuing manufacturer.
  • The motive is straightforward: steal products for personal use or resale.
  • These actions are not simple mistakes. They are carefully studied, planned, and discussed on multiple social media platforms.
  • Threads bragging about thefts are commonplace.
  • Some participants facilitate the fraud by selling stolen coupons that can be used for these illegal purposes. The “Golden Coupon” was a recent favorite for theft and sale.

The intent to commit fraud is often obvious in these groups. For example, one social media group recently updated its rules in response to a public service announcement placed in the group by the Coupon Information Center (CIC):

Group Rules from the Admins

It’s interesting to observe that, while the group’s participants are apparently comfortable with committing fraud, they are offended by foul language and believe that any “Coupon officer, FBI POLICE OR SNITCH” should self-identify.

Care, planning, and coordination can reduce glittering theft opportunities and associated losses. In the meantime, CIC will be working on these challenges.