Known as “Glitchmas” by criminals, many con artists take advantage of the chaos and staffing issues (new or temporary employees) during the holiday season.

Retailers should be extra vigilant this year as inflation and other economic challenges have increased the appeal of criminal activities. Stolen items are often resold creating unfair competition further harming retailers. Here are a few tips retailers can use to protect themselves:

  • Review transactions using large numbers of free product or high value coupons. It is unusual for a person to have more than a few of these rare coupons.
  • A coupon that scans for more than the printed amount is likely to be a counterfeit.
  • Verify that products match the written offer on the coupons.
  • Watch out and prevent product return fraud scams.

The Coupon Information Corporation (CIC) can help retailers reduce their exposure to counterfeit coupons with its FREE App (CIC® Suspect Coupon Checker App) that allows them to instantly identify counterfeit coupons known to the CIC. There is no need for additional software or equipment, CIC’s App won’t impact retailer budgets and it can be up and running in a few minutes.

How Retailers can sign up for the CIC® Suspect Coupon Checker App

Simply scan the below QR code with your cell phone and complete the very brief registration page with your store’s information. CIC will review this information prior to authorizing access. Once approved, a temporary password along with a link to download the App will be sent to the user’s email.

CIC is a not-for-profit association of coupon issuing manufacturers dedicated to fighting coupon fraud. The App supplements CIC’s other fraud reduction services available to retailers. All counterfeit prevention services that CIC provides to retailers are free.

Retailers interested in registering large numbers of App users or who may need other free CIC services can contact the CIC directly via its website at or at (239) 331-7280.