WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

NC couple arrested for using fraudulent coupons

Posted June 29, 2015


An Ellerbe, NC couple was arrested last week while attempting to use fraudulent free product coupons at Walmart!

The couple, Sandra Webb Yaklin, 54, and James Vernon Rainwater, 52, were arrested at an Aberdeen Walmart on June 18. An observant cashier realized something was not right about the coupons they were trying to use and requested assistance from a manager. The manager then called the police and the couple was arrested. Each was charged with one count of felony fraud-obtaining money or property by false pretense.

According to, police confiscated over 870 free product coupons worth over $8400! The couple admitted to buying the coupons online and they were apparently going from store to store trying to use the coupons.

Because of the increase in coupon fraud, many online sales sites have banned the sale of free product coupons, including ebay. Unfortunately, there are still people selling them on secret Facebook groups and personal websites. That may not last very long if couponers and fraudulent coupon sellers keep getting arrested.

Last month, a New Orleans man was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit trademark counterfeiting after creating and selling enough coupons to cost manufacturers over a million dollars! Three Arizona women have to pay over $1.2 million to P&G for selling fraudulent coupons for P&G products. One of the women is serving a 2-year sentence for the crime.

Coupon counterfeiting is serious business, but so is the fight against fraudulent coupons. If you are part of any of these secret Facebook groups, often known as glitch groups, think twice about taking advice from those who are using fraudulent coupons or using coupons in ways they are not intended to be used. According to the CouponsInTheNews article, Jane Beauchamp, Brand Technologies president says, “The fraudsters are being watched, both online and in retail establishments. And they will be arrested, as is evident from the North Carolina case.”

If you see a coupon that is too good to be true, it probably is. Unless a free product coupon comes directly from the manufacturer or is in the Sunday newspaper coupon inserts, it is probably not legit. As we all know, using coupons wisely is an excellent way to save a lot of money. Using them legally is also an excellent way to stay out of jail.


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  • The_real_issue Jun 30, 2015

    *the store, oops. No, I don't know who she is or work there. Just heard from a friend that it is a local issue as well.

  • The_real_issue Jun 30, 2015

    I wish the people who knowingly use fake coupons would receive a lengthy prison sentence and any property they have would be auctioned off to help recover cost. I know of a lady in Raleigh who goes around using fake Gillette, Tide and Bounty coupons that scan and require a cashier to enter the value which on the coupon is the cost of the product and Gillette razors can be $30+! I'm hoping they get caught and severely punished. Said customer uses several coupons that are obviously fraudulent and has no problem walking out with $50-100+ free merchandize in our store.

  • Faye Prosser -WRAL Smart Shopper Jun 29, 2015

    Semper Fi Wife - thanks for the link. That is a blatant case of theft using coupons.

    ncsaver97 - that is exactly why they are shutting down the FB glitch groups and why stores are cracking down. I just hope it works to deter these folks.

  • 08fjchic Jun 28, 2015

    View quoted thread

    Here's a link to the 24k worth of merchandise for free.


  • ncsaver97 Jun 28, 2015

    I know I am a few days late chiming in here but this article was interesting...
    It seems that some stores (I believe Target was mentioned) are using all the wonderful info on the printed coupons to start fighting coupon fraud. It seems that when you print them from places like they can basically track who printed them. This is important as there is a large number of individuals using the "glitches" to illegally purchase items that the coupons are not intended for. This ranges from the trial sizes instead of the correct size all the way through products that are not what is listed on the coupon. The store in the article allowed one woman to continue her "glitches" purchases until she had enough $$ worth to make it a larger crime and then they charged her. :) The article stated that this is what many stores are starting to do. It is considered theft at minimum.

  • GranOFTwenty Jun 27, 2015

    Thank You Faye .
    I thought some here had mentioned a place in Florida where you could order the Sunday inserts but I was too concerned to check on it .

  • Faye Prosser -WRAL Smart Shopper Jun 27, 2015

    GranOFTwenty - according to the CIC, there are no places to "buy" coupons that are legit. That's why coupon clipping websites say that the coupons are "free" and you are just paying for the service to have them clipped and sent. They are trying to avoid the wording on coupons about them being void if sold. That is why I don't post about coupon clipping sites on the blog anymore. Too much controversy.

    Chatham Adam - Thanks for the editorial assistance!

  • privilegesrevoked Jun 27, 2015

    There will always be people trying to game ANY system, be it coupons or getting something for nothing from the government, we always (honest and hard working ones) pay for their lack of personal responsibility and ethics :(

  • ezme22 Jun 27, 2015

    View quoted thread

    This! This!! THIS!!!

  • Chatham Adam Jun 27, 2015

    What's with the exclamation marks in the text of this news story! It doesn't make sense! And it's annoying! Don't you think!