One woman says she saved hundreds with fake coupons

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by Carina Sonn

azfamily.com

Posted on July 11, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 12 at 11:01 AM

PHOENIX - The saying 'If it seems too good to be true, it probably is' didn't stop one woman from buying fake coupons.

Three women - Robin Ramirez, Amiko Fountain and Marilyn Johnson - were arrested on Tuesday for running the largest counterfeit coupon operation officials had ever seen.

Phoenix police said the women had the bogus coupons shipped in from overseas and then sold them at 50% of face value - bilking manufactures both nationally and locally from up to $600 million dollars.

"I feel like it was too good to be true but it was working," said Misty from South Carolina who didn't want to give her last name while speaking to 3TV over the phone.

Misty said she saved hundreds of dollars on baby formula and diapers for her newborn, after she was referred to the site by family members three months ago.

A red flag, according to CouponSense.com's Laurie Meyers - businesses usually want as much traffic as they can get. Another warning sign - the amount of savings the coupons offered.

"They're really high value, $16 for dog food, $10 for cat food, I've never seen $12 for diapers," said Meyers, who claims experienced couponers would have known it was a scam.

"I don't feel like I did anything wrong because I didn't know that this was fraudulent. I didn't have any idea. So I feel like a victim in this situation," said Misty.

If you do have the counterfeit coupons, police say you should destroy them before throwing them away. Don't use them or you could be arrested.

The suspects are being help at Estrella jail on charges of counterfeit, forgery and money laundering.

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