With sources citing a desire to reduce coupon resale fraud, RedPlum is reportedly pulling its coupon inserts from six different newspapers in Southern Florida. From Fox Tampa Bay:
Your Sunday newspaper is going to be thinner, and we have thieves to thank. Let’s bring in our Fox 13 consumer reporter Chris Chmura. Chris, what have you discovered?
Denise, reliably we have received the SmartSource and we have received the RedPlum in our Sunday newspapers, but going forward, there will only be one. We have sources in the publishing industry telling us that RedPlum will cease delivery in the Tampa Bay area beginning June 1st because of fears of fraud.
Our sources say this covers the entire Tampa Bay area. RedPlum will disappear from the Tampa Tribune, the Tampa Bay Times, the Lakeland Ledger, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the Citrus County Chronicle, and the Bradenton Herald. Our sources say RedPlum is concerned about a “coupon black market” where coupons are bartered. They are bought and they are sold every single day in clear violation of the terms and conditions you will find on each and every coupon you will find inside the RedPlum. We reached out to the company over the past two days to try and figure out what’s going on, but we haven’t gotten a response. We have heard from our sources it’s possible that RedPlum will soon be delivered to your mailbox, but we don’t know whether you have to sign up for that, whether it goes to everyone, or whether it only goes to select demographics.
Whatever it is, Denise, this is a stunning loss for consumers like you and me who are willing to play by the rules.
And you know, talk about coupon fraud and how big a deal this is.
It adds up, and it adds up very fast. According to the Coupon Information Center, it totals $500,000,000 every year — a half a billion dollars every year in fraud. They say that each and every single day, thousands upon thousands of coupons are on the internet. They are bought and they are sold. We logged on to eBay earlier today, and we found 33,000 different coupon up for sale on this black market. 33,000 simply violating the terms and conditions. Denise, that’s why I think RedPlum, if this is correct, that’s why RedPlum is taking this step because there are way too many people who are trying to profit when the rest of us are just trying to save a couple dollars and feed our families.