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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- As the latest grocer to respond to a wave of counterfeiting, Harris Teeter says it will no longer accept computer-generated coupons printed from the Internet.
Harris Teeter joins Kroger and Publix in banning the coupons downloaded from the Internet after they were hit with a string of bogus coupons -- some for free items valued up to $11.99.
Rod Antolock, Harris Teeter's s.v.p. of operations and merchandising, said: "We are joining many other retailers who have been stung by these counterfeit coupons, to protect our customers and our vendors."
Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion will continue to accept the coupons, said spokeswoman Tammie McGee. "We've put some safeguards in place to help us recognize legitimate coupons." The company also has posted on its Web site (www.foodlion.com) a list of vendors whose coupons are valid.
The coupon counterfeiting scam is reportedly the biggest of its kind to occur in Georgia in more than 14 years, according to the Georgia Food Industry Association, which represents the state's grocers.
One fraud expert estimated that the latest wave of bogus coupons could cost the nation's grocers in excess of $1 million.