With more stores and cashiers getting wise to counterfeit coupons, it’s a bit harder these days for scammers to earn a big windfall using fake coupons. It’s a lot easier, however, when it’s an inside job.

A former customer service manager at a Tennessee Kroger is now being investigated in connection with a $13,000 coupon scam, that police believe she conducted in cahoots with a customer.

Police in Murfreesboro, Tennessee were alerted to the alleged scam recently, some seven months after it occurred. According to a police report, Kroger managers told them that the customer service manager “had been receiving large amounts of coupons from a particular individual and receiving gift cards as compensation.” That “compensation” totaled $13,000 in December 2013 alone.

Investigators say the unnamed co-conspirator, a customer, would “bring in copies of the same coupon from a particular manufacturer.” The customer service manager would scan them, then give the customer their full value in cash.


The customer would then use some of the proceeds to buy gift cards, which were then given to the customer service manager as something of a “thank you for helping me to scam your store out of thousands of dollars.”

It’s a similar method allegedly used by “Gypsy Sisters” reality TV star Joann Wells, who was arrested last month and charged with buying gift cards at Target and offering them to helpful cashiers who allowed her to scam the store out of nearly $13,000 in merchandise.

The customer service manager left her position at Kroger in February of this year, after more than twelve years on the job. It’s not clear whether she left voluntarily, or was asked to leave after her employers became suspicious.

No charges have been filed yet, as police continue to investigate. They’re examining the customer service manager’s transactions, to determine exactly how much the customer got away with. Presumably it’s even more than the $13,000 that was shared with the manager, in recognition of her dedication to going above and beyond in her efforts to help out a shopper in need.

Talk about “customer service”!


  1. Great photo of Kroger AND Donato’s storefronts in same pic.
    Did you have a hard time deciding which headline ‘coupon fraud’ story to use it with? Were you tempted to use the same photo in both stories?
    Very sublime-and that’s just your style. 🙂

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