SmartSource looks to curb coupon fraud with QR codes

NEW YORK — SmartSource has enhanced its online coupons with Quick Response codes that can provide real-time identification of fraudulent coupons.

SmartSource's website, — which is operated by News Corp. division News America Marketing — began printing QR codes on all of its coupons earlier this year. The QR codes are encoded and encrypted with technology that allows smartphone users and retailer personnel to determine if a coupon is valid or fraudulent. How it works: a scanned QR code retrieves information on that specific coupon from a SmartSource database and instantly returns information that either validates the offer or alerts the user or retailer that the coupon was not legitimately created.

QR codes can be scanned by smartphone users with a standard 2-D code scanning application sold through iTunes or other app sites.

"As of today, any branded coupon that does not have a QR code should be considered fraudulent and therefore not accepted by any retailer," said Henri Lellouche, News America Marketing SVP and general manager of the SmartSource iGroup. "News America Marketing will continue to develop antifraud measures to protect its clients and will assist in every way possible the prosecution to the fullest extent of the law anyone caught attempting to use or traffic fraudulent coupons."

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