Doritos Email Scam Can Cost Snack Maker Millions

Internet scams come in all forms, but fake coupons for free chips? According to Frito-Lay, a bogus coupon for a gratis bag of Doritos has gone viral, leaving consumers enraged when they cannot redeem it.

The Doritos scam–of unknown origin–grew bigger in the past few weeks as more and more people spread the coupon via email. Although a bag of chips may not sound like a big problem, Frito-Lay spokeswoman Aurora Gonzalez told AolNews the losses could end up in the multimillions: The dollar value of fake coupons submitted in recent weeks equaled 5 percent of Frito-Lay’s real coupon offerings for all of 2009.

According to FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, the Doritos scam is part of a growing trend of online schemes: Last year, web-based scams took in $559.7 million, which is more than double from the previous year.

“The opportunity for people to scam each other on the Internet keeps increasing,” Jenny Shearer, an FBI spokeswoman, told AolNews.

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