Fashion chain Gap has told shoppers that 60 per cent off vouchers being circulated by e-mail are fake.

The retailer said the vouchers were doctored versions of a genuine 30 per cent off voucher issued early last week.

The genuine vouchers were emailed to Gap’s staff and business associates, who were told to send them on to family and friends.

Gap expected its official discount vouchers to be widely distributed. “If we send it out to someone we are working with in the business, we expect them to forward it on to their colleagues, friends and family,” said a Gap spokeswoman. “That is not a problem, but it was a 30 per cent discount voucher.

“Obviously, someone has doctored this and it can be disappointing for people. We are disappointed that it has been abused in this way.”

Gap has offered shoppers a 30 per cent discount when they turn up to stores with the fake vouchers.

Discount vouchers on e-mail have become increasingly popular for retailers in the run-up to Christmas.

Last year, Threshers’ 40 per cent off discount voucher had such a huge take-up, the retailer worried about its profits. However, it must have worked, because the retailer has made the same voucher available on its web site again this year.