BBB: Look out for potential Mother's Day Scams

Posted at 4:00 PM, May 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-05 18:00:06-04

Mother’s Day is a time to honor and pamper the important women in our lives. While the day is generally a happy occasion, it is also a time when con artists are out attempting to make a buck off unwary consumers, said officials with the Better Business Bureau.

“Flower deliveries are one of the most common scams to occur during the holiday. It’s no surprise that after Christmas and Hanukkah, Mother’s Day is the busiest time for florists. In the last year there have been more than 5,800 inquiries at for florists doing business in the Northwest region,” said BBB spokeswoman Emily Valla.

To make sure mothers everywhere have a great day, BBB reminds shoppers to do the following before placing that flower order:

• Research the florist. Most of the complaints BBB receives about florists involve late or wrong deliveries or orders that were never delivered at all.

• Order online securely. Look for signs the website is secure. The beginning of online websites should change from HTTP to HTTPS on payment screens, indicating the information is encrypted. Never enter personal information in a pop-up screen and avoid placing orders while using public Wi-Fi.

• Read the fine print. Ask about the refund policy if the delivery is late, never arrives or is in poor condition.

• Have a back-up plan. Make sure you understand the store's guarantee. Find out how customer complaints are handled and what recourse you will have if the arrangement is not satisfactory. It’s best to use a credit card when ordering online, because you can dispute charges if the vendor doesn’t come through. Charges made on a debit card are the same as cash and you have no recourse through your bank if there is a problem.

“To help combat scammers, we urge shoppers to consider shopping from a BBB-accredited retail florist,” Valla stated.