BBB warns of Mother's Day shopping scams

Posted at 10:17 AM, May 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-07 12:17:00-04

The National Retail Federation is expecting consumers to spend a near record breaking amount on Mother's Day gifts this year, but Better Business Bureau warns consumers to beware of scams related to Mother's Day shopping.

"BBB processes thousands of complaints each year, and many of those are related to industries that see a spike around this holiday. For example, since the first of the year, there have already been nearly 200 complaints reported to BBB Northwest + Pacific concerning retail florists and jewelry stores," said BBB's Veronica Craker.

The complaints range from customer service issues to problems with the product, or difficulty returning or exchanging an item.

When last minute shopping, BBB says be wary of deceptive online promotions.

"While this is the prime time for legitimate businesses to be offering discounts, scammers and unethical businesses will also be vying for your money. If you plan on shopping with a business you’re not familiar with, look them up online and research their reviews before you hand over any money," Craker added.

If you do shop online, Craker says there are three things you should always look for:

  • Does the website have proper security settings? Look for the “s” on https in the browser and the lock symbol to be sure the website is doing all it can to keep your personal information secure.
  • Do a “reverse image” on photos to see if the items are being offered elsewhere. In some cases, you may find a legitimate company offering the same product for cheaper, or it will key you in if the photos were stolen and the seller is fake.
  • Finally, look at the payment options. Does it want a debit card, check, gift card, or will the seller accept credit cards? BBB recommends paying with a credit card, so you have a better chance at disputing the charges.

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