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Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
In Alaska, Oregon & Western Washington
A Mother Lode of Scams
Think Twice Before Opening Up Hearts and Wallets
May 08, 2013

Loving sons and daughters looking for thoughtful ways to show affection for moms this year should think twice before opening up hearts and wallets. A recent survey from the National Retail Federation estimates that total Mother’s Day spending will reach $18.6 billion in 2013, and scammers will employ all sorts of tricks to fool consumers. Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington wants this day to be safe and mom-entous.

As with most special occasions, schemers try to catch last-minute shoppers off-guard and BBB offers the following reminders:

  • E-cards: Email cards appear to be from known contacts or trusted retailers, but are actually fraudulent, contain malicious links or malware and seek personal information; verify senders before opening.
  • Gifts: Newly registered websites stock Mother’s Day gifts at reasonable prices and guarantee timely delivery, but the products are never delivered or don’t actually exist at all. Avoid online vendors lacking verifiable contact information.
  • Flowers: According to the Society of American Florists, Mother’s Day accounts for one-fourth of all holiday floral purchases. Be wary of websites offering unrealistically cheap flower arrangements; consider a local BBB Accredited Retail Florist.
  • Discount Vouchers: Coupons or vouchers arrive in mailboxes and inboxes highlighting significantly reduced prices on flowers, gifts or restaurant visits, but are actually just bait-and-switch offers and the resulting purchases are not great deals after all. Carefully read the fine print and understand the terms and limitations of unsolicited offers.

Visit the BBB News Center for more information on protecting loved ones.

Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington is one of 113 in North America and the largest BBB by geographical service area. BBB is a neutral not-for-profit public reporting agency committed to trust in the marketplace. For more information on ethical business standards and BBB Accreditation, or to access free BBB Business Reviews, Charity Reviews, scam alerts or find local event information, contact BBB or visit