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 BBB's News Center for more information on protecting loved ones.

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington, founded in 1918 and serving more than 9 million consumers, is one of 113 local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico. In 2014, people turned to BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington more than 5 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 264,000 local businesses and for Charity Reports on more than 1,200 local charities, all available for free at akorww.bbb.org.