Don’t Fall Victim to a Father’s Day Shopping Scam!

June 12, 2012

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – June 12, 2012 - According to the US Census Bureau there are 70.1 million fathers across the nation. This means that there will be many people out searching for Father’s Day gifts this week. As families look to celebrate this special day, your Better Business Bureau (BBB) is reminding consumers of the importance to shop smart for the perfect gift for Dad.

“Whether you’re looking to get something traditional like a watch, or something flashier like the latest electronic gadget, check out the business first,” says Caitlin Vancas, public relations director of the Better Business Bureau of Western PA. “Always ask for information on refund and exchange policies and warranties in writing. Don’t hesitate to ask if there is a return time limit and get a gift receipt to enclose with your gift in case Dad needs to take it back.”

BBB offers the following shopping tips for Father’s Day gifts:

Gift Cards and Certificates: Check the terms and conditions of any gift card or certificate prior to purchase to ensure that the expiration date and conditions won’t be problematic. If you are giving a gift card to someone who will make online purchases, be sure the gift card is redeemable for Internet shopping and not just for in-store use. Make certain on a gift card that the security number hasn’t been revealed prior to purchase.

Electronics: Whether you plan to give Dad a camera, GPS system, or other electronic device, be sure that you don't remove it from its box before wrapping it up. Many electronics stores require the original packaging in order to process returns or exchanges or even charge a fee for repackaging items.

Recreational Rentals: If you’re interested in renting ATVs, campers, canoes or other recreational equipment this Father’s Day, be sure that you get a written contract that includes details such as the base rental cost, daily fees, insurance and time restrictions. Also, take the time to visually inspect the rental and get written proof of any existing damage before renting.

Guides, Tours and Classes: Fishing, sightseeing, skydiving and golf lessons are a fun way to celebrate and spend time with Dad. However, it’s important to get details about these classes and adventures in writing and in advance of the trip. Be sure to clarify all of the factors listed below:

· Are reservations required and if so, by when?

· What are the total costs and features?

· What services and equipment are included?

· Are taxes or any other charges added?

· Are there any restrictions or special time requirements?

· Are there any cancellation or refund penalties or policies?

For more information on safe shopping and tips you can trust, visit


About the BBB System

BBB is an unbiased organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free business BBB Reliability ReportsTM and charity BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses when there is difference in viewpoints. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, 116 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than 4 million local and national businesses and charities. Please visit for more information about the BBB System.