BBB Mothers Day Buying Tips

May 09, 2017

CONTACT: Thomas Johnson Director of Public and Board Relations, Better Business Bureau Serving Chicago & Northern Illinois,, 312-245-2643  


CHICAGO - May 9, 2017 - Mother's Day is near and whether ordering flowers, shopping for jewelry, or arranging a special spa day for your mother, be a smart consumer. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois (BBB) warns consumers to proceed with caution especially when shopping online to avoid falling victim to Mother's Day vendor rip-offs.

A new trend for scammers is to post fake coupons on social media. Recently a fake $50 Loews coupon was making the rounds. Now there have been a rash of reports for a scam ‘$75 off’ coupon for Mother’s Day at Bed Bath and Beyond for those willing to take a survey as fraudsters pry for personal information by phishing.

 But not everything comes up roses, even for gift buyers seeking traditional gifts like flowers, jewelry, and spa services such as massages and manicures.

"While some people are extremely happy with their online purchases, others find themselves disappointed when their orders don't arrive on time, or don't arrive at all," says Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois." Whether you purchase flowers, jewelry or gift cards consumers need to shop smart.”

With the latest trend in fake coupons showing up on social media Bernas adds, “What you see is no longer what you get on-line. It's easy to steal the logos of an organization and create fake links and emails to look legitimate.

The BBB recommends the following when selecting Mother's Day gifts in-store or online:

  • Do your homework.  When ordering flowers, jewelry or any other gifts for Mother's Day, do business with companies you trust. Those discount roses may have been beautiful days before you got them! Check out the company's return policy and BBB Business Review at

  • Keep documentation of your order.  When you've completed the online order process, there may be a final confirmation page and/or you might receive confirmation by email. Print or save that information and keep it handy in case you need it later.  

  • Have a back-up plan. Make sure you understand the store's guarantee. It's best to use a credit card when ordering online, because you can dispute charges if the vendor doesn't come through.
  • Allow time for shipping and delivery. Check with the retailer or website to be certain that you have allowed enough time for delivery. Make sure that this date is specified clearly and guaranteed.
  • Never enter your personal information in a pop-up screen.  When you visit a company's website, an unauthorized pop-up screen created by an identity thief could appear, with blanks for you to provide your personal information. Install pop-up blocking software to avoid this type of scam.
  • On-line coupons…can be fake offers which are really phishing attempts to steal your private information. Legitimate businesses do not ask for credit card numbers or banking information on customer surveys. Watch out for a reward that's too good to be true, few businesses can afford to give away $50 gift cards or coupons.

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ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national and international programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation. BBB Serving Chicago and Northern Illinois serves 19 counties in Illinois.