Beware Of Mother’s Day Scam, Says BBB
Mother’s Day is Sunday, and along with it, the purchase of special gifts. The National Retail Federation (NRF) survey shows families are planning to spend more on Mother’s Day this year than they have in the past. Flowers, jewelry and special outings are hot items this year, and 84% plan to celebrate, according to the NRF. BBB reminds everyone to exercise caution when shopping online and in stores when it comes to spending money.
Online purchasing scams are identified as the riskiest by BBB’s Annual Risk Report. Here are a few tips to avoid getting scammed on Mother’s Day gifts:
- Shopping online. Avoid suspicious websites and glossy pop-up ads. Make sure the website has the https:// and the ‘lock’ icon in the URL. Don’t click on hyperlinks in unsolicited emails. Pay with a credit card or PayPal. Understand return and refund policies. Read the fine print. BBB has more tips for online shopping.
- Flowers. Since Mother’s Day flower sales are the second-highest sales period for your local florist, it’s important to choose wisely and find someone you can trust with your order. Complaints filed with BBB about florists included flowers being late, wrong, or not delivered. Also, it is not uncommon for local flower shops to be affiliated with third-party entities. BBB advises consumers to confirm that the business they are placing their order with is in fact affiliated with that online source. If you are sending flowers to your mother in another city, it is best to check online for a florist in her area. Make sure you have enough time for delivery, ask about all fees associated with your order and make sure the date is specified clearly and guaranteed when you order.
- Electronics. Whether you plan to buy Mom a new phone, tablet or another electronic device, make sure you leave it in the original packaging. Many retailers require the original packaging in order to process returns or exchanges. Buy from reputable dealers; check their ratings on BBB.org.
- Jewelry. Do your research and consider visiting a jewelry store near you versus buying online. Keep your receipts and read the fine print; ask questions about their return policy. Read more tips on buying and selling jewelry.
- Gift cards and certificates. Check the terms and conditions of any gift card or certificate before buying so that it won’t be a problem. If you’re giving a gift card to someone who will make online purchases, check to see that the gift card is redeemable for Internet shopping, and not just for in-store use. Make sure the gift card has not been tampered with. Before you buy a gift card, consider these additional tips.
- Guides, tours and classes. Art classes, wine tastings and cooking lessons are fun ways to celebrate and spend time with Mom. However, it’s important to get the details of these activities in writing. Be sure to clarify total costs and features, if there are reservations needed, if there are any restrictions, special time requirements or cancellation fees.
- Restaurants. Find restaurants near you and read reviews and complaints on BBB.org. Do a search by business name. You can also lookup a restaurant’s inspection records online to help you make an educated choice.
Look for businesses that adhere to BBB Standards for Trust. Read more about BBB Accreditation Standards. Are you a business owner? Learn how to get BBB Accredited.For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin, 414-847-6000 or 1-800-273-1002. Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.