I’m doing some last-minute shopping for Mother’s Day, are there any scams I should know about before I place an order online?
With Mother’s Day a week away, many shoppers are scrambling to make sure they find that perfect gift for mom. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers are expected to spend $23.1 billion this year for Mother’s Day — that’s a near-record high. Two industries expected to see some of that profit are retail florists and jewelry stores. Since the first of the year, Better Business Bureau Northwest + Pacific has received 43,000 inquiries and 185 complaints on retail florists and jewelry stores.
Since many consumers will be looking for appealing deals many scammers will try to take advantage of consumers, especially those searching online. BBB offers the following advice to avoid Mother’s Day scams on popular items:
n Jewelry: Ads on social media may seem official, but scammers can easily make websites and advertisements look similar to popular brands. Make sure you know what you’re getting by reading the full description and checking to see if you are on a safe and secure site.
n Special dinners and outings: Don’t be deceived by promotions. Mother’s Day is a popular time for online promotions, but most have terms and conditions. Check that you’re getting the savings and the deal you expect.
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n Floral Arrangements: Visit your local florist or research on BBB.org to find a trustworthy business to create quality bouquets. Compare prices to see if that “Mother’s Day Special” is really a deal.
n Gift Cards: Search the card’s packaging and the card itself for any fees, expiration dates, and terms and condition. Some organizations charge service fees or will limit the gift card to “in store only” purchases, making it useless for online shopping. Before purchasing a gift card, it’s also wise to look into the retailer’s financial condition to make sure they aren’t closing their stores.
n Splitting the costs with family: There are many new sites and apps to make it easier to transfer money between family members. Research them carefully before connecting them to your bank accounts. If you are using one to pay a business, make sure you check the policy regarding what happens if there is a problem with your purchase. You have more security against fraud or problems with your purchase if you use a credit card. For extra security, pay with a credit card. Credit cards provide additional protections, and it’s easier to dispute charges. Debit cards, prepaid cards, or gift cards don’t have the same protections as a credit card.
Mother’s Day is also a great opportunity to shop at neighborhood florists and other businesses. In-person visits will eliminate confusion and guarantee the quality of the products.
Phvntom, Inc. is a digital marketing company located in Boise, Idaho that creates websites, apps, and full-scale promotions/campaigns for other businesses. The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of its authors and were not written by Phvntom. This article was originally published by Idaho Press.