Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and many are getting special gifts ready. The Better Business Bureau reminds everyone to use caution when shopping online and in stores. Online Purchase scams are the riskiest scam type for the third year in a row, according to BBB’s annual risk report.
“Shoppers should make sure they only use trusted and familiar sources when shopping online or in person, as scammers can easily draw in consumers with flashy ads and the promise of a great deal,” says Lisa Frohnapfel, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau in Western Michigan. “Always research a store on bbb.org before buying to avoid a potential scam.”
Tips to avoid Mother’s Day gift scams:
Shopping Online: Avoid suspicious websites and pop-up ads. Make sure the website is secure with the https:// and the ‘lock’ icon in the URL. Don’t click on hyperlinks in unsolicited emails. Understand return and refund policies. Read the fine print. BBB has more tips for online shopping.
Ordering Flowers: Look for trusted local shops near you at bbb.org. If you are sending flowers to your mother in another city, check online for a florist in her area. Call and confirm the shop exists. Many scam sites claim they are local but do not exist in the area, or at all. Make sure you have enough time for delivery, ask about fees, and make sure the date is specified clearly when you order.
Buying Electronics: 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. If a deal seems too good to be true, it usually is.
Buying 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.
Buying 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. Before you buy a gift card, consider these additional tips.
Report any scams to the BBB Scam Tracker.