While Mother’s Day should be spent celebrating the important women in our lives, it could also be a very lucky day for scammers.
The Better Business Bureau advises shoppers to be wary of Mother’s Day vendor scams, especially online, which can affect both the gift givers and those on the receiving end.
Here’s what to look out for:
Phony floral sites
Scam artists attract shoppers to fake floral sites, waiting to obtain their financial information. Make sure to visit the official sites of local and trusted flower shops. When you search for a local shop, the results will most likely include national companies that have placed ads ahead of the actual site, CBS reports. Be wary of additional fees charged by call centers, and if ever unsure, research the company’s rating and history before making any purchases.
Pause before going right ahead to click the link, which could actually install spyware or other malicious software into your computer.
“What the scammers are after is trying to obtain this information to perhaps subject these consumers to identity theft,” said Christopher Brown of the Federal Trade Commission.
The FCC says to avoid clicking the links when possible, and make sure the e-mail is from a name you recognize.
Police in Lancaster, South Carolina, have warned moms about a popular Mother’s Day post that is circulating on Facebook that asks mothers to post their children’s names and birth dates, which is enough information for the scammers to obtain a duplicate Social Security card and steal the child’s identity.
Other red flags
According to the BBB, some other things to look out for include:
- fake online stores that attempt to steal your credit card information
- emails offering bogus Mother’s Day vouchers
- Links that claim to have shipment tracking information
- Emails that contain spelling or grammar errors, unnecessary use of caps locks and suspicious links