Watch out: Romance scams rising sharply
Happy Valentine’s Day

Watch out for phony florists when you order flowers for Valentine’s Day

Flowers-660611_1920If you’re ordering flowers for Valentine’s Day, be careful you don’t fall for a scam as a last-minute shopper. 

The Better Business Bureau has received numerous reports from shoppers who turned to online florists for last-minute orders. They paid for a beautiful arrangement but ended up getting disappointing flowers – or nothing at all. 

How the scam works

Since you can’t get flowers locally, you try the internet. You enter your credit card information and delivery details.

From here, the scam can take a few different routes. Your flowers are delivered, but they don’t arrive on time, are damaged, or look nothing like the picture. Your attempts to get a full or partial refund go unanswered or are flatly refused. In other scams, your flowers are never delivered, and the online florist shop becomes unreachable. Other consumers have reported that after paying, they’re contacted by the florist shop and forced to upgrade their purchase, paying extra for something they don’t actually want to buy.

How to avoid online florist scams

  • Research the seller. Don’t get roped in by flash sales and great deals without doing your homework. Look up the florist on BBB.org. Read what previous customers have to say and see how the business handles complaints.
  • Get to know the business policies. Before you buy, read the fine print. Find out what the florist’s return policy is, whether they have a satisfaction guarantee, how their delivery process works, and what additional fees they charge for delivery.
  • Understand order placement and delivery timelines. Especially around holidays, florists may charge extra for quick deliveries or they may require that orders be placed ahead of time. If you want your flowers delivered on time, don’t wait until the last minute.
  • Pay with your credit card. Paying with a credit card provides additional protection if you need to dispute charges.

For more information

To learn more, read BBB Tip: Choosing a Florist. For tips to avoid scams, see BBB.org/AvoidScams.

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