How to protect your heart and wallet this Valentine’s DayPublished at
The following is a news release from the Better Business Bureau.
IDAHO FALLS – Broken hearts. Lonely hearts. Coupled hearts. Valentine’s day brings up a variety of feelings and emotions for most. Some say it’s romantic, some say it’s nonsense, but experts say it’s a multibillion-dollar holiday. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers spent $23.9 billion last year, with the average person spending $175 on gifts such as flowers, candy, jewelry, and an evening out. Unsurprisingly, con artists want a piece of the V-Day action.
Better Business Bureau received more than 6,000 complaints against the floral and jewelry industries over the past year. For those looking to purchase a token of affection for a loved one, protect your heart and wallet with these tips:
Ordering flowers? BBB’s ScamTracker receives many reports each year from shoppers who turned to online florists for last-minute orders. They paid for a beautiful arrangement but got disappointing flowers – or nothing at all.
- Pro tips: 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 to read what other customers have said about their experience.
Before you buy, read the fine print. Find out the return policy, whether they have a satisfaction guarantee, how their delivery process works, and what additional fees they charge.
Buying something sparkly? From fake jewelry sellers to specialty gifts, consumers should always be on the alert for fake websites. Scammers can easily lift official photos, sale promotions, and logos directly from the websites of popular jewelry brands.
- Pro tips: Pay with your credit card. Paying with a credit card provides additional protection if you dispute charges.
Think before you click. Be especially cautious about email solicitations and online ads on social media sites. Many sketchy retailers advertise great deals or trendy clothing that doesn’t match the promotional hype.
Looking for love? Online dating and social media have made it easier to meet new people and find dates. Unfortunately, con artists create fake profiles on online dating sites, complete with compelling backstories and full-fledged identities. Over a short period, the scammer builds a fake relationship with you, exchanging photos and romantic messages.
No matter the story, the request is the same: they need money. But after you send money, there’s another request, and then another. Or the scammer stops communicating altogether.
Falling victim to a romance scam can be particularly devastating. Victims can lose thousands of dollars, and they’re often left feeling heartbroken and betrayed because they really believed they’d found a good partner. Read more about romance scams for safe online dating advice.
- Pro tips: Be cautious about moving fast. A catfisher will begin speaking of a future together and tell you they love you quickly. They often say they’ve never felt this way before.
To find more information on Valentine’s Day scams, tips for choosing a trustworthy business, or how to be a savvy shopper, click here.