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**CONSUMER ALERT** CFO Jimmy Patronis: Don’t Let Flowers Turn into Fraud this Mother’s Day
For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 11, 2023
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842
CFO Jimmy Patronis: Don’t Let Flowers Turn into Fraud this Mother’s Day
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis is warning Florida consumers to stay alert and beware of scams this Mother’s Day weekend. The National Retail Federation (NRF) survey shows families are planning to spend a record $35.7 billion on Mother's Day this year on items like flowers, jewelry, and special outings.
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Whenever there’s a special holiday like Mother’s Day, scam artists come out of the woodwork to try and separate consumers from their money. With more and more consumers going online to buy flowers and jewelry, you must stay on guard and be on the lookout for signs of fraud. I know how much moms across our state look forward to celebrating Mother’s Day with their loved ones. Don’t let scam artists ruin mom’s special day.”
Tip from the Better Business Bureau on avoiding Mother’s Day Scams:
- Shopping online. Avoid suspicious websites and glossy pop-up ads. Ensure the website has the https:// and the ‘lock’ icon in the URL. Don’t click on hyperlinks in unsolicited emails. Pay with a credit card or PayPal. Understand return and refund policies. Read the fine print. BBB has more tips for online shopping.
- Flowers. Since Mother’s Day flower sales are the second-highest sales period for your local florist, it’s important to choose wisely and find someone you can trust with your order. Complaints filed with BBB about florists included flowers being late, wrong, or not delivered. Also, it is not uncommon for local flower shops to be affiliated with third-party entities. BBB advises consumers to confirm that the business they place their order with is affiliated with that online source. If you send flowers to your mother in another city, it is best to check online for a florist in her area. Make sure you have enough time for delivery, ask about all fees associated with your order and make sure the date is specified clearly and guaranteed when you order.
- Electronics. Whether you plan to buy Mom a new phone, tablet, or other electronic device, leave it in its original packaging. Many retailers require the original packaging to process returns or exchanges. Buy from reputable dealers; check their ratings on BBB.org.
- 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.
- 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. If you’re giving a gift card to someone who will make online purchases, check to see that the gift card is redeemable for Internet shopping and not just for in-store use. Make sure the gift card has not been tampered with. Before you buy a gift card, consider these additional tips.
About CFO Jimmy Patronis Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).