Whether you’re sending flowers to a funeral, a wedding, to your sweetheart, or for your relative’s birthday, a bouquet can be a wonderful gesture. Almost everyone loves receiving flowers. And in many cases, people are looking for a way to send them quickly.
Unfortunately, some floral scammers are taking advantage of that through what the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) calls “petal pushing.” In these floral delivery scams, recipients don’t receive any flowers at all, or don’t receive what they ordered. In extreme cases, you might even wind up becoming a victim of identity theft.
Read on to learn more about “petal pusher” scams and how to avoid becoming the victim of one yourself.
If you want to send flowers, chances are that there’s either a major event or special occasion you have in mind. This means that you are probably trying to work quickly and are willing to spend a little more for convenience. People who run floral scams know this, and will prey on your desire to buy and send flowers right away to steal from you.
Floral scams usually occur over the internet or through printed phone book directories. You might look up floral delivery services while flipping through the Yellow Pages or scrolling through Google and come across the name of what you think sounds like a florist or grower. You call the number listed or place your order online and give the company your personal information, including your credit card number, in order to have your flowers sent and delivered right away.
The problem is, there’s no guarantee that any florist or grower is even attached to that number. You might simply be giving your personal bank and other identifying information to a stranger. No flowers will likely be delivered. In other cases, cheaper flowers might be delivered than the ones you ordered. These are the basics of most floral delivery scams.
Sending flowers without falling prey to a floral scam takes a little bit of research and verification.
If you’re ordering online, try a verified service like Teleflora or FTD. You can also order by phone from both of these services. This way, if your flowers don’t get delivered or they aren’t what you ordered, you have consumer protections in place and you’ll get a refund if you file a complaint. Local florists with brick-and-mortar storefronts are also a safe bet.
To avoid predatory “petal pushers,” look up the phone number or company name associated with a floral delivery service before you order. There should be plenty of clear information available online about the service, as well as ample customer reviews. If not, you are probably dealing with a floral delivery scam.