BBB Warns of Valentine’s Day Scams

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – It’s getting to be crunch time to order something online for your Valentine. And that can cause some problems for people who don’t take the time to do their homework, says Michelle Corey with the Better Business Bureau.

“Sometimes, pictures can unfortunately be misleading,” she says. “For instance, we’ve seen some online retailers take photos that make items seem a little more attractive than they truly are, florists, they make bouquets look fuller.”

Read the fine print, because sometimes a vase isn’t even included for the price offered, or shipping and handling charges are high.

“Understand the terms of guarantees and policies, find out what is your recourse if that flower arrangement doesn’t arrive on time,” Corey says.

Unlike a sweater you might order that doesn’t fit, you can’t really return flowers, so find out in advance what the web retailer’s policy is for making good on orders gone bad.

Love scams

Valentine’s Day can be tough for people who don’t have a sweetheart with whom to celebrate. And unfortunately, that could leave people vulnerable to scam artists.

Corey says the looking-for-love scam is pretty common with online dating sites, and even Facebook.

It goes like this — you chit-chat online and the person seems wonderful – the person you’ve been waiting for.

“Then, after you think you really know them and you want to meet them … you find out that they’re overseas, and then you find out that they have financial difficulties they want to come see you, and then they want you to wire them money to get to you,” she says.

And Corey says once the money is wired, you’ll never hear from the person again or they just keep needing money.

People have lost tens of thousands of dollars this way.

(TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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