Some online Mother's Day shoppers bamboozled by fake flower shops

Some online shoppers are finding they're ordering their Mother's Day flowers from fraudulent flower shops.

AUSTIN - Mother's Day is just a few days away, which means it's time to pamper Mom.

Typically, sons and daughters end up buying flowers. But it turns out, they might need to be more careful before ordering them.

A spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau said some are posing as locally based brands when they're not. 

In about the last year, the BBB has received 3,400 complaints. Twenty of them were filed in the Central Texas area.

KVUE spoke to a woman who made one of those complaints after ordering flowers from an online shop that appeared to be Austin-based.

"We Googled them and this service came up," Sherry Garcia said. "It said that they could deliver in our zip code that day."

Garcia said the company "Bouquets For You" had a 512 area-code that she called to place her order.

"The flower order and delivery were $95," Garcia said.

Two days passed after making her order, and Garcia says the flowers never arrived at the University of Texas dorm she wanted them delivered to. She said she called the number back and the person on the phone told her they had been delivered.

"The person said they were delivered and hung up on us and then we'd call back and they wouldn't answer," Garcia said.

She said that's when she knew she'd been had.

"We said you know what we just need to call the Better Business Bureau," Garcia said. "This is not good"

A spokesperson for the BBB tells us it turns out the phone number Garica called is listed for two floral companies in the Austin area.

"Bouquets For You" which is registered to a fake address and "John's Flower House" which, according to their Facebook, is located on Congress Avenue downtown. However, at that Congress Avenue address, there is no floral shop.

KVUE called the man who is listed as the owner of the online flower shop and filled him in on what's going on.

"That sounds very concerning," he said. "Can you send me an email with the information?"

The man said he owns thousand of domains and wasn't aware of the situation, but he'll look into it.

After sending an email, KVUE is still waiting for a response.

Meanwhile, the BBB is offering some advice when it comes to buying anything listed on an online website.

"Anytime you're doing business online, especially when we have a holiday like Mother's Day, and we know there's going to be a lot of people ordering flowers and different kinds of gifts, you want to do research," Erin Dufner said. "Especially if you're waiting til the last moment."

Dufner recommends doing your research and going to the BBB website to check out a company's marketplace practices.

© 2018 KVUE-TV


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