How to Not Get Scammed While Picking Your Mother’s Day Gift

With only a couple of months left before we celebrate the Mother’s Day (in the US, it will be celebrated on May 13 this year), consumers are starting to look for gifts to celebrate their beautiful mothers. National Retail Federation reported that an estimated $23.6 billion was spent on gifts last year, $5 billion of which was spent on jewelry alone. This means that shoppers in the US spend more money on gifts only during the Christmas season. Unsurprisingly, virtual schemers are exploiting this situation to the fullest. Since more and more consumers are choosing to pay for goods and services online these days, it is important to understand scams and the actors behind them. Although it might be hard to predict all scams and the tricks used to deliver them, the good news is that with a little bit of caution and knowledge, spotting them and staying away from them is not all that difficult.

According to researchers, there are four main scams that all consumers need to beware of on this Mother’s Day. First and foremost, we need to talk about the fake e-card scam. Not every person has the ability to celebrate the Mother’s Day with the ones they love. Some do not have the money to spend on lavish gifts. Others have grandmothers, sisters, aunts, and role models that they want to thank. In all of these scenarios, a card can be much more meaningful than a gift. Although millions of letters and cards are sent via post on this occasion, it is undeniable that it can be more convenient to send an e-card via email; especially if it is a last-minute thought. Unfortunately, schemers can send corrupted spam emails that are masked as fake e-cards. Spam emails should automatically fall into your “Spam” folder, which is a good indicator that it is not trustworthy. Otherwise, it is always a great idea to check the sender. If it is sent by your loved ones, you should be able to distinguish between authentic and fake senders.

It is reported by Huffington Post that in 2016 customers spent $46 billion on gift cards. Without a doubt, a big portion of this was spent on Mother’s Day. If you are going to purchase gift cards online, you need to be extremely cautious about the vendors and the sources that the gift cards are offered via. This scam can be used to trick unsuspecting customers into spending money on fake cards. This scam merges with the third one that needs to be discussed: Fake shopping websites. Schemers can set up professional-looking sites and offer too-good-to-be-true offers to trick customers into paying for bogus products or services. For example, schemers can set up a site offering fake flower bouquet delivery services at an irresistible price. If you are tricked into paying for the service, not only do you disclose payment-related details (e.g., credit card information), but also the delivery-related details (e.g., address). Unfortunately, this information can be used in various malicious ways by schemers, which is why you need to be careful.


Fake coupons can be encountered all year long, but, without a doubt, more of them emerge right around special occasions. Last year, fake coupons representing Amazon, Costco, Home Depot, Kroger, and other well-known retail companies were circling around. The most famous of them were the Lowe’s free $50 coupon and the Bed Bath & Beyond’s $75 coupon. The Lowe’s coupon scam was delivered via Facebook as a shared link. The link redirected to a fake website, where the user was tricked into disclosing personal information using a bogus survey. The fake coupon allegedly offered by Bed Bath & Beyond was also advertised using Facebook. Since Facebook continues to be the most popular social networking platform, it is not surprising that it often serves as a playground for schemers. That being said, other platforms could be used to expose users to fake coupons, including Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest. If you are offered a too-good-to-be-true deal, the chances are that it is fictitious. If you look for coupons, make sure that they are legitimate and offered by a reputable source first.

Schemers will never miss a chance to trick unguarded users and exploit their trust. They use various tactics to reach their goals, and they can set up fictitious websites, offer bogus services and coupons, and flood emails with corrupted spam emails. With millions of US customers opening up their wallets in preparation for the Mother’s Day celebration, schemers are using all of their tricks, and so everyone needs to exercise caution. Do not trust unfamiliar sites, but do not automatically assume that sites that appear to represent familiar services are legitimate either. Do not open e-cards sent by unknown senders. Do not fill out any random surveys. Do not trust too-good-to-be-true offers. If you take caution, hopefully, your Mother’s Day will be filled with thoughtful gifts and happy mothers, not scam-related issues.


Doss, C. April 24, 2017. Police warn of Lowe’s coupon scam on Facebook. WSET.
Giorgianni, A. May 11, 2017. Beware of the Mother’s Day Facebook Scam&lt. Consumer Reports.
KATU News. Buying a gift for Mom this Mother’s Day? Make sure you avoid scams. KATU.
Levin, A. May 11, 2017. 4 Mother’s Day Scams You Want To Avoid. Huffington Post.