Fraud & Scams

Buying Flowers for Valentine’s Day? Don’t Fall for Online Florist Scams

Cameron Huddleston
Cameron Huddleston
February 16, 2024
Buying Flowers for Valentine’s Day? Don’t Fall for Online Florist Scams

If you’ve waited until the last minute to buy flowers for your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day, watch out for fake online florists trying to take advantage of procrastinators. 

The Better Business Bureau has received reports from consumers who bought flowers online only to discover that they had been duped. Here’s what to know about these fake florist scams so that you don’t get taken advantage of this Valentine’s Day. 

How fake florist scams work

There are plenty of legitimate online florists. However, there also are fake and unreliable operations that prey on consumers who are in a rush and looking for deals. These phony florists tend to advertise that they can deliver last-minute orders on time at a reasonable price. 

According to reports received by BBB Scam Tracker, consumers have placed orders through online florists but received damaged flowers or arrangements that did’t live up to pictures online, did’t receive their flowers on time or didn’t even receive their orders. And the websites they order through refused to provide refunds. Some didn’t even respond when customers reached out to complain.

In some cases, consumers were contacted by online florists after they placed orders and were forced to pay extra to upgrade their purchases. And some consumers have been charged multiple times for a single order that never arrived. 

How to avoid fake florist scams

Whether you’re buying flowers for Valentine’s Day, a birthday, anniversary or any other special day, make sure you take these steps to avoid falling for online florist scams.

  • Be wary of deeply discounted flowers. It should raise a red flag if a website is selling arrangements at much lower prices than other online florists—especially around holidays when flower prices tend to increase. 
  • Read customer reviews. Search the name of the online florist and the word “reviews” to find customer reviews on independent websites, not the company’s website. Steer clear of florists with several bad or lackluster reviews.
  • Check if a florist is BBB Accredited. Visit to find out whether a florist has earned the BBB stamp of approval for ethical business practices and customer satisfaction. Don’t assume if you see the BBB logo on a company’s site that it actually is BBB Accredited. Go to the source at to confirm. Better yet, start your search by checking the list of BBB Accredited florists near you.
  • Make sure online florist sites are secure. Look for https:// in the url. You also can use Google’s Safe Browsing tool to check the status of a site. Other red flags can include poor website design, typos, grammatical errors, punctuation errors and awkward phrasing that could indicate that a site was created by a non-English speaker. 
  • Review customer service policies. Make sure the site provides ways to contact customer service and spells out its refund and return policy. Also, look for details about its pricing structure, delivery policy, delivery fees and any additional fees it might charge. You don’t want to be caught by a bait-and-switch offer for what appears to be a low price that quickly escalates with numerous fees—or to be left without a way to contact customer service or to get your money back if there is a problem.
  • Pay with a credit card, which provides more protections against fraud than other forms of payment. Steer clear of florists that request payments through wire transfers, payment apps such as Zelle or other methods that would make it difficult to get your money back. 

Another step to protect yourself when buying flowers (or any items) online is to take advantage of account alerts. A service such as Carefull will monitor your financial account, credit and identity and alert you to unusual transactions—which can help you quickly catch and stop fraud. Try Carefull for free for 30 days to keep your money and personal information safe.

[ Keep Reading: A New Twist on Romance Scams ]

Cameron Huddleston

Cameron Huddleston

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