Despite the cautious approach to Valentine’s Day events in 2022, shoppers still managed to spend $23.9 billion. This is even more impressive when you consider how the creeping inflation influenced consumers’ shopping behavior. As we enter Valentine’s Day 2023, the prices are still rising and mass layoffs are taking place, many are looking for affordable yet exciting ways to have fun.
Unfortunately, scammers know how important Valentine’s Day can be for shoppers. With access to thousands of reviews, PissedConsumer has identified common scam complaints among customers on Valentine’s Day.
Nobody wants to be the victim of a scam that ruins a holiday. Be warned about this top list of Valentine's Day scams 2023 and stay safe.
Valentine’s Day Scams in 2023
As you search for Valentine’s Day ideas and gifts this year, you can expect great sales and opportunities through online shops. It’s hard to know that a company is using false advertising before you open a package or place an online order, but reading online reviews ahead of time can help you avoid the experiences of others.
Here is how this ATT customer fell victim to a false offer. In this ATT review (#2537593) about Valentine’s Day purchase, he states "I bought a new iPhone at Walmart... It was a Valentines special. I was supposed to make payments for three months for the phone and then get refunded. Just like the upgrade offer they have now. I went to upgrade but still owe $400…"
Another frustrated customer hopes to help others avoid potential false advertising issues by leaving MoissaniteCo Valentine’s Day review. In her review, she explains that "when I decided to upgrade my wedding ring by creating a custom ring (they brag they can create anything), naturally, I chose them."
Unfortunately, despite taking her customized order and the customer paying in advance, in full, the company did not create the ring to her specifications – even after multiple attempts. Overall, the customer, still frustrated and missing a customized Valentine’s Day present says, "...this experience has been a nightmare!"
Delivery of gifts and purchases is one of the biggest issues we see at PissedConsumer. Customers order flowers, candies, and gifts for loved ones, but their Valentine’s Day purchases never arrive, arrive damaged, or are of poor quality.
Here’s how one consumer paid with cash for a sofa on Valentine’s Day that has never been delivered. In his Garden White Furniture Valentine’s Day review (#2491630), the consumer reports "we checked on couch delivery and they said the order was cancelled 2 days after it was ordered . We never cancelled order . We paid them 1100 .00 in cash . They claim to have no record of payment and refuse a refund ."
In a Bellelily Valentine’s Day review (#4296124), a customer explained how they ordered from the company only to receive nothing. Still, the money for the purchase has been charged.
Fake Events and Tickets
Unfortunately, scammers often trick consumers into fake events and tickets on Valentine's Day. You should always check the venue and the announcement across other sources before making a purchase. If the event description looks suspicious or the website that sells tickets to it doesn’t have proper refund policies upon cancellation, you'd better opt out of this opportunity and look somewhere else.
This is how one consumer bought tickets for a show that wasn’t performed. In the TicketWeb review (#2423110), a poster explains that she “received no E ticket upon purchase, thank god I took a screen shot. 3 days before Valentine's Day I looked up the show to print tickets, no where to be found and the show is no longer up, but the Venue is still doing show…”
Hacked Gift Cards
You might get an excellent offer to buy a gift card for your favorite food chain. As tempting as it might be, those cards are prone to hacking, and the companies may refuse to pay damages. You should make sure the security tape is not removed and look for signs that the card’s packaging is untouched.
In this Macy's review (#3493264), one consumer reports, "I purchased a $200 gift card for Valentine's Day. Upon trying to use it I learned it was hacked and there was only six dollars on my card."
Valentine’s Day can be a lonely day for some folks, so they head online looking for love. However, instead of finding love, they find scammers waiting to take their money after a whirlwind romance.
As seen on PissedConsumer.com, many consumers face catfishing on dating websites. "A catfish attempt using someone's identity on POF requesting I send money [...]. They used photos of someone else and asked interesting ore planned questions. I'm smarter then that...they got nothing", reports an author of a POF review (#3249182).
Catfishers prey on loneliness by offering romance and saying all of the right things. Bear in mind that catfishers first make connections and then ask for a bit of cash or a gift card to help with an expected expense or other financial favor.
PissedConsumer Tips for Safe Valentine’s Day
Beware of false advertising
Don’t buy in a hurry without checking the vendor. Visit the seller’s website and read the policies to ensure it is reliable. Online reviews can help you determine who is reliable.
Supply chain issues and shipping delays continue to be the norm. Many Valentine’s Day reviews in 2021 showcased consumers’ frustrations due to late deliveries. Avoid issues with your own gifts this year by ordering early to be sure everything arrives on time.
Don’t use click-through emails to buy gifts
Rather than clicking through the email, simply type in the URL of the website. This will keep you from clicking on fake links or going to sites that are designed to look like real stores. These scam sites are designed to look like real stores, but they won’t send you anything, but the scammers will certainly take your money and your personal information.
Watch out for catfishers
Instead of finding love, you might find scammers waiting to take your money after a whirlwind romance. Enjoy the fun of a bit of flirting, but don’t send anyone money if you haven’t met them in person.
Consider an experience
The best Valentine’s Day gift this year might be an experience rather than an item. This holiday is an opportunity for fun with your loved ones. Don’t let Valentine’s Day scams ruin the romance. Be aware of common Valentine’s Day scams and be cautious when you aren’t completely sure about your – or your financial – safety. Bring joy to your loved ones and to yourself with a happy Valentine’s Day in 2023.
If you’ve had issues or frustrating experiences shopping for your Valentine's Day gifts? Consider leaving a review to share your story and potentially warn others.
1. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide any legal, medical, accounting, investment or any other professional advice as individual cases may vary and should be discussed with a corresponding expert and/or an attorney.
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