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Don't Fall For Mother's Day Scams Using Phony Florists, E-Cards To Steal Your Identity

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- Roses, lilies, daisies – a beautiful bouquet is sure to please on Mother's Day but scammers could make you sorry you ever tried to give flowers to mom.

Christopher Brown from the Federal Trade Commission has issued a warning.

"Scammers are trying to take advantage of consumers to hopefully obtain their personal or financial information," said Brown.

Scam artists have set up phony florist sites - hoping to attract unsuspecting users and get their credit card info.

Finding a local flower shop online can help you avoid that problem. Just make sure you are going to the official site of that shop.

When you do an online search for a local shop the results will most likely include national companies that have placed ads ahead of the actual site. They may deliver flowers in your area, but those call center orders can carry added fees.

"Often times the customer doesn't realize they have that additional cost," said David Shover of Karin's Florist.

And it's not just sons and daughters who need to be careful online this time of year - so do moms.

Con artists send out fake mother's day e-cards to moms that appear to be from a child, but when the link is clicked it is actually spyware.

"These are often ways in which the scammers will install spyware or some other malicious software onto your computer," said Brown. "What the scammers are after is trying to obtain this personal information to perhaps subject these consumers to identity theft."

The Federal Trade Commission says avoid clicking links when possible - and always make sure the e-mail you've received is from a name you recognize.

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