GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The day after Valentine's Day, many people discovered they had been scammed with flowers for that special someone that never arrived. The scammers are what the Federal Trade Commission calls "Petal Pushers."
"I asked them what kind of specials they were running for the day and they gave me a list of things," said Gab Baker, who became a victim when he bought $120 worth of flowers from flowerdeliverygreensboro.com, an online florist claiming to deliver flowers in Greensboro.
Baker says he typically stops by a local flower shop to buy flowers but was out of town and decided to order online.
"They never were delivered and come to find out it was a scam," he said.
The website Baker came across claimed to be located in the "heart of Greensboro" and located at 451 Main St. That address doesn't exist. The website also matches dozens of other sites with just the location name as the only change.
The Federal Trade Commission says Petal Pushers create fake online flowers shops and pay to promote them on search engine sites. In the case of the site Baker bought from, the toll-free number is linked to a number of websites. Representatives with the company hung-up on FOX8 when we called the toll-free number and started asking questions.
"I called them back and I was pretty much on hold for 30 minutes, several attempts to get in contact with the scammers and nobody ever picked up."
The BBB gets complaints about Petal Pushers often, especially around Valentines and Mother's days. They suggest doing business with a company that's been recommended by friends or co-workers. They also suggest calling your favorite local florist for recommendations when needing to order flowers in another town.
Lucky for Baker, he used his credit card and his bank is working to return his money to his account.