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Florists Beware of Hearing Impaired Scam

We just got a call from a local Ohio flower shop, Burnett Flowers, about a scam targeting florists. Flower Shop Network would like to let all of you hard-working florists know about this scam.

Greg from Burnett Flowers got a call on Monday, June 21st, through the hearing impaired  phone service (ttd relay) from someone wanting to place a $1600+ order. Fortunately for Greg, the relay service being used cut out before the order could be completed. After a little research, Greg found out it was a scam and notified us.

Greg discovered that 2 other florists from Eaton, Ohio had gotten a similar call. Florists from Ohio, Indiana, and even Kentucky should be cautious of this scam!

This type of scam is very similar to the Michigan florists scam last December. Here is an example of one of the calls from a Michigan florist:

Lynn from Bea’s Flowers & Gifts in Plymouth, MA’s said: “Here is a summary of the phone call I received on Nov. 23 regarding an order for 20 dozen roses. I received a call from the operator stating I had a call from someone who was deaf and she would need to interpret the call. The customer wanted to order 20 dozen mixed roses and was willing to pay $800 for the flowers and then added $950 to that for a delivery charge. They said they would have a truck pick up the flowers and we would then pay them the $950 for the shipping cost. They wanted us to put a total of $1,798.00 on a credit card and out of that we would pay the driver of the truck the $950 and keep the $848 for the roses. I asked for a name and phone number and this is what they gave me: Bella Mark at (917) 477-3043. I declined the order stating I was worried this was a stolen credit card and the customer hung up. I also reported this to the Plymouth Township Police.”

Have you been targeted by this scam? Use this website to report phone scams.

Please, if anyone else comes across this, or any other floral industry scams, let us know by emailing social@flowershopnetwork.com.


  1. Bellaire Flower Shop says:

    This scam has been around for acouple years…we received our third call yesterday…i just hang up on them..who in their right mind would pay a delivery service cash from a credit card order?

  2. Danielle says:

    This happened to us this week!!!!!! Received a call from the hearing impaired for 8 $200 Wedding Bouquets they wanted ready in a week. Caller said it was to surprise an uncle who wouldnt be able to afford any flowers for his wedding. Right off it seemed fishy! They wanted all of it on several cards, and then wanted us to western union money to a currier. We were given 3 card numbers. The first card was declined. We went ahead and started calling the credit card companies and 2 of them were valid. We tried getting ahold of the banks to see if they were stolen and they had not been reported yet. We called the police and reported it right away! The police said with that kind of phone call its hard to trace where it came from! So BEWARE!!!!!!!
    -Oklahoma Flower Shop

  3. They have called my shop twice now. A person stating they are with the AT7T relay service for the deaf and hearing impaired calls saying they have someone on the line that wishes to make an order by phone. They want to make an order of 6 large yellow bouquets at $200.00 for a niece’s wedding. The uncle wants to pay for everything and he offers a tip of $200.00 to the designer. Then he asks for a favor, the delivery company won’t accept such a large amount to be placed on his credit card and asks if we would charge an extra 1,600.00 to his card and then use Western Union to wire the money to the courier service. This is what raised my concern as we deliver flowers to the weddings ourselves. They then state that it is at a wedding in a neigboring state…. Again, why would you be calling an out of state florist to make flowers and then hire another courier service to take them instead of buying from a local florist. I told them we do not feel comfortable wiring money anywhere as part of our business practice and then hung up on them.

  4. Thanks everyone for the comments! All of them raise awareness and help to prevent this issue from happening again!

    Also, I have created a topic on our Facebook’s discussions tab all about Scams Targeting Florists. ( http://facebook.com/fsnFSN ) There you will find reports of other scams targeting florists as well as tips on how to spot them.

  5. watch out for the faxes too. just recieved one yesterday.

  6. We get these call routinely. Before the conversation even gets started, I tell the TTY operator to refer the caller to our website as it will be much easier to place the order there. The caller always hangs up. This saves a bunch of time and usually gets the desired result.

  7. I Received a call from the hearing impaired today July 1st 2010, first thing he said was they wanted to speak with the owner or manager, I said I was the owner and they ask for my name. The relay service operator said Larry Smith wanted to order 8 $200 bright and summery Wedding Bouquets. Operator said it was from his uncle for his nephews wedding… then he said, what is the total? I said before I give you a total I need to know if you are going to pick this up or if we are going to deliver… they said they would be picking them up. He said I will give you my credit card number now, I said go ahead… may I have the name on the card…. He said before I give you my card number I need your cell phone number, your full name and your address… I said no thank you I can’t give you that information, I am afraid I am going to have to refuse the order, hope you find someone to help you. When the operator relayed the message to him and he just hung up…. I had already read about this scam on this website, that is the reason I did not fall for it. Thanks,

  8. @ Heather – thanks for the tip. Faxes too huh? Wow, can these people sink any lower?

    @ Dan – That’s a great tip!! Thanks

    @Janie – I’m SO glad to hear we helped prevent this scam from happening again!!

  9. I Have Had The Happen To Me Three Times. The First Time I started With E-Mails And
    Then The Phone Calls. If You Have New Or Part Time Empolyees Please Make Them
    Aware Of The Scam. It Is Going On Coast To Coast. I’m In Alabama.

  10. I had the deaf relay scam tried on my shop 4 times this week. first call was for 8 lg arr. for wedding, bright summer colors. I told them I knew it was scam they hung up. two more times I told them I knew it was scam, 4th time I did whole call got cc #, persons name, email address, name of courier they wanted me to send $950.00. I called my local police dept. and they said they couldn’t do anything. I called the credit card company and gave them the info and they turned it over to their fraud dept. I called AT&T and they said they had alot of these reports, and they turned them over to the FCC, by law they cannot refuse a call from the relay, because of the disibilities act. They gave me the FCC number and told me to report it myself, they said if enough people report it, maybe they can do something about it. I’ve asked some other local florist and they are getting these calls too. Some are for $2-$3000.00 worth of funeral work. The last person that I did the whole call on even called me back the next day to see of I had ran the card yet, I told them I knew it was a scam and had reported them, they replied back, what are you saying a hoax, then ended the call.

  11. Happened to me at Buds Etc Floral Studio in Melbourne Florida back in Feb… I knew something was wrong with the request of wedding centerpieces with dimensions of 24″ by 36″ long etc… a private car service would pick up the flowers odered. I hung up. Watch out people.

  12. We have experienced similar calls the last few weeks here in Bend, Oregon. There are e-mails going around asking for quotes on flowers for weddings and funerals too, you can tell they are bad at typing english. They also pose to be doctors too.

  13. I have had the same scam tried at least 6 times over the last two weeks. Thought they had stopped and they started again this week! I reported the first calls with AT & T but that has not stopped them. As soon as the operator asks the first question, I state that I am refusing the order because it is a scam. It’s very frustrating to have to deal with these calls when we are busy with funerals, weddings and more!! Thanks for trying to get this info to everyone!

  14. Just received one of the above calls from AT&T relay service. She read to me what they were typing and I told her what to type back. It was for 6 $200.00 ea. cut flowers for his brothers wedding. That’s all I listened to when I told the operator I was not interested. She then said they hung up. The AT&T lady told me I could not reach her back when I asked her for her phone #, but she gave me the relay customer service #. I told her I was giving this info to the law.
    Thanks for warning me for I knew exactly what to do without going to all the trouble some of you had to as well as the drama.
    Thanks for keeping us informed-Flower Shop Network is the geatest!

  15. I had a similar situtation in April at my shop in Belle Chasse, LA. The AT&T operator said I had a relay call. I never had one before & he explained it to me. This gentleman wanted 9 mixed arrangements measuring 42″ tall & 36″ wide for his uncle’s wedding. Knew this was not for real. He also said I would be given a credit card number and their truck would pick up the flowers and I was to give the extra funds to the driver. I told him this just didn’t feel right to me. he would have to come into my shop to finalize everything. Than the operator told me he hung up. Thanks for confirming my uneasy feeling.

  16. This same scam happened to me also..it is terrifying to think we have such crooks in our society to use the beauty of flowers and to use fine people such as florists who pride themselves in doing a great job trying to make people happy. Disgusting!!

  17. Flowers By Colleen says:

    I have a shop in Bradley Beach New Jersey.I have received two similar phone calls. The man who was trying to place the order was supposed to email me his information and never did.For the second phone call I immediately told the operator I was not interested and that I had received a similar phone call two weeks back for the same thing. They were ordering eight
    arrangements with ridiculous dimensions and would be picking the flowers up the following

  18. Hi,

    Had the same issue but our designer thought it was “fishy” since we deliver ourselves.
    They said the delivery was about 100 miles away.

    Make sure to get ALL information from the caller BEFORE saying no so you can call cc card company and have card disabled.

    I told her next time to have me make the call and then I would have the driver “checked out” by the police when they stopped by to pick up the flowers.
    I wood also say we will be in the process of making the arrangement when the driver shows up since it would be such a large order.
    And we would need to charge the card 2-7 days early, same as a wedding.
    BUT tell them this AFTER getting the card number so you can report it to the CC company and then the card would be disabled from any other use.


  19. Anadarko Floral Service says:

    We’ve been getting similar calls 1-2 times a week for the last couple of months. I spoke to the owner of the other shop in town who says she’s also received them.

    We’ve also gotten phone calls from a man claiming to be in the hospital in Dallas wanting us to go down the street to a western union office to wire money to Arkansas and charge it to his card along with a substantial amount for us.

    A note about deceptive ads- we recently found out an order gatherer (I’m assuming) has been advertising locally using a shop name similar to ours, is using a bogus address about 2 blocks down from our shop and has a local phone number routed to another number. When asked, they tell customers that they are us, they make all their own arrangements and deliver them personally. After checking the local phone books I suspect they are doing the same thing in Chickasha, another town near us also.
    The deception these companies are using is getting trickier and trickier. The industry’s efforts to flush them out and let consumers know about them must be starting to pinch them a bit.
    I’ve also noticed more customers who call us on the phone ask more questions about us to determine if we are a real flower shop. They tell us the’ve been stung before.

    Kathy Coughlin,
    Anadarko Floral Service, Anadarko, Oklahoma

  20. Courtney Dickson-Austin says:

    We just almost got scammed with a similar phone call asking for 4 arrangements for $300.00 each for his brother’s wedding, a courier would pick them up on July 13th. It was a deaf relay call, when I asked how they should be packaged for the courier, she took too long to answer, it gave me enough time to google deaf/relay flower shop scams, and I found your page, just wanted to report this. We are in Buena Vista, VA
    1-919-238-4704 is the phone number we were called from, and the customer was supposedly a “John Mark”

  21. Fergies Flowers says:

    Good morning all!

    I was reading about the hearing-impaired scam and wanted to share that I have also received one of these calls.

    My shop – Fergie’s Flowers – is in Flower Mound, TX. The operator placed the call from a hearing-impaired customer. In a very similar story – the person ordered 24 large centerpieces for a wedding. He gave very detailed instructions as to size, flowers, etc. He was flying in for the event and would need to have his delivery service pick them up – I was to pay his driver $800.00 for the service, charging this and the total amount for the flowers to his credit card. It was around $2800.00 total. At this point the operator was interrupted by AT&T (phone service) saying it might be a scam – but I let the guy continue talking. (I love drama – and would have called the FBI) He wanted me to email him my name and personal cell #.

    I emailed him saying I had no intention of giving out personal information and no intention of paying his delivery service if his order was indeed legitimate. The email address bounced back – he had already been shut down.

    I had a second call just a few days ago but declined it.

    Crazy world out there!

  22. I contacted our state attorney general’s office (Washington state) in regards to this scam since they have attempted this scam with my flower shop 3 times and he advised me to file a complaint to his office which I did and also said that everyone no matter what state your in should also do the same.

  23. Carissa S. says:

    Hi, I just wanted to report we have had the same scam calls from an At&t relay service here at our shop in NC. Caller used a relay service and wanted to order 8 large bouquets for $200 each. Then wanted us to add $1250.00 for delivery and put it all on his credit card. They then wanted us to send that 1250 to him by western union so he could give the money to a private carrier that would be picking them up.

  24. Just recieved a call today and I knew it was a scam because of this blog…..Thanks to everyone that has responded to this post for the heads up on the scam

  25. Hello, This has happened to my shop last week, same plan as used in others. My assistant was estactic and took an hour to get everything down. I thought it was to good to be true, so I spoke with my fresh flower delivery person and he said it is hitting bad in North Carolina now and that it was a scam- It is really scary for these people to have all of someones personal information~

  26. Flower Basket Rosiclare IL..We got the same call, from the AT&T hearing impaired, we had never recieved a call through this service and we were going to help place this order. “Lennie” wanted to place a order for 5 wedding bouquets 26′ by 41′ each for 300.00 apiece, bright summer colors, when we asked where to be delivered to, they said they would have a carrier pick up because it was 200 miles away, and she lived in New York, so we would charge her credit card and wanted the total. Then they wanted us to charge an extra 1200.00 on her card to pay carrier and we were to Western union this to them, then we knew this was a scam, and told them we wouldn’t and the caller hung up. We first became suspicious when they said the wedding was 200 miles away, why wouldn’t they call a local florist, then when they wanted us to pay Western Union, we knew!

  27. Salt Lake City, UT
    “Kelly Woody” called out shop today using relay services. The order was supposed to be for four summer colored wedding bouquets at $300 each for her brothers wedding, to be picked up next Wednesday. When I asked for the cc, she said she’d give it to me, but ‘could you do a favor for me, first?’ I replied, ‘Sure,’ and that’s when she asked for us to wire an extra $1100 over Western Union to the caterers. I told her that management wouldn’t approve it and she told me she was in the hospital with cancer and she was too tired to make any calls besides this one. I stood by what I said and mid-reply, the operator informed me that “Kelly” had disconnected the call.

  28. We experienced this Scam attempt on Saturday – July 24, 2010. A relay
    service was used, customer was supposed to be in the hospital – wanted to
    order 8 – 200$ arrangements to be picked up. The whole – charge this to my
    credit card…give money to the truck driver/delivery. Although we had not
    heard of this scam…staff immediately recognized it as VERY SUSPICIOUS –
    and FAKE! They refused the order basically, and the scammer called again the
    following day…like we’d fall for it later.

    Thanks FSN for the info.

    Attached Image: delmar snow2008-2.jpg

  29. hi just wanted to let you know the same thing happened in our town in pa.
    July 20th, 8 arr @ 200.00 each, western union 1600.00 “Tim Horton” money to be delivered to “‘Denise Aleman” viawestern union.. for uncles wedding … we were slow that day decided to have some funwith him.. we took all info from him with tty relay.. as if we were gonna do the order, our mr, horton continued to email me for several days, and call when we didint send the money, we informed the hearing impaired service that they were being used for a scam, we callled the police, called teleflora, and the cc company… also make sure you have your computer checked for virusis we had 4 after the conversation with our Mr. Horton.. thanks for being there for the floral indusry get info if you can ……

  30. Etter's Flowers BUcyrus, OH says:

    WOW! we just recieved a call July 29, 2010 like this and luckly we knew something was fishy!!!! It was from a hearing impaired person using a relay service. He wasnted to order 5 brightly color pieces fro $200.00 each totaling $1000.00 to put on his credit card. He also wanted me to add $950.00 for delivery he wanted them shipped to NEW YORK we are in ohio. He wanted us to have them ready fro 8/6/2010 at noon. We were supposed to take the $950.00 in cash immediately to a Western Union and have it sent to a shipper who he was going to get me the address. OK I asked him why he just didn’t get hte flowers in NY and he told me that the weather was bad in NY right now and the flowers we not good……….. ok whatever. I then told him we don’t box / pack flowers fro shipment and he told me NO problem the shipper would take care of all of that. When I told him we would only do the flowers he told me he would give me an extra $100.00 for my pocket if I would help him. When he first taked to me his name was Mr. GOLD laster it was Mr. Dennis his phone number is 347-846-0857. He wanted them shipped to Mary GOld 123 W. Jamaca Brookland NY, 11212. We notified out local police and then called the Federal Trade Center they want to track this so please call with your scam. BE WARE and take care!

  31. I spoke with Judy at Leading Floral Co. in Corvallis OR today right after she received a scam call. This was the 2 call like this in the past few months. The call came in through a hearing impaired service. The caller asked for 6 arrangements at $200 ea for a wedding that would occur on the 17th. They wanted her physical and email address. But, because of a previous call Judy was suspicious and didn’t give them the information. She ask them for a phone number and they would only give her an email address. When she stated that she felt this was a scam, the caller immediately disconnected.

    If you receive a call like this get as much information as you can and email your information to your state attorney general. This will put the scammers on the radar where they can be investigated.

  32. 1800flowers Clark says:

    I am in Jersey and this is driving me insane!!!!!!!!! This person will not stop calling our store with this nonsense. In the past two months we have recieved atleast a dozen of this same call. Today his name was Alex Smith… and wanted * centerpieces for $200 a pieces and wanted us to charge his card an extra $1200 to then western union to the courier. I tried speaking to the relay operator which I am not sure is in on the call or not and they just say they can’t track it and all they can do is give me a customer service number, which of course doesn’t get you to a real person which is why I think the operator themself might be part of the scam. Definetly watch out.

  33. We got it yesterday…$2,600 and I figured better to run the card and at least this should block it from being used again…then called MasterCard who sent me to Capitol One. LOL!!!
    Yesterday they claimed it, and today they do not..it is no wonder it is so easy for our NIgerian “friends” to scam us…AT&T is assisting!!!!
    I told the operator on the 4th call that this was a scam and like a robot she told me she was doing her job and could NOT end the call…that was laughable so I hung up.
    They keep calling wanting to know where their money is….and that is cool…we scammed the scammer…lol…
    AT&T needs to use some common sense and stop assisting theives…unless the profit is worth it?

  34. We just received this call in Jenks, Oklahoma for 6 arrangements for his brothers wedding at $300.00 a piece. He used the name Mike Cruise. I was trying to remember the warning I had read from FTD about this scam. I finally just hung up and they did not call back. I was affraid it was going to be another slam to my phone bill so that is why I hung up, but still spent 5 to 10 minutes on the phone with the relay opperator. So glad I didn’t invest any more time in the call.


  36. Veranda Florist says:

    We have gotten this same call back in August.Through relay for 6 large 200.00 arrangements for his neice’s wedding, currier pick up etc. We called our bank not only would we have been out Money that paid currier but they would of called credit card with dispute and would of been refunded their $$$$. We are in Nc and just heard just this week another Florist in our area has gotten same call! It’s hard to turn down money when you have a credit card but if sound to good to be true usually is.

  37. florists akron ohio says:

    I knew a few local places that had the same issue.Those things are everywhere..I hope this topic will make the florists worldwide a bit more awarable of the problems that exist.

  38. I had this happen to me today. Someone contacted me through email first and then they called using AT&T’s TRS service. I felt bad for them at first. It’s funny though now reading this and everyone’s comments the gentlemen in the email did ask if I sell flowers and I own a candy store. Thank god I didn’t charge a credit card or anything.

  39. Be aware……scams are now coming by email. Just received 3 within 2 days. Exact same request for their son’s wedding, same script in broken English one from Deb Adams, Dbell and Kevin Moore. Only Kevin stated “i am impairing hearing person so don’t wait for me to call”. I guess he shouldn’t wait for me to email him. The most important thing they pushed was give me a total and I will give you my credit card…….mentioned at least twice. If only it were true!

  40. Is anyone else getting the emails now???
    I mark them as spam and go on, but why cant they be stopped????
    A huge waist of time….

  41. It’s very hard to block spam. You can try to block the spammer’s IP, but they can just use a different one. You can also try blocking certain keywords, like ‘prescription’ or ‘mortgage,’ but when it comes to these scams, you can’t really block anything dealing with flowers, in fear of missing orders from real customers. Unfortunately it’s just one of those things we have to deal with, for now.

  42. Kentucky Florist says:

    This scam is still going, we’ve gotten an e-mail making the same requests and saying a courier will pick it up.

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