Beware, Scammers Now Targeting Plumeria Enthusiasts

Plumeria enthusiasts could become victims of internet scammers who pose as legitimate sellers on social media.

Southern Blooms Florida plant nursery sells plants, but also focuses on educating our buyers, including raising topics of concern like scammers.

Mac Garner, Associate at Southern Blooms, monitors our Facebook page and seller groups, and said he’s had reports and seen scammers targeting buyers in Florida.

Scammers take legitimate seller photos, then promote urgency through limited and rare varieties, some including Jamaican Fire and Black Purple. Scams have been seen on Facebook groups including Plumeria Society of South Florida, Florida Plumeria Enthusiasts, or Southwest Florida Plumeria

“If they post rare varieties of plumeria, especially at low price, it’s a sign. Seeds are also something that is becoming popular from a scamming perspective, because they could be harvested from anything, and label it as a desirable variety which may not be true,” Mac said.

To avoid these scams, Mac recommends that buyers remain vigilant and reduce the possibility of falling victim to scams through impulse buying.

“My advice is to not just trust what you see, instead, do your research, call them by phone, ask if they have a physical address, or even visit the location. Usually if it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” Mac said.

Scammer Signs:

 -   Sellers offering rare varieties far below market price

-   Sellers promoting limited volume

-   Photos taken from other websites

What should I do if I suspect a scammer?

-   If you’re on Facebook groups, or Marketplace, right lick the three dots and select “report post” and follow the prompts

-   Contact the Federal Trade Commission. FTC uses reports like yours to investigate and bring cases against fraud, scams, and bad business practices, and to spot trends and educate people about scams.

What if I’ve shared financial details, including my credit card number?

Make sure to contact your credit card company or bank immediately. If you share your social security number, you can contact one of the three national consumer reporting agencies. These agencies are Equifax, Experian or TransUnion.

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