SPOKANE, Wash. - Imagine you get a card in the mail, seemingly handwritten, congratulating you on your pregnancy, full of gift cards for baby products.
Except, you aren't pregnant.
That's what happened to women across the country, including a few right here in Spokane.
Magen Netz lives in Spokane and received one of these cards a few weeks ago.
"It freaked me out a little bit because I was like, 'I'm not pregnant,'" Netz said. After opening the card, her mind immediately went to those dealing with infertility.
"I have friends who are struggling to get pregnant, and I was like, 'what if they had gotten this in the mail, as like a joke almost,' you know, like how inconsiderate that is," Netz said.
Kelsey McMahon lives in Kennewick. She also received one, chock full of hundreds of dollars in gift cards.
"They were made out of paper, so I thought this must just be one of those scams," McMahon said.
According to the Better Business Bureau, this is surprisingly not a scam. It's technically a marketing ploy from a Utah-based company called "Mother's Lounge".
It turns out that "Jenny B." is actually the company's co-owner, Jenny Bosco.
Tyler Russell from the Better Business Bureau said they are familiar with Mother's Lounge. Consumers have filed 55 complains against them. They have an "F" rating with the BBB.
We got the gift cards from McMahon and tried to use them. It turns out they do work, but you still have to pay shipping. If you buy more items with your own money, you can get the shipping fee waived, which is likely the company's end goal.
Some consumers have complained to the BBB that adding the gift card to their orders appears to increase the shipping costs, often times the extra charges in shipping will be close to the amount of the gift card.
We reached out to Mother's Lounge for comment, but have not heard back. On the Better Business Bureau website, the company has responded to complaints about their cards. Here is their response:
"This was an advertisement meant for expectant mothers. We received the mailing list form a third party marketing company, who said the recipients had opted in for maternity deals and coupons. It was never our intention to send this mailer to someone who is not pregnant. We are truly sorry for any inconvenience this has caused! Because we respect your privacy, we will be removing your name and address from our mailing list and have requested that this third party marketing company does so as well."
McMahon and Netz did not remember opting in for maternity deals and coupons.
The Better Business Bureau urges you to be careful when purchasing gift cards or shopping online. For a list of businesses with an "F" rating from the BBB, click HERE.