Sunday, November 11, 2007

scam (skām): A fraudulent business scheme

Yesterday, I received my first wedding scam attempt (guess my latest marketing and advertising efforts are starting to work). I received an email from an "Irish" bride-to-be whose fiance was offered a job in the U.S. and needed help planning a small wedding in New Jersey. I vaguely remembered hearing of certain swindle attempts on wedding vendors (especially photographers and videographers), so my radar peaked immediately, however, I didn't jump to any conclusions right away. I responded to the email, drew up a preliminary proposal, quoted cost of service and submitted an invoice for payment. Nonetheless, when it became apparent that the bride-to-be and her French fiance only intended on mailing a cashier's check, I knew right away what I was dealing with ... a scam! I happen to know that international cashier's checks are not fully validated for 90 days. So even though the check may clear at first, if found to be phony, the money is later deducted.

I must say, it's very sad that so many take time out to scam innocent people and it's even sadder that so many fall victim and lose thousands of dollars. The email I received even toted a closing salutation of "God Bless." Just heartless.

Finally, I had hoped that this was an isolated situation, but low-and-behold, I received a similar request again TODAY ... this time from the U.K. (sigh)

Here's a copy of the original email (below). Wedding vendors, take note.

My name is Serena Jones, from Rathmines, Ireland (Europe ). I will be coming over to New Jersey with my Husband Virgile Raymond who's French by nature but has actually naturalised in Ireland.

We'll be moving to the US to start a new life because my husband to be just got a job with the Coca-cola Co. in NJ and i have made plans of opening my new kiddies fashion store in NJ as soon as we are settled in. Just before then we will be getting married on the 19th of April, 2008 and we have decided to get married in THE STATES since we're moving on and we pretty know our new move would be wonderful. We will be needin' a good wedding planner to take care of our wedding event both ceremony and reception for our guests and our convenience because we require the best for the best memories for our children in future and as a matter of fact we have made a good budget for the best on our wedding day.

We prefer the ceremony and reception event to take place in a location and we are expecting at most 60 guests on the day of our occasion because most of our families in Europe and in the United Kingdom will be present for this wonderful occassion. Also, we would like you to know we prefer the reception and ceremony to take place in a location for the convenience of our guests and would love the ceremony to be in a garden setting and the reception in an indoor location in Matinsville, NJ or surrounding areas because the weather is unpredictable at this time of the year. We haven't made any venue reservations yet but we are sure the wedding planner can do that on our behalf as we are looking for a customized wedding planning package that involves virtually every aspect of planning except the band which we are already making arrangements for. The total wedding budget is 25,000$US. Please let us know if you can help work with us for the success of our event and can help work within our budget as we're not opened to spending a dollar more than the above bidget?


Hope you're enjoying a blissful weekend!
Thanks and God bless,
Serena&Virgile

94 comments:

Mrs. Browne said...

How coincidental..I received the following email yesterday:

Hello ,

How are you doing? Thriving!!!
My name is Elizabeth Hyde-Johnson , from Enfield in middlesex UK (England ). I will be coming to MD after my shopping trip with my Husband Micheline Jean who's French by nature to start his new work with the Coca-cola Co. in MD . And just before then we will be getting married on the 19th of April, 2008. We need a good wedding planner to take care of our wedding both reception and ceremony. We require the best for the best memories for we & our children in future and as a matter of fact we have budgeted 25000$ for this special event.
Also, the ceremony and reception event will be taking place in a location and we are expecting at most 50 guests on the day of our occassion because most of our families in Europe and in the United Kingdom will be present for the occassion.
Also, we would like you to know the reception and ceremony will be taking place @ 1 location which the ceremony event would be in a garden location or outdoor while the reception takes place indoors, we are still about to make reservation though but we are making progress with that.

Please let us know if you're able to help.

Sincerely,
Lizzy & Micheline



Elizabeth Hyde-johnson
lizzyatmydoorhyde@yahoo.com
Always live by the principle of, " do unto others what you want others to do to you " cos' what goes up will surely come down...

Danielle Green said...

I just received the same email last week and it is January of 2008. All of the unneccessary details in the emails have made me wary, in addition to the fact that they are out of the country. Thanks for posting this, I am going to post on my Blog as well.

Flawless Events said...

Same here, I sent an email to the head of my chapter of bridal consultants. I just don't understand what they are getting out of this, it's not like they are getting money or anything, what is the point to just waste everyone's time???

JustBreathe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JustBreathe said...

We just received an e-mail from "Lizzy" for a wedding on April 26th in Miami. I am so glad my partner googled that name and found this site!

Lauren from Perfect Memories said...

Thanks for posting this!!! I received an email last week from a Katty in Germany. Same exact email with names and states changed. I also was a little wary, but didn't find anything in a quick google search for "Katty and Germany". I drew up a contract which they signed and returned me, with promise the check is on the way.

Then yesterday came the email that the check on the way is a cashiers check, and it is for more than $3000 more than my deposit. The overbalance I'm to transfer through Western Union to their band in France. That sent me back to the googling, because there was no way I was going to get involved with that!

Anonymous said...

Hi, there we also got an email from a one Elizabeth Hyde-Johnson

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: We need you for our day !
From: Elizabeth Hyde- lizzyatmydoorhyde@yahoo.com
Date: Fri, February 29, 2008 6:16 pm
To: tiffany@tildeathdouspartweddings.com,
cat@tildeathdouspartweddings.com

Hello ,

How are you doing? Thriving!!!

My name is Elizabeth Hyde-Johnson , from Enfield in middlesex UK (England ). I will be coming to PA after my shopping trip with my Husband Michael Green who's French by nature to start his new work with the Coca-cola Co. in PA . And just before then we will be getting married on the 5th of April, 2008. We need a good wedding planner to take care of our wedding both reception and ceremony. We require the best for the best memories for we & our children in future and as a matter of fact we have budgeted 25000$ for this special event.

Also, the ceremony and reception event will be taking place in a location and we are expecting at most 50 guests on the day of our occassion because most of our families in Europe and in the United Kingdom will be present for the occassion .

Also, we would like you to know the reception and ceremony will be taking place @ 1 location which the ceremony event would be in a garden location or outdoor while the reception takes place indoors, we are still about to make reservation though but we are making progress with that.

Please let us know if you're able to help.

Sincerely,
Lizzy & Michael


we emailed her back asking some questions trying to get to know her a bit so that we would know how to proceed this is the email we recieved back.


Thanks for your response, we appreciate!

We would definitely love to work with you!!
Well i'm used to calling Michael my husband because we are getting married and nothing's changing that fact 'cause we have come a long way together. Our day is for 3rd of May 2008 , just to keep you posted , ok .

My husband and i will be arriving in town on the 27th of March 2008 because we would like to finish our work here and also like to spend so time with our family and loved ones before coming as we might not be chanced to spend as much time with them after our BIG move.

Actually it was a friend of mine in Spain who just got married in the states that referred me to the Website i viewed your advert and eventually visited your website and to our surprise you got a great chance of working with us as your style is preferably intriguing.

We will be needing a wedding planner to work with us as we are foreigners to enable a wonderful and memorable event, we need customized full planning package because our work schedule is pretty tight and there will be no way to do the planning from here without your support as a professional planner so for this reason, we need you.

This is a list of Vendors we will be needing for our event;,a photographer, a videographer, an MC, a florist, a make up artiste for all the ladies in the bridal party and myself, caterer, cake, a DJ, band, invitations for our US guests, save the dates and we are expecting at most 50 guests.

Our entertainment band will be coming in from Benin Republic, It's a french coupe de calien band, they're marvelous.

Also, we would like you to know we prefer the reception and ceremony to take place in a location for the convenience of our guests and would love the ceremony to be in a garden setting and the reception in an indoor location in your locality or surrounding areas because the weather is unpredictable at this time of the year.

We would like to know how much you'll need to make our day a wonderful one as we will only need you to work within our budget to prevent any disappointment or breech in agreement in future, we just need to know the exact amount you require to be sure the planning cost is within our budget and then we can start making arrangements for your deposit needed for you to get started?

Please feel free to ask anything else as you should know time's not on our side, and remember it will be better to contact us via email for now okay and don't hesitate to let us know if you are willing to help...

Have a wonderful Day!
Thanks,
Lizzy & Michael


this has gone on and on. We sent her a contract and advised her of our deposit amount. The details that this person has gone into has been amazing. They are really trying to pull this off and it is getting even more elaborate.
This is the email that tells us about payment and some of the personal details they included.

Thanks for your response, we appreciate!

We would definitely love to work with you!!
Well i'm used to calling Michael my husband because we are getting married and nothing's changing that fact 'cause we have come a long way together. Our day is for 3rd of May 2008 , just to keep you posted , ok .

My husband and i will be arriving in town on the 27th of March 2008 because we would like to finish our work here and also like to spend so time with our family and loved ones before coming as we might not be chanced to spend as much time with them after our BIG move.

Actually it was a friend of mine in Spain who just got married in the states that referred me to the Website i viewed your advert and eventually visited your website and to our surprise you got a great chance of working with us as your style is preferably intriguing.

We will be needing a wedding planner to work with us as we are foreigners to enable a wonderful and memorable event, we need customized full planning package because our work schedule is pretty tight and there will be no way to do the planning from here without your support as a professional planner so for this reason, we need you.

This is a list of Vendors we will be needing for our event;,a photographer, a videographer, an MC, a florist, a make up artiste for all the ladies in the bridal party and myself, caterer, cake, a DJ, band, invitations for our US guests, save the dates and we are expecting at most 50 guests.

Our entertainment band will be coming in from Benin Republic, It's a french coupe de calien band, they're marvelous.

Also, we would like you to know we prefer the reception and ceremony to take place in a location for the convenience of our guests and would love the ceremony to be in a garden setting and the reception in an indoor location in your locality or surrounding areas because the weather is unpredictable at this time of the year.

We would like to know how much you'll need to make our day a wonderful one as we will only need you to work within our budget to prevent any disappointment or breech in agreement in future, we just need to know the exact amount you require to be sure the planning cost is within our budget and then we can start making arrangements for your deposit needed for you to get started?

Please feel free to ask anything else as you should know time's not on our side, and remember it will be better to contact us via email for now okay and don't hesitate to let us know if you are willing to help...

Have a wonderful Day!
Thanks,
Lizzy & Michael


Beware!

Anonymous said...

That entire exchange is literally word for word what we got...other than the date and location change. She even repeated herself like she did in your e-mails.

justbreathe said...

That entire back and forth of e-mails was exactly what we recieved. She even repeated herself like she did with you. The only change was the date and location. Someone needs to get a life and stop wasting our time.

Anonymous said...

I guess we have just been scammed too. We are Phyllis Eig Associates and we received the same e-mails from our Lizzie "Borden Bride".
We have received a cashier's check that we are going to assume is fake.
It will be turned over to the proper authorities tomorrow.
Hopefully no one else will fall for this scam.

kinitra23 said...

I am also another victim! My emails were just like the ones above and I received a check yesterday and the first thing that made my red flags go up was that the check was made out to me personally and not my company Amoratella Events, Inc. so I started researching Elizabeth Hyde Johnson name and I came upon this website! Who do I need to report the check to??

Teresa Ellifritz said...

I am a wedding planner in Oregon and received the exact same email but with different dates and state. I can not believe that I have spent so much time on this and I am SO HAPPY that I googled her name and found your site. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am a wedding planner from Minnesota and we have also been scammed by Katty from Germany. We are in our first year of business and this is all new to us, so we completely fell for it :( Their scam nearly devastated our small business, and I'm wondering if anyone has advice on what action we can take to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else. We're turning checks over to the authorities, but I am coming to terms with the fact that we will never recover what we lost...

Anonymous said...

I have been in contact with Katty in Germany as well and we just received a cashiers check in the amount of 4000.00. We have not cashed it because something did not sit right with this whole thing. How much did you guys lose?

From reading this blog we will not be cashing this check. i knew something was right when she requested we send money to the band.

Teresa Ellifritz said...

I am so sorry that you were taken advantage of!! That is so not fair to all the HONEST abroad couples who are planning destination weddings. I received the check today for $4500.00 and of course will not be cashing it, but I wish I knew of a way to get back at them!!

Any Ideas?? Please let me know.

Teresa Ellifritz
Columbia Gorge Weddings
541-387-5404

Rashana of The Bridal Party LLC said...

I'm really glad that this post has been circulating. I was fortunate to have become suspicious early on, but for those who aren't aware of these such scams, I wanted to make sure I shared my experience.

Teresa Ellifritz said...

Thank you SO MUCH Rashana!! You are the BEST!!!!

Teresa Ellifritz
Columbia Gorge Weddings

Anonymous said...

Ladies,

Just adding more "google words" to warn everyone. This is a national scam and seems like it is really starting to pick up activity and poor victims.

Tomoloju I. Olawale
Olawale Tomoloju
TOMOLOJU IBUKUN OLAWALE
tmj_champo1@yahoo.com
234017617590
2347027229489
Benin Republic
Charlotte, NC

Anonymous said...

The African overpayment scam that has been tormenting Internet merchants over the last few months has hit the event industry! They are going for the jugular by hitting those who need the gigs most — planners in New Orleans.

My company was recently approached via e-mail to plan a destination wedding to New Orleans. The client claimed that her fiance was relocating there from Germany to work for Coca-Cola in the marketing department. They would be arriving in New Orleans on Aug. 24 and the wedding would take place Sept. 8 — a quick turnaround but doable. I sent my proposal, my quotes and my references and was delighted to find out that I was chosen as their wedding planner. They returned the contract and sent a tracking number for the 50 percent deposit, which she was sending via FedEx. All seemed well …

But alas, here comes the proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing, the Trojan horse — the cashier's check. While I considered myself a business-savvy woman, I admit I do not know all of the rules of banking and world economics. I thought that the cashier's check, once approved by the bank, was considered as good as cash. I thought the same of money orders and traveler's checks. Even a personal check, once given the right amount of clearance time, should be an acceptable form of payment.

Not true. Counterfeit forms even of international payment take only a couple of days to be cleared by the bank in the U.S., and the funds are then released to your account. What not everyone realizes is that the check then goes to the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, which will discover the fraud and alert the bank that the funds must be returned by the bank account holder. This process can take up to 90 days.

OLD NEWS, BAD NEWS
This scam has been going on for awhile. The client sends the cashier's check and for some reason overpays the vendor, asking that the overage of money be wired to a third party in Africa. They ask for it to be sent via Western Union, so there is no way to trace the transaction.

This particular client used the wedding music for the African connection, claiming that she had a deadline for payment that was within days of the receipt of my cashier's check, and the band wanted U.S. funds. Luckily, I was made aware of the scam by my top business advisor — my dad.

Within 24 hours I had spoken to everyone from Coca-Cola to banks to the FBI. I was confident that I needed to send an e-mail to the client making her aware of the situation, just in case this was an exception and she was legit, and asking her to understand why I was unable to transfer any money to anyone. She argued, pulled at my heartstrings and laid on a guilt trip long enough to requiring packing a lunch.

I made one final go with my newfound Nancy Drew skills and did a reverse lookup on the country codes of the phone numbers from which she'd called me. I found that the first was 33 — the country code for France. The second was 229 — the country code for the Benin Republic in Africa, which is the exact republic to which I had been asked to wire the money. When the FedEx arrived with the contract and the cashier's check, the name on the contract was typed rather than signed and the issuing bank was Bank of America — a bank that does not have branches in Louisiana. Need I say more?

LET ME COUNT THE WAYS
My reply to the client was short and to the point and included the reasons why I was suspicious:


You have not sent me a signed contract.

You have not sent me a deposit that will clear before this transfer would have to be made.

The “very popular” band you mentioned cannot be found anywhere on the Internet and is not known by any of my African music industry connections.

And, musicians don't give such strict deadlines!

Coca-Cola's operation in New Orleans just went through a reduction in force. Relocating someone from Germany is unlikely.

Further, Coca-Cola New Orleans has never heard of your fiance.

You made this arrangement and sent the money without asking me first.

You can just as easily send the band the money from Germany as I can from the U.S.

You claim you don't speak French, but the first number you called me from has a French country code

And this is my favorite one — the second number you called me from has a Benin Republic country code.


I then reminded her that my contract clearly states that all vendors will be paid directly by the client.

Oddly enough, I have not heard back from her.

SCAM-STOPPER SMARTS
What I've learned from this experience is this:


The only safe way to accept payment from overseas is by credit card. All other forms of payment can be forged or fraudulent and have no backup plan.

Get a second opinion. One bank that I spoke with advised me to accept a wire transfer from the client because the money would have to be in the sender's account for the transfer to take place. However, a second banker let me know that to do that would mean giving out my bank account number and routing number, giving the criminal total access to my account.

Don't believe that the details make it legit. These scammers are good at the little details. She sent me a photo of her and her fiance, gave me background on their relationship right down to the names of their dogs, and told me exactly which flowers and colors she wanted included in the decor. She was not, however, attentive to what would seem the more obvious details, such as the traceable phone number and the fake check from an American bank. Why do you need me to send U.S. funds if you have access to an American financial institution?

The FBI is not interested in preventing crime as much as catching criminals. I was told by the agency that giving them the information on the people who were trying to scam me was not going to do any good. They don't have the manpower to investigate every claim but could only try to help those who had already been scammed and lost money.

Father really does know best.

Tess said...

They took nearly $10,000 from us, and after we figured it out we just stopped emailing them. I'm fighting the urge to yell and scream, and am doing anything I can now to make this right. The FBI and local authorities are of no help, so if anyone has ideas I would very much appreciate it. Also, I received the following email from another couple last week - it came via a Weddingchannel.com inquiry form:

Customer Name : Linda Jones
Email : linda_jones147@yahoo.com
Phone :
Wedding Date : 8/29/2008

Comments: How are you? I am Linda Jones basically from San Juan, Puerto Rico. I'll be coming over to Minnesota soon to start my new job with my company branch and I'll be getting married just before then to my lovely guy named David who's French by nature..So we need a wedding planner who can make our event a glorious day because we require the best for the best memories for our children in future and as a matter of fact we have made a good budget for the best on our wedding day. Our wedding date is 29th, August 2008 and our estimated budget is about $25,000 while our estimated number of guests that will be attending both the ceremony and reception are 50 People. We prefer the ceremony and reception event to take place in a location because most of our families in Europe will be present for this wonderful occasion. We hope this helps for now! Kindly let us know if you'll be able to take care of things for us. Enjoy all the pleasantries that comes with this day! Linda & David

This email is nearly word for word what Katty from Germany wrote to us earlier! Who are these people?!?!?!

Thank you for your support and suggestions~
tess@detailseventdesigns.com

Anonymous said...

I just got this email myself and we almost fell for it, but I was feeling this was too good to be true. Thanks guys for all your info!

melody said...

I'm a wedding planner and received th exact same email, only this time, they were moving to Colorado!

It is basically word-for-word. I'm contacting the police and hopefully they will be able to do something as I haven't received any checks from them or anything like that.

I'll let you all know if something comes up!

Percy said...

Hi All,

I also received the emails. The amazing this is that this person even negotiated my contract. Here is the string of emails so you know what to look for...it sounds like all of us who has had conversations has had the same experiece.

Email 1 (Titled Wedding Planner):
My name is Angelina Kenth, from Germany,Hamburg (Europe ). I will be coming over to California with my Husband James Phillips who's French by nature but has actually naturalised in Germany.
We'll be moving to the US to start a new life because my husband to be just got a job with the Coca-cola Co. in CA and i have made plans of opening my new kiddies fashion store in CA as soon as we are settled in.
Just before then we will be getting married on the 25th of October, 2008 and we have decided to get married in THE STATES since we're moving on and we pretty know our new move would be wonderful.
We will be needin' a good wedding planner to take care of our wedding event both ceremony and reception for our guests and our convenience because we require the best for the best memories for our children in future and as a matter of fact we have made a good budget for the best on our wedding day.
We prefer the ceremony and reception event to take place in a location and we are expecting at most 60 guests on the day of our occasion because most of our families in Europe and in the United Kingdom will be present for this wonderful occassion.
Also, we would like you to know we prefer the reception and ceremony to take place in a location for the convenience of our guests and would love the ceremony to be in a garden setting and the reception in an indoor location in Ojai, CA, or surrounding areas because the weather is unpredictable at this time of the year.
We haven't made any venue reservations yet but we are sure the wedding planner can do that on on our behalf as we are looking for a customized wedding planning package that involves virtually every aspect of planning except the band which we are already making arrangements for. The total wedding budget is 25,000$US.
Please let us know if you can help work with us for the success of our event and can help work within our budget as we're not opened to spending a dollar more than the above bidget?
Thanks and God ble
Angelina&Jamesss,

After receiving this I did an introductory email and they came back with the following email.

Email 2 (titled Details):
Hello Percy,

Thanks for your response!
We will definitely love to work with you!! Oh and we will understand if we are only able to have an indoor wedding in October because of the weather as we didn't realise this before and an evening event will be perfect indoors

Well i'm used to calling James my husband because we are getting married and nothing's changing that fact 'cause we have come a long way together. My husband and i will be arriving Town on the 29th of September this year which is the only time we'll be available for a face to face consultation because we would like to finish our work here and also spend more time with our family and loved ones before coming as we might not be chanced to spend as much time with them..

Actually it was a friend of mine in Spain who just got married in New York that referred me to the Website i viewed your advert and eventually visited your website and to our surprise you got a great chance of working with us as your style is preferably intriguing.

We will be needing a wedding planner to work with us as we are foreigners to enable a wonderful and memorable occasion, we need your full planning services because our work schedule is pretty tight and there will be no way to do the planning from here without your support as a professional planner so for this reason, we need a full planning package.
This is a list of Vendors we will be needing for our event; a photographer, a videographer, a florist, a make up artiste, caterer, cake, a DJ, band.

Our colours are Pink, violet, blue and green to choose from, we'll be having 8 members of the bridal party and our favorite flowers are roses.

Our wedding gown and tuxedo will be bought in Italy and most of our guests will be coming to the states for our wedding at their own expense. You'll get to know alot more about us as time goes on though.

Our entertainment band will be coming in from Benin Republic , It's a french coupe de calien african band, they're marvelous.

We would like to know how much you'll need to make our day a wonderful one as we will only need you to work within our budget to prevent any disappointment or breech in agreement in future, we'ld just like to know the exact amount you require for our desired full planning package that involves hotel reservations and shuttle from the airport for some guests to be sure the planning cost is within our budget?

We can talk about the contract as soon as we're sure your cost for planning is within our budget.

Please feel free to ask anything else as you should know time's not on our side, and don't hesitate to let us know if you are willing to help... You can contact us via e-mail for now.

Have a wonderful day!

Thanks,
Angelina

I emailed her back with my pricing and details and asked if she wanted a contract. The next email is her negotiating.

Email 3 (Details continued):
Hope you're doing well!

Also we are only able to pay 10% of the budget to our wedding consultant.

Let us know if this OK with you.

Enjoy a pleasant day and we hope the read from you soon!

Warmest regards,
Angelina.

Told her that my fees were firm and the following email followed:

Email 4 (Titled More about us):
Great to read from you again! We're well pleased!!

Well we are easy to get to know and as a matter of fact we are opened to be read like a book.
James and i met in Paris , in the year 1998 and that was how it all started. I travelled to Paris to see my grand ma and eventually met James in my grand ma's mansion, he was her personal accountant. To my surprise he spoke english very well unlike other french nationals around and he was the only other person i could talk to except my grand ma. He was nice enough to have me say a yes to an invitation for dinner after a few days that we've met and that was how he started getting closer to my heart and after my visit to my grand ma's i was back in Germany and James didnt stop calling me everytime to wish me well and tell me how much he missed me, he didnt give up on me even when there's so much distance between us and one day he promised to visit me in Germany which he did. This actually triggered my feelings for him and we started a relationship from there and got engaged in July 2002.
In February 2003 he got a job with the Coca-cola company in Hamburg as an Auditor and ever since we've been together as one. We share so many things in common and we love kids alot though we haven't started giving birth yet until after our marriage.
More about us, we are christians, well mannered, easy going, great sense of humour, peace loving, quite out going, we love flowers. We love to swim, dance, go out to the movies, love sports, James loves water skiing and i love skating.
We would also love to know more about you and your family, are you married, do you have any child? I hope this isn't prying though if it is then you don't have to answer.
The cost of your services is pretty okay by us. We will like you to start planning as soon as possible. We'll also like you to come up with contract for our review and approval We'll be needing also your detailed contact information that your name to make deposit check payable and mailing instructions not a PO BOX to have it sent to you.

Please let us know if this is pretty okay by you, we have attached a picture to this message for you to put a face with our e-mails.

Our full names are Angelina Kenth and James phillips and the address is Sengelmannstrasse, 80 Hamburg, 22335,Germany.

So I sent her a contract and background information about me to make her feel comfortable. The following was emailed back. A signed contract.

Email 5 (Contract Approval and Payment Update):
How are you doing today? Thriving!!!
Thank you for your support and concern relating the planning of our wedding, we hope and pray things work out for us perfectly well as will be planned by you.
We are very sorry we haven't been able to write to you for sometime now because i have been away on a trip to London for shopping, i went to buy some clothing materials for the store.

We have reviewed your contract properly and we have approved of it!

We have also signed the contract and it's attached to this message please countersign on the receipt of this contract and email back to us for our records.

Also, we have already instructed my fiance's client in New York to help us mail in your payment to you on monday morning which you'll receive on wednesday unfailingly.

We'll be waiting to hear from you soon, have a nice and wonderful day!

Sincerely,
Urs Angelina

After reading this my guards went up, because why would a client in NYC be mailing me my deposit? Anyway never received a check within the week, so I did not think about it anymore, figured they will get in touch with me if something happened.

Email 5 (titled Here is a concern):
Hope you had a wonderful sunday!

Thank you for your support and concern relating the planning of our wedding, we hope and pray things work out for us perfectly well as will be planned by you. We're sorry for not getting back to you sooner as things have been very very stressful these days that is work and family problems.

We are happy to inform you that your deposit payment has been mailed out to you via UPS since you said you needed it ASAP to get started and will be delivered to your provided address information tomorrow morning unfailingly. Check was made out to your name as you've instructed and here is the tracking number for the package J214 793 415 2 you can track and confirm package status via http://www.ups.com for more details.
A cashiers check for a total amount of US$5800.00 was sent from which we would like you to deduct a first deposit fee of $2000 for you to get started with and kindly help us send out the rest of the funds to our french entertainment band for their deposit through western union as they will be responsible for music on our wedding reception so we have to make sure it is taken care of now because they'll be flying in from out of town..

Once that is taken care of we can go ahead with the venue plans and reservations immediately as well as hotel accommodations for our guests.

Well you might be wondering why we cant do this on our own, but we are very busy at this time of the year as we have to make sure everything here is properly taken care of before our BIG move to the US as you should know too well we have our own responsibilities and jobs here which is also very important to us.

Currently i am in my mother's house taking care of her as she is diabetic and just got discharged from the hospital after several weeks of admission. I am to make sure she is eating well and using all her medications properly because i dont ever pray to loose her.

As for James his job keeps him very busy from monday through saturday and he travels alot. He even had to instruct someone in the united states to mail the check to you on his behalf if you remember me mentioning that in a previous message.

Please let us know if you can help with the band's deposit immediately so we can forward the necessary information needed to do the transfer in another email message? Do you know any western union store you can get the band's transfer done?

We'll be hoping to hear from you soon??

Enjoy all the pleasantries that comes with this day!

Most Sincerely,
Angelina.

This really gave me read flags and emailed her that I was very uncomfortable with this arrangement and felt more comfortable if they paid the band directly. I stated that in my contract they are responsible for paying vendors directly and signing vendor contracts. So I told her that if she mailed me a check I would have to hold it for 30 days before doing anything withit.

Then i started to do some more research on wedding scams and came across this site. Thank goodness for that. I was a little disappointed but at the same time a little relieved that I had not deposited or even recieved a check. So I promptly emailed them back and stated that I can no longer be their planner because I felt as though it was a scam and emailed them the link to this with emails verbatim to what they sent me.

So hopefully this will help others. I have to thank some of my vendors for giving me a heads up early on and to watch my back and when they said they were mailing me a check for an amount more than my deposit, I felt like a total dummy, but at least we all learn from this.

Percy

Cassandre said...

Has anyone received any from a woman and her fiance that are in the Navy and are out on the Mediterrean Seas, but live in Virgina? I've gotten so many scams latley, I can't trust anyone......As an event planning community, there has got to be something we can do..

Megan said...

Hello I just started my own website/business in wedding planning and am still young and apparently "dumb" because I believed the email and had began calling around to locations etc. after loosing my dad the same day in which i recieved the email I thought this is just what I needed something to FINALLY go right! WRONG!!!! A man at one of the venues told me about the scam I then googled it finding this site my email is word for word the same email except thier name was Lucie & Bertin ... Needless to say I was pretty upset because this would have been my first wedding. The man said two other people he knew had lost money from this scam. PLEASE DON'T LET THIS BE YOU AND SORRY IF IT ALREADY WAS!!

... Its a shame that of course the authorties "can't" WONT do anything about it!....

Megan

Anonymous said...

I recieved the same e-mail from "Elizabeth" and I'm glad I found this site. I sent her a proposal and told her to get back to me. When she gets back I'm going to respond with a link to this page and say "Thanks For Wasting My Time!"

Angie said...

Received the same one... different name, same scam. Here is another name they are using....

Fortunately did not lose any money, because my bank has a hold on any cashiers checks...thank GOD! Hoping to catch these people and make them pay.

From: mariam jones
Email: mariamjones35@yahoo.com

Message:
Hello, Hope you're having a nice time! I am getting in touch with you concerning our wedding taking place this year in Des Moines. My name is Mariam Jones from Ireland (currently working and living in Ireland, Europe). I am coming over to Des Moines with my fieance Charles Ronald Oliverio who's french by nature but has actually naturalised in Ireland.
We'll be starting a new beginning together 'cause my husband to be just got a job inIA .We will be getting married on the 7th of November, 2008 and we have decided to get married in The States since we're moving on and pretty know our new home would be wonderful and a good location to raise kids.
We will be needin' a good planner to take care of our wedding occasion both ceremony and reception for our guests' convenience because we require the best for the best memories for our children in future and as a matter of fact we have made a good budget for an outstanding event.

Please let us know if you can help plan a wonderful occasion, a success!


Merci Beaucoup,
Mariam Jones

Sincerely Yours Events said...

Hello,

I am Tiffany O'Neill an event planner from Miami, Fl. I have also just received one of these scam e-mails! They actually got to the point where I received the money. Thank God I started googling and found this blog! I would have been out $5000!

Just wanted to let everyone know they're still on this scam, only this time it's Katie & John from Puerto Rico & France.

Tiffany.

Tiffany ONeill said...

It's Tiffany again... guess what?
I just got another e-mail this time it's from Julian Pat in Ireland who is moving over to the US with her Irish by nature fiance. I cannot believe that they would try to scam me twice in a row!

We need to take action, the FBI basically told me it was a lost cause... but this is getting ridiculous.

Would anyone be interested in writing with me to some high end news programs and getting the word out there?

If so, please e-mail me at tiffanyoneill@sincerelyyoursevents.com

Thanks!

Tiffany

samara brown said...

i am so glad i found this site! I just received this email over the weekend from Julian Pat of Ireland quoting the exact same thing that all of the commenters have mentioned.

I am glad I found this site because something just didnt sit well with me. Actually, I tried to respond to her email with a contract and my emails kept bouncing back to me. I was trying to google a number for her to send her the contract. To my surprise -- its a scam!

I am still not understanding how companies lost money over this. Are they somehow gaining access to your accounts and taking money out? Or is it just fake money that's not really there and people are spending it?

Debi said...

Hi Gang,
I too have received numerous scam emails and was nearly taken, one wanted to fly me to England (I live in Washington State) to plan a convention for the Iron, Steel & Rubber convention. An event that was to take place three weeks from the email!

But the first scam that nearly got me was from a father who was out of the country wanted to plan an extravagant birthday party for his five year old daughter. The scam was very elaborate and I was to send money to his caterer in Colorado. He even sent me copies of the supposed caterers drivers licenses! When I began sharing my doubts with this guy via email, he actually called me, begging me not to cancel as his "daughter" would be so upset ... fortunately his phone call was the final red flag that sent me packing ... he was from Nigeria!

Someone mentioned earlier in this blog that accepting credit cards was the best route, but that's how this guy almost got me. The credit card they used was stolen, but it cleared my bank! The credit card company explained that when it was discovered the card was stolen, I would be held liable for the full amount! Fortunately, I reversed the funds and was only out a few bucks for the handling fees.

Since I too found this site by googling the "bride's" name, I will include all my scammer's names as well ...
Jim Walsh
Wayne Copperfield
Kelvin Luciano
Reverend R. Beck at the Expectant Chapel of Christ (if you can believe it).

Needless to say, if I don't have a local, in-person contact, I ain't taking the gig!!!!

Beware!

Anonymous said...

I am an event planner in Los Angeles and we received almost the exact same email except they changed the wedding date and the state where they wanted to get married. They went as far as to sign a contract with us and also send a cashier check. Of course some of the money in the cashier's check needed to be sent to their "band." We went as far as to deposit the check and drive to Western Union to wire the bands money before putting the pieces together. It's crazy and a total SCAM!

Nathan Reimer said...

Hi,

We received the exact same email as many previous commentators. We emailed back for more information and received the exact same reply as well.

I knew it was 99% likely a scam, but I thought I would at least see what they would say. It's amazing how specific, yet still had many red flags. An "unexperienced" vendor could easily fall for these.
A few years ago I received a similar email and even received a cashier's check, which my bank verified it was a fake.

I also found a website of people who try to scam the scammers, www.419eaters.com and www.419baiter.com.

Their advice was to run away since these scammers can be dangerous. Don't give out any personal information and tell them that you know this is a scam and are reporting it to the police. They should leave you alone after that.

Please tell all of your fellow vendors.

Nathan Reimer said...

Just to follow up on my previous comment. Don't assume that these emails are from internationals and likely not even a woman.

I received a picture in one of the emails, to try to persuade me that these are real people. The image is not the sender of the email.

Here's the image: Debbie and Richard are scammers.

Anonymous said...

We are a wedding planning company in Amsterdam in The Netherlands. We received exactly the same mails with all the extensive details. After the first one already I felt this was not okay. We are going to send "Lizzy" an email back that "We are on to her". We googled Lizzy's name and found this site. We will warn other dutch wedding planners.

Richard Mrkel said...

These scams have been going for 10 years and I am sure will continue. There is no way to warn everyone, even if we got the media involved. I just located a site that will at least make you laugh at the scammers as they are being targeted. On our home page at http://afwpi.com is a link on the right side (green button) Look for the Scam Baiters link.

Again, these scams are worldwide. They target all businesses and level of business accumin.

Best Regards
Richard

Elizabeth Kelley said...

I recieved this email from a lady named Tracey Jones and it went into alot of details. I was alittle hesitant at first but she kept up with everything I told her and was very nice.
I recieved a phone call from a gentleman this morning, the country code came from Nigeria!

here is teh enitial email i got
The Email addresses are
tranes111j@yahoo.com and larry_don1d@yahoo.com

Hello Once Again Eliz,

Thanks for your response!
We will definitely love to have someone work with us!! Oh and we will understand if we are only able to have an indoor wedding in November because of the weather as we didn't realize this before and an evening event will be perfect indoors.
Well i'm used to calling Larry my husband because we are getting married and nothings changing that fact 'cause we have come a long way together. My husband and i will be arriving Town on the 20th of September this year which is the only time we'll be available for a face to face consultation because we would like to finish our work here and also spend more time with our loved ones before coming as we might not be chanced to spend as much time with them after we get married..



We will be needing you as a wedding planner to work with us as Larry foreigner and we both leave outside the states to enable a wonderful and memorable occasion, we need your full planning services because our work schedule is pretty tight and there will be no way to do the planning from here without your support as a professional planner so for this reason, we need a full planning pricing package/customized package.



This is a list of Vendors we will be needing for our event; a photographer, a videographer, an MC, a florist, a make up artiste, caterer, cake & a DJ.We would also be using a musical band artiste but we have our own choice of French musical band.

We would like to know how much you'll need to make our day a wonderful one as we will only need you to work within our budget to prevent any disappointment or breech in agreement in future, we'ld just like to know the exact amount you require for our desired full planning package that involves hotel reservations and shuttle from the airport for some guests, to be sure the planning cost is within our budget?


We can talk about a contract as soon as we're sure your cost for planning is within our budget.

Please feel free to ask anything else as you should know time's not on our side, and don't hesitate to let us know if you are willing to help in planning... I Tracey personally keep a close update on our email box, so just mail us anytime and we will respond with immediate effect .

Have a wonderful day!

Regards,
Tracey .



Detailed email-
Great to read from you Elizabeth! We're well pleased with your updates!!Well we are easy to get to know and as a matter of fact we are opened to be read like a book.
Larry and i met in Haiti, in the year 2000 and that was how it all started. I traveled to Haiti to see a cousin of mine and eventually we met in my cousin's mansion. Larry was a neighbor to my cousin , he made lots of surprises and in fact he was nice enough to have me say a yes to an invitation for dinner after a few weeks that we've met and that was how he started getting closer to my heart and after my visit to my cousin i was back to SC and Larry didn't stop calling me every time to wish me well and tell me how much he missed me , he didn't give up on me even when there's so much distance between us and one day he promised to visit me , which he surprisingly did. This actually triggered my feelings for him and we started a relationship from there and got engaged in July 2004.Larry is just a guy full of surprises to me.
In February 2006 he got a job with a Consulting company in San Juan as a co-coordinator and ever since then we've been living together as one. We share so many things in common and we love kids a lot though we haven't started giving birth to any yet until after our marriage.
More about us, we are Christians, well mannered, easy going, great sense of humor, peace loving, quite out going, we love flowers. We love to swim, dance, go out to the movies, love sports, Larry loves water skiing and i love skating.
We would not mind knowing more about you and your family too, are you married ?, do you have any child ? I hope this isn't praying though if it is then you don't have to answer.
The cost for your services is pretty okay by us as it fits in very well into our budget.
We haven't secured any hotel nor have any in mind for our out of town guests but we are sure you can do that for us and if you think it will be more stressful please let us know so we can figure that out ourselves. We would love the reception and ceremony to hold in a location so our guests won't have to travel from one location to the other and a hotel isn't bad for a location.
The description of our perfect wedding is ELEGANT (simple)! Yes the actual budget is $30,000 US and we are expecting at most 60 attendants.
We have some pictures of us both attached to this mail for you , just to enable you view what your potential customers look like
We will be willing to send a deposit to you immediately for you to get started which is what we are comfortable with. We can overnight a cashiers check to you as soon as we have your go ahead or i can call Larry now to talk to his accountant to do so on his behalf, if this is acceptable kindly let us know your Full-Name on which a pay check can be issued on and have it sent to your physical contact address, NOT a PO box..Please get us all the informations ..
We will make sure the contract or letter of agreement is done to be sure we are pretty comfortable with everything there in and we will approve it by printing it out, signing properly with the use of a pen and scan back to you via email.You can contact Larry directly via email at larry_don1d@yahoo.com for consultation if preferred.

Does the planning package include vendor bookings? Because we will need you to help us with that too.
Waiting to read from you soon.

Have a terrific day!

Sincerely,
Tracey & Larry .


I also recieved pictures from them!

Wow this sucksI am so upset that no one will do anything!
I guess all of us just need to keep our eyes and ears available!

Liz

avae64 said...

Hello every body,
My name is Véronique Ibarrart, I'm writting from Biarritz (south west of France)
I had the same problem, they took me 4000€.
Their names:
- James Allen Cross
- Graham Foster
- Dr John Bliss
I sent lots of mails to many Wedding planners professional internet book in France, Australia, and even New Zeland and planty of them were approched.
Another name is on internet lately
Paula Martini
So your not the only one, they're international scams
The 3 differents mails I received within 2 months
Sincerely,
Véronique from avaé-mariage64


James Allen Cross
Hello,

My Name is Mr Cross James Allen,

I am looking for an experienced wedding planner who will handle my wedding and arrange the reception dinner for a group of people who will be attending the wedding ceremony.

The wedding is expected to hold on the 23rd of August 2008 and 25 to 40 guests are expected to attend. As i do not know what the guests might choose for their meals and drinks, i will make a prepayment as initial deposit for this booking via credit card once availability is confirmed by you.All checks and balances will be made with you on 23rd July which is the final day of the booking, You are to arrange for a a venue for the wedding (its a civil wedding), a place for the reception ,Videography,Music Entertainment,Photography,cake and flowers. Also, i am expecting 6 V.I.P guests (3 couples)to arrive with me and my fiance 7 days before the wedding. You are to make arrangements for for 5 double rooms in a good hotel.

If there is any these items that is beyond your capability,you let us know so that another company can handle it. Get back to me with your response as we don't have much time with us so that we can process our accommodation within the region more convenient for you and us.

Pleas get back to me via my personal email which is allencrj@live.com

Best Regards,
Mr Cross James Allen
+44-704-575-2007
01144-704-575-2007
allencrj@live.com

Graham Foster

Hello,
My name is Graham Foster, I have a couple who are my clients and they want your organisation to plan their private wedding in your country for 22nd November, 2008.
They will want you to among others:
a) plan the wedding
b) the honeymoon
c) advice on the choice of the venue and type of ceremony
d) to the complete organization of the civil and religious documents;
e) consultancy and assistance regarding the cocktail and reception;
f) consultancy and organization of any type of flower arrangements,
g) photography.

Expected guests for the wedding will be 29.

They want to have the estimated cost of your services(Strictly wedding planning) to know if it is within their budget.
Please get back to me with your estimated cost of your services.Other arrangements will be discussed later.

Thank You,
Graham Foster.
+447024067778.

Dr John Bliss

Hello,
My Name is Dr John Bliss,
I am looking for an experienced wedding planner who will handle my wedding and arrange dinner for a group of people who will be attending the wedding ceremony.Seven will arrive few days before the wedding day.

The wedding is expected to hold on the 12th
september,2008 and 25 to 40 guests are expected to attend. As i do not know what the guests might choose for their meals and drinks, i will make a prepayment as initial deposit for this booking via credit card once availability is confirmed by you.All checks and balances will be made with you on 25th August which is the final day of the booking, You are to arrange for a Videography,MusicEntertainment,Photography,Officiant/
Priest & Church,cake,flowers and hall.If there is any these items that is beyond your capability,you let us know so that another company can handle it. Get back to me with your response as we don't have much time with us so that we can process our accommodation within the region more convenient for you and us.

I will have to contact me on
{+44-702-407-4496,+44-702-407-3357} and also on my email best.travels@yahoo.com

Best Regards,

Sharon said...

Well the scammers have adopted new names, Mary Kent and Mike Follet, and have made it to Kansas City.

I am grateful that I decided to do some researching...this is the second scam email I've received in the last 5 months!

Alvar Lifestyle & Events said...

Hi! My name is Darlene from Alvar Lifestyle & Events and we plan destination weddings in Italy and Canada and we just got scammed! We received an email a few days ago from a certain "Paula Martini" and her fiance "Charles Olivieri" who live in France and want to get married in Canada in December of this year since Charles will be relocating for work with Coca Cola. At first we thought this was too easy and too good to be true so we were a bit cautious but we went along with it but thanks to this blog we have confirmation now that it is a scam. We unfortunately sent them a contract with our banking information for a wire transfer as that is the only way we would accept money from overseas. I called our bank to put a red flag on our account but they said that the scammers should not be able to do anything-let's hope! I think these scammers are in France or some other French speaking country as they wanted to communicate with us in French and being Canadian we were able to do this.

Here are some more words for those who are googling:

Mlle Paula Martini
Mr Charles Oliverio
Av georges clémenceau
29200 Brest
FRANCE

I just don't understand what they get out of this. All that work in responding to our emails giving us so much detail on colours of flowers, type of venue,type of music, menu detail etc. They definately have lost of time on their hands and obviously have been able to get some money out of this from some planners or they wouldn't keep doing it. Let's hope that by getting the word out we can help stop them from scamming others!

Alvar Lifestyle & Events said...

I forgot to mention that the first big red flag I noticed is that Paula Martini's email is martini.paula@yahoo.com.br. What is woman from France, who supposedly only speaks French, doing with a Brazil Yahoo email account? Things we need to be more cautious of!

MsKate said...

I received a similar email last night and the red flags started going off right away! I don't understand what they can gain from this. Just way too many details!! Here is what I received-it is identical to the letter someone a few posts above received:

Names: Donald Taylor
Email: donaldb2ktc01@yahoo.com

Hello, My Name is Mr Donald Taylor, I am looking for an experienced wedding planner who will handle my wedding and arrange the reception dinner for a group of people who will be attending the wedding ceremony. The wedding is expected to hold on the 21th of Nov 2008 and 25 to 40 guests are expected to attend. As i do not know what the guests might choose for their meals and drinks, i will make a prepayment as initial deposit for this booking via credit card once availability is confirmed by you.All checks and balances will be made with you on 28th July which is the final day of the booking, You are to arrange for a a venue for the wedding (its a civil wedding), a place for the reception ,Videography, Music Entertainment,Photography,cake and flowers. If there is any these items that is beyond your capability,you let us know so that another company can handle it. Get back to me with your response as we don't have much time with us so that we can process our accommodation within the region more convenient for you and us. Best Regards, Donald....

Anonymous said...

I got the Elizabeth and Donald email within two days of each other, I responded to both but thought this was kind of interesting to get two random emails but with very indepth details so I responded but I thought I should do some research. Thanks for this blog it really saved me time and money.

Tammie

Anonymous said...

Hello...I too run an event planning firm in the Delaware area. I also received an email from "Elizabeth Hyde Johnson" regarding a September 13, 2008 wedding in Delaware. It just so happened that she sent this from a Yahoo account that left HTML coding in the body of the email.

While she was planning a "DE wedding" she also had a planner in Chicago thinking she was getting married on 9/6/2008 in IL. I found the planner's information and sent her an email to find out what was going on. After speaking for about 10 minutes, I googled her name and came up with this site! Thank you so much!!!! Oh and the email is verbatim as the rest of you have mentioned...see below...
--------------
How are you doing? Thriving!!!
>
> My name is Elizabeth Hyde Johnson , from Enfield in middlesex UK (England
). I
> will be coming to Wilmington, DE after my shopping trip with my Husband
Michael
> Green who\'s French by nature to start his new work with the
Coca-cola in
> Wilmington, DE . And just before then we will be getting married on the
13th of
> September , 2008. We need a good wedding planner to take care of our
wedding
> both reception and ceremony. We require the best for the best memories for
we &
> our children in future and as a matter of fact we have budgeted 25,000 US
> dollars for this special event.
>
> Also, the ceremony and reception event will be taking place in a location
and we
> are expecting at most 50 guests on the day of our occassion because most
of our
> families in Europe and in the United Kingdom will be present for the
occassion.
>
> However, we would like you to know the reception and ceremony will be
taking
> place @ 1 location which the ceremony event would be in a garden location
or
> outdoor while the reception takes place indoors, we are still about to
make
> reservation though but we are making progress with that.
>
> Please let us know if you\'re able to help .
>
>
>
> Sincerely,
>
>
>
> Lizzy & Michael
-------
Email #2
We would definitely love to work with you!!
Well i'm used to calling Michael my husband because we are getting married and nothing's changing that fact 'cause we have come a long way together.

My husband and i will be arriving in town on the 9th of August 2008 because we would like to finish our work here and also like to spend so time with our family and loved ones before coming as we might not be chanced to spend as much time with them after our BIG move.

Actually it was a friend of mine in Spain who just got married in the states that referred me to the Website i viewed your advert and eventually visited your website and to our surprise you got a great chance of working with us as your style is preferably intriguing.

We will be needing a wedding planner to work with us as we are foreigners to enable a wonderful and memorable event, we need customized full planning package because our work schedule is pretty tight and there will be no way to do the planning from here without your support as a professional planner so for this reason, we need you.

This is a list of Vendors we will be needing for our event;,a photographer, a videographer, an MC, a florist, a make up artiste for all the ladies in the bridal party and myself, caterer, cake, a DJ, band, invitations for our US guests, save the dates and we are expecting at most 50 guests , this include ourselves . Our theme colors are Light pink and Royal blue .

Our entertainment band will be coming in from Benin Republic, It's a french coupe de calien band, they're marvelous.

Also, we would like you to know we prefer the reception and ceremony to take place in a location for the convenience of our guests and would love the ceremony to be in a garden setting and the reception in an indoor location in Wilmington or surrounding areas because the weather is unpredictable at this time of the year.

We would like to know how much you'll need to make our day a wonderful one as we will only need you to work within our budget to prevent any disappointment or breech in agreement in future , we just need to know the exact amount you require to be sure the planning cost is within our budget and then we can start making arrangements for your deposit needed for you to get started?

Please feel free to ask anything else as you should know time's not on our side, and remember it will be better to contact us via email for now okay and don't hesitate to let us know if you are willing to help...

Have a wonderful Day!

Thanks,

Lizzy & Michael

kc planner said...

Well Mr Cross James Allen is on the prowl again this was my email:
Dear Chantay,

I have been speaking to my sponsors. They have agreed to send a check. Our logistic agent is taking care of the travel arrangements of all my guest coming from various continent. When the checks get to you, you will take 20% as initial deposit and send the balance to my logistic agent whose information will be sent to you as soon as you have the funds.

The first check you will be receiving will be for $70,000. After this, the next check you will receive will cover the balance for the wedding planning.

Get back with the following information for the check.

Name to be on the check
Address where the check is to be sent
Your mobile phone number.

I await the information. My fiance Alice Anderson is in Cuba. i will have her contact you so that she can answer your questions.

Cross Allen.
BIG SCAM then Debbie & Richard sent an email:Hello Chantay,
Thanks for your response, we appreciate!

We would definitely love to work with you!!
Well i'm used to calling Richard (my husband to be) because we are getting married and nothing's changing that fact 'cause we have come a long way together.
My husband to be and i will be arriving Kansas City, MIssouri on the 31st of October,2008 because we would like to finish our work here and also spend the vacation with our family and loved ones before coming as we might not be chanced to spend as much time with them after our BIG move.

Actually it was a friend of mine in Spain who just got married in the states that referred me to the Website i viewed your advert and eventually visited your website and to our surprise you got a great chance of working with us as your style is preferably intriguing.

We will be needing a wedding planner to work with us as we are foreigners to enable a wonderful and memorable event, we need customized full planning package because our work schedule is pretty tight and there will be no way to do the planning from here without your support as a professional planner so for this reason, we need you.
This is a list of Vendors we will be needing for our event;,a photographer, a videographer, an MC, a florist, a make up artiste for all the ladies in the bridal party and myself, caterer, cake,invitations for our US guests, save the dates and we are expecting at most 50 guests.
Our entertainment band will be coming in from Benin Republic, It's a french coupe de calien band, they're marvelous.

Also, we would like you to know we prefer the reception and ceremony to take place in a location for the convenience of our guests and would love the ceremony to be in a garden setting and the reception in an indoor location in Kansas City or surrounding areas because the weather is unpredictable at this time of the year.We would like to know how much you'll need to make our day a wonderful one as we will only need you to work within our budget to prevent any disappointment or breech in agreement in future, we just need to know the exact amount you require to be sure the planning cost is within our budget and then we can start making arrangements for your deposit needed for you to get started?
Please feel free to ask anything else as you should know time's not on our side, and remember it will be better to contact us via email or on my phone... +27784086323 for now okay and don't hesitate to let us know if you are willing to help...

Have a wonderful Day!
Thanks,
Debbie & Richard.
ANOTHER SCAM but I got hit 3 times third was:
Hello Chantay,
How are you doing today?thanks for your response and for making yourself available to plan my wedding,in fact we are so happy to meet you,we believe that you are going to give us the best.My fiance name is Florence Iven.

I have having a budget of $65,000 and the guest will be about 60-70.
I want you to know that this is what you will do concerning my wedding,you will help me to get a befitting wedding area for the location, a photographer, wedding cake, videographer, makeup and hair bride, DJ, and Reception Dinner that is all,i want to let you know that my company will be responsible for the payment of the wedding as they have promised
to send the payment to you by check to make things easy for us, the details of the wedding is not much as am in Uk to discuss in details and they have agree to send the first payment to you and out of it,you will help me also to book my pastor before i return to the State.

I am planning to come over to the State as soon as i finish the company assignment here with my fiance.Also,i want to know how much is the amount you will take first as your first deposit payment because i want you to book the minister too immediately you get the first payment.
I will like you to know that i have my pastor that will be coming for the wedding as the minister,he is my Sunday school teacher when i was teens and it is my great honor to have him as the minister on my wedding,it will really give my fiance a happy time to see him as the minister,all you will do it that when you get the first deposit payment,you will help me to secure the date with him so that i won't lose the date of the wedding.You can call me +44 703 194 3191 or send me a quick reply
Thanks

Timmy Frumy

SO BE CARE they are hard at work.....

KC Planner I too have a blog called wedding scammers

BE SAFE

Anonymous said...

This is definitely still going on. Got an email yesterday from "Lizzy and Micheal" in England wanting to Move to Atlanta with Coca Cola. I'm so glad that I did a web search for their names because I had a funny feeling about it. I'm glad I saw this website. I hope no one falls for this. Thanks for the warning!

Jo said...

hey there ~ and yesh. thanks for reaffirming the details for poor souls like us.

I am all the way from Singapore.

I had just received an email recently as follows:-

Hello,

My Name is Mr Donald Taylor,

I am looking for an experienced wedding planner who will handle my wedding and arrange the reception dinner for a group of people who will be attending the wedding ceremony.

The wedding is expected to hold on the 29th of Nov 2008 and 25 to 40 guests are expected to attend. As i do not know what the guests might choose for their meals and drinks, i will make a prepayment as initial deposit for this booking via credit card once availability is confirmed by you. You are to arrange for a a venue for the wedding (its a civil wedding), a place for the reception ,Videography, Music Entertainment,Photography,cake and flowers.

If there is any these items that is beyond your capability,you let us know so that another company can handle it. Get back to me with your response as we don't have much time with us so that we can process our accommodation within the region more convenient for you and us.


Best Regards,
Donald.....

Anonymous said...

I got the same e-mail:

lizzytamydoorhyde@yahoo.com

Hello ,

How are you doing? Thriving!!!

My name is Elizabeth Hyde Johnson , from Enfield in middlesex UK (England ). I will be coming to Dallas , TX after my shopping trip with my Husband Michael Green who's French by nature to start his new work with the Coca-cola in Dallas , TX . And just before then we will be getting married on the 4th of October , 2008. We need a good wedding planner to take care of our wedding both reception and ceremony.
We require the best for the best memories for we & our children in future and as a matter of fact we have budgeted 25,000 US dollars for this special event.

Also, the ceremony and reception event will be taking place in a location and we are expecting at most 50 guests on the day of our occassion because most of our families in Europe and in the United Kingdom will be present for the occassion.

However, we would like you to know the reception and ceremony will be taking place @ 1 location which the ceremony event would be in a garden location or outdoor while the reception takes place indoors, we are still about to make reservation though but we are making progress with that.
Please let us know if you're able to help .

Sincerely,

Lizzy & Michael

Jill Glasgow said...

Well, this scam is still going strong! I got the exact same e-mails, but luckily thought it was weird and asked my husband to look into it. He found your blog and said to end all communication. Once she asked for my physical address, not P.O. Box was when I started getting weirded out. This will go on my blog as well, hopefully letting more fellow planners know.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! Mike Follet strikes on e-bay too. My son was trying to sell one of his video game systems and here is the e-mail we received from the buyer...MIKE FOLLET. He indicated he would be sending a cashier's check:

"Hello Friend,
How are you today, Hope things are going on well with you, I saw
your item on ebay and i want to buy it for my son in New York, I am
out for business now in Germany and i want to buy for my son, I
don't know much about ebay my friend introduced ebay to me and
told me that the ebay seller will help me ship to my son in New York,
I will pay for all the shipment and tax charges.
Here is My Son's Address In New York,where i will love the item be
delivered to and also here is the shipment Informations below for
you to get the charges through FEDEX OR UPS GROUND
Name:OLASUBOMI LAWAL
Address:196 CLINTON AVE APT B1
BROOKLYN NY 11205-3423
I will need your full NAME,ADDRESS,CONTACT PHONE
NUMBER so i will be able to make the payment check for the item
available on your name.I will wait to read from you soon.
Thanks and Best Regards"

Notice that the name of the son in NY is fully Nigerian! With a dad who's name is Mike Follet in Germany...I think not. Also, the son's last name contains "LAWAL" which is part of another name listed on this site "OLAWALE". Looks like the name just gets massaged a bit.

My son is so disappointed, but glad we did not get scammed. My husband is the one who figured it out to be a scam. Whew!

Anonymous said...

We are located in Washington State and received the same emails from "Katie Florez and John Kiddy". Just wanted to alert everyone to the newest names in the scam. I had a weird feeling about this from the beginning, fortunately we found this blog before investing any time OR money.
THANK YOU!

Lauren said...

I'm shocked at how far this thing has gotten around. Thanks so much for posting this, if you hadn't I'm afraid I would be a victim too. I'm new to the event planning industry, and as soon as I started advertising more I started receiving all these emails. I was so excited, but now I'm just furious. Anyway this thing is hitting Mobile, AL too. Thanks again yall.

Kim Brooks said...

Well, I've been hit as well... Glad I googled the address! The names on this one were "Catherine & Jimmy" from France and Germany.

I originally thought it was suspicious but then went ahead and replied, when I got the second reply I sent a contract and details on what to do. Instead of receiving the contract in return, digitally signed, I got another email that re-stated everything from the first two and her asking for a contract.

I'm pretty pissed that this wasn't real, because I could have used the extra money. At least I have real clients.

FYI, the email on this is cathjoness19@rocketmail.com.

Anonymous said...

Oh this is what I got this week - I thought it was a little fishy. Like they said too many details and when I emailed back to ask their budget they emailed the same email or changed slightly but basically the same. They said they were wanting to get married in indy but then later said that they wanted a garden wedding in memphis (the wedding is in dec. very odd) so I emailed back and she ignored my questions. Needless to say I'm reporting it to decidio.com ( I had to pay for a scammer)

Thanks for your response, we appreciate!

We would definitely love to work with you!! Just that we are not presently in the states now.

Well i'm used to calling Robert my husband because we are getting married and nothing's changing that fact 'cause we have come a long way together.

My husband and i will be arriving Indiana on the 27th of november because we would like to finish our work here and also spend the season with our family and loved ones before coming as we might not be chanced to spend as much time with them after our BIG move.
Actually it was a friend of mine in Spain who just got married in the states that referred me to the Website i viewed your advert and eventually visited your website and to our surprise you got a great chance of working with us as your style is preferably intriguing.

We will be needing a wedding planner to work with us as we are foreigners to enable a wonderful and memorable event, we need customized full planning package because our work schedule is pretty tight and there will be no way to do the planning from here without your support as a professional planner so for this reason, we need you.
This is a list of Vendors we will be needing for our event;,a photographer, a videographer, an MC, a florist, a make up artiste for all the ladies in the bridal party and myself, caterer, cake, a DJ, band, invitations for our US guests, save the dates and we are expecting at most 50 guests.

Our entertainment band will be coming in from Benin Republic, It's a french coupe de calien band, they're marvelous.

Also, we would like you to know we prefer the reception and ceremony to take place in a location for the convenience of our guests and would love the ceremony to be in a garden setting and the reception in an indoor location in Memphis or surrounding areas because the weather is unpredictable at this time of the year.
We would like to know how much you'll need to make our day a wonderful one as we will only need you to work within our budget to prevent any disappointment or breech in agreement in future, we just need to know the exact amount you require to be sure the planning cost is within our budget and then we can start making arrangements for your deposit needed for you to get started?
Please feel free to ask anything else as you should know time's not on our side, and remember it will be better to contact us via email for now okay and don't hesitate to let us know if you are willing to help...

Have a wonderful Day!

Jillian.

Meg said...

They're hitting Oklahoma now, too. Here's the name:

Catherine Jones
Jimmy Bucker
cathjoness19@rocketmail.com
80 sengelmannstrasse , Ohlsdorf Hamburg Germany,postal code 22337

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for having this information posted! You saved my year!!!

Meghan Hurley, Concepts PR

Anonymous said...

Oh so this is what they replied when I said the check that they sent me would have to clear the bank (before we paid any vendors) to protect ourselves from possible scammers.

>Elizabeth,
am sorry to say this,what you've just said is so ridiculous,how can you be talking about scammers when we are talking our wedding here,so how do you want me to feel now after saying that and we having thousands of dollars with you and we trust you with it all and you dont trust us with a thousand nine hundred?Oh well am not happy with what i just read from you because i do not know what to do to hold our date with the musical band.
What i think is more important to us here is the wedding venue and the musical band,i want to beg you to please send the funds for the Band today so that our mind can be at rest concerning them,and do pay for venue as soon as funds are released to you .
When did the bank say funds will clear into your account?
Hoping that you will understand and do the issue of the Band as we demand.

Thanks in anticipation
Robert & Jill<

*this is their western union info. I thought the email address was a nice touch. *


Name: Adeyemo Abimbola O.
Add : 181,Olaonikpekun Carre
Aidjedo lane
City: Tokpa
State: Cotonou
Country: Benin Republic
Test question: Contact persons
Answer: Robert and Jillian
Amount: $1,900

Here is the e-mail for the musical Band where you can also reach them
with the transfer details immediately you send their payment:
faithofourfathers66@yahoo.com.
I will be waiting to read from you soon.

Their email address is from Zion Marley (nice)
ziontheplaceofthelord@yahoo.com

Their check came from The crypto rights foundation which is a registered non profit!

Heather said...

Oddly enough, i got the exact same thread but of course names are changed, followed by another wedding planner in tennessee that had the same emails, and received the same check. I have turned this information into the FBI, and suggest that we all get on there and tell them what is going on, these people didn't get US, but you know someone did. They are committing mail and banking fraud, and should be followed.

Shelly said...

Hello All!

I received emails from a couple named:
Christine Handley & Leo Garry

email: christinehandley@rocketmail.com

I am located in Tennessee in a VERY small area. I thought it was odd that a couple from Australia apparently that were already successful were moving to Tennessee. But I thought hey, I can give them a contract, collect the money and if it works out it works out! If not, I'm not going to lose any money! I explained my payment policy that I DO NOT under ANY circumstances, accept non-local personal/company checks. I emailed her at least once per day and kept getting vague answers or none at all and the run-around. I received the check via UPS and it was a company check when I opened it. The couple said their "client" in Tennessee who happened to be "Leo's cousin" would be sending me a money order with my deposit and the deposit for the "band". The amount I asked for and the amount received were different. I receieved a check from a company called Strang Communication that was based in Bloomington, IL. Immediately, red flags went up because I happen to have family that has lived in Bloomington and I knew the zip code was incorrect. I called the bank that was on the check and verified the account. It was an account number but they said the check would not clear because the balance was zero on the account. They asked for the amount of the check and I have a feeling other's have been getting scammed this way for the same account.

When the "band" emailed me back, there was part of a scrambled up email with all of the tags in it at the top of their message. At first I didn't pay much attention but then as I looked through all of the mess, I came across an email address, a name, and an email message that said she was Christine and Leo's wedding planner in Little Rock, Arkansas. I contacted her and we had received all of the same information. Luckily we are both smart enough to realize a scam!

She has baited the person a little more and has received the address, phone number, etc. Both of us have turned it in to the FBI and I will be contacting local authorities to find out what I can do!

To report any problems you have similar to this whether you have lost any money or not, please report it! Once they get at least two people, they see the pattern and it will be checked out! Here is the link:
https://complaint.ic3.gov/

I am new to the wedding business as well (this would have been my first wedding to occur...I'm planning one for a family member for March). I'm happy to know that I double check EVERYTHING before making final decisions and this was a very smart one indeed! Being out $7500 would not have been very easy to deal with!

Be careful out there because there will ALWAYS be someone trying to scam you in one way or another. Names and locations may change but in the end, all you end up is broke and broken-hearted!

Erin said...

We just got our first scam yesterday from Catherine Jones and Jimmy Bucker out of Joannessburg, South Africa. I thought it was strange because they were asking for a wedding photographer and we are listed as a videographer. I responded as such. I used to work for a bank and saw scams like these all the time. Unfortunately whenever I see something from Africa I am automatically suspicious because a lot of them come from there. The reason the FBI can do nothing is because once the money is sent out of the country, the FBI has no jurisdiction in the country you send the money to. Often those governments are corrupt so they are not going to prosecute their own people. If you are ever in question you can always take the check to the bank and ask them to "send the check out for collection". The bank will send the check to the originating bank but not credit your account in the mean time, so you cannot spend it. IF the check is legit, when the money is collected and sent back to your bank, they will credit you. However if it is bad, there will be no money. You may be out a small fee for "returned check". This process can take up to 90 days, unfortunately. Also, most banks have a fraud department and the bankers can get in contact with this department, they usually have a list of suspicious checks/running scams. Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

I am a wedding planner in Southern California and have also received a series of e-mails just like the ones that many people have posted. The difference for me is that when I initially received the e-mail , I already knew it was a scam and I have been lurring these people in to build a case against them and hopefully put them behind bars. I have sent numberous vague e-mails back to the scammers and we are now at the point of negotiating the fee for my services. But here is the thing....these scammers make me so mad that I have turned into a private detective and spent way too much time researching how to catch these people (hey..bad economy..business is slow). So I took the e-mail that was sent from the scammer and did some research on its destination. Turns out it came from Washington, DC. Then I found out that the e-mail had a matching MySpace profile. So I went to MySpace to view the profile and sure enough it is a guy with the same name used in the e-mails and the profile says Washington DC!! There is even a picture!! I so badly want to catch this a**hole but feel so discouraged after reading other people's failed attempts with the FBI and stuff. What should I do? I think I have more evidence than most including his location and picture. Any suggestions?

Elizabeth said...

Just got these same emails from "Diane Presley and Robert Keen" from the UK. He's getting a job with coca-cola in San Jose, CA too! Such a bummer that I spent so much time corresponding with them, sending them photos, ideas, etc. I knew it was a total scam once I saw that I would have to send money to the french band in Africa. Now I just have to plan something clever to write back to these losers...

Anonymous said...

I have received the same e-mail as Mrs Browne received and described above.
People have nothing better to do..

Anonymous said...

This is the same exact scheme, I got the email yesterday from Elizabeth Hyde Johnson. It sounded weird from the get-go, I am warning all my fellow-vendors! I know an FBI agent, he is a friend of mine, and I am going to talk to him about this. This needs to be stopped ASAP. I am so sorry for anyone that was scammed! Thanks for posting to try to protect others from the same fate!!

Lindsay @ Bliss Events, LLC. said...

I also received a similar email from 'London Baileys'. I've posted this on my blog as well in hopes of reaching out to as many people as possible so nobody else has to deal with this. It's so unfortunate that we now have to be so cautious....thank you for posting this!

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I'm a wedding planner based in the UK and this e-mail now appears to be doing the rounds with us.
The sender is now a Jennifer Kenth and her and her HTB are from Quebec about to relocate to Coca Cola UK division. All the other details are still the same.
Looking at my webstats I had a hot from South Africa around the time the e-mail hit my inbox. Anyone want the IP address??

The other scam that is mentioned from the "Groom to be" is now being sent from a Dr Mark Anderson.

Liz.
MD Perfect Weddings & Parties

Daniela Castellarin said...

Hi All,
From Rome - I'm the Managing Director of a small wedding planning agency based in Rome/Italy, my name is Daniela Castellarin. I have received several messages from the scams that you have all mentioned during the past 3 months and just wanting to go to the "dead end" I have asked the scam to send me the first deposit for the enire event that I have quoted and accepted by him. The scam promised to send a bank cheque through and international courier from the UK (London) asking several times my mail address in Rome .....after 25days (!) I received a bank cheque through normal mail for UK Pounds 30,500 which I DID NOT CASH and have in my office as a "Souvenir Scam Cheque" ...
The check was issued by:
ANGEL ISLINGTON - 25, ISLINGHTON HIGH STREET, LONDON NI 9LJ - Tel. 08457 60 60 60 - the Check is from the HSBC Bank : www.ukbusiness.hsbc.com
The check no. : 100414
Sort Code : 40-03331
Account number : 11341898
These folks are all Nigerians trying to fraud companies of event planning in many countries. I'm lucky as my partner works as a bank accountant in Italy and made me aware at the beginning ....
Please be aware !
I wish you all the best !
Thanks for your kind attention.
Daniela Castellarin
Italy Italian Weddings
www.ItalyItalianWeddings.com

Anonymous said...

My company was targeting and thanks to this blog we avoided disaster. While I still may receive a check, I know not to cash it. Be aware they are using Catherine Jones and Jimmy Bucker now!

Anonymous said...

My mom received the same emails but realized it was a scam when they wanted her to wire money to the band. Names used:
Jess Farrell and David
speedracingisfun.farrell@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this! It seems that no matter what name/ names they use, many of the "details" and broken word usage is the same. I received an email very much like the ones posted above yesterday. My business is located just outside of Charleston, SC. Beware that they're moving all over the country! And they're finding planners on theknot.com.

Anonymous said...

OMG! Ms. Linda Jones and Mr. John Kiddy have moved on to the west coast! I am a planner in the SF Bay Area and they gave me the same bull! I am furious being I have invested a lot of time trying to find a venue and vendors for her. They said my check was in the mail as well, I will not be cashing it!

I sent them my contract and I have not received it back. I thought it was too good to be true! I should have stuck to my gut feeling.

Thank you soo much to Rashana for advising us of this horrible scam!

What goes around, comes around..

Anonymous said...

Amazing! I got the same thing too!!. Her name is Linda Jone(bride) From France
Her fiancee is John Kiddy (groom) from UK
I looked into it and figured out her IP address is from California, which may not mean much.I had sent her an agreement and was waiting to hear back from her.I had specified that she would be paying for each vendor from her pocket. (maybe that is why she did not email back, lol) Something told me to look into this whole thing.I googled her email address. Linda_jones147@yahoo.com and found this site. THANK GOD!I sent her an email letting her know we are on to her and will be reporting her.

Here is part of one of her emails:




Hello Planner, Thanks for your response!

We will definitely love to work with you If you can make all the arrangement before the wedding day. Oh and we will understand if we are only able to have an indoor wedding in 12th of June, 2009 because of the weather as we didn't realize this before and an evening event will be perfect indoors. Also, we haven't secure any venue or location but we strongly believe you can help with that since your resident is within the area.

Well, I'm used to calling John my husband because we are getting married and nothings changing that fact 'cause we have come a long way together. I am presently in Paris while John is presently in UK for a business trip. My husband and I will be arriving Town on the 20th of MAY which is the only time we'll be available for a face to face consultation because we would like to finish our work here and also spend more time with our family and loved ones before coming as we might not be chanced to spend as much time with them...

We will be needing a wedding planner to work with us as we are foreigners to enable a wonderful and memorable occasion, we need your full planning services because our work schedule is pretty tight and there will be no way to do the planning from here without your support as a professional planner so for this reason, we need a full planning package. This is a list of Vendors we will be needing for our event; a photographer, a videographer, an MC, a florist, a make up artiste, caterer, cake, a DJ etc.

We would like to know how much you'll need to make our day a wonderful one as we will only need you to work within our budget to prevent any disappointment or breech in agreement in future, we'ld just like to know the exact amount you require for our desired full planning package that involves hotel reservations and shuttle from the airport for some guests to be sure the planning cost is within our budget?
We can talk about your contract as soon as we're sure your cost for planning is within our budget... and also we'll be delighted to forward you our agreement letter which you'll need to sign and scan back to us via email.

Please feel free to ask anything else as you should know time's not on our side, and don't hesitate to let us know if you are willing to help...

You can contact me via e-mail for now but you can reach John on this number during the weekend 'cos he's always busy with work... +447024012009

Have a wonderful day !

Thanks,

Linda & John

Anonymous said...

This is fan freakin'tastic! Linda Jones and John Kiddy are also getting married here in Tacoma this June. They must really have some money if they are going all over the place. This is so ridiculous. I am just starting out and thought this was perfect good thing that I haven't wasted too much time on them and definately am not out any money. But I thought you all would get a kick out of this. I sent them an email telling them about the internet scam and how I would not be able to accept international cashier checks and this is what they wrote back:
Thanks for your quick response, I'll want you to know that we are also aware of the on going fraud over the internet but we'll not for any reason send you a bad check to cash, I know this will be kinda hard due to the long distance between us but I assure you that all is going to be fine. Anyway, John had sent down your name and address to his client over there in the state for him to prepare you with a US cert. cashier check as I will always keep you posted on when and via which courier service will be delivering it to you ,okay.

And also, I'll get back to you later today with the signed copy of your contract letter.

Thanks and hope to read from you soon.

Warmest Regards,

Linda (Bride)


They have some high hopes if they think I will be helping them any time soon.

Anonymous said...

Ive received the same scam email but mine was from Jessica Farrell and David Ronin. They are suppose to be sending me a $3000 check tomorrow which I am to send 1000 to their "french coupe de calien band". I just googled that term being suspicious of the whole band money transfer and the google led me to this blog. THANK you all!!! I have six kids and just started my small wedding/event planning business. The Lord knows I can not afford to loose $3000. I will do all I can to get the word out there to all the wedding/event planner sites. Let us all try to cut them off at the legs by posting this info and warning where ever we can! Thanks Again, An Oregon Wedding Planner

Dana said...

Well, this scam is still alive and well. Below is the email I received from a Engr. William Walsh. I suspected something was not right, and when I called the phone number provided, a man answered and asked me to call back in 10 minutes. When I did, they just kept hanging up on me.
------------------
Hello,

My Name is Engr. William Walsh,I am looking for a good wedding planner who will handle our wedding.
The wedding is to hold on the 8th of August 2009 and 40 guests are expected to attend.
You are to arrange for Videography,Music,Entertainment,Photography,Officiant/Priest & Church,cake,flowers and Venue.If there is any of these items that you cannot take care of,do let us know so that another company can handle it.
As i do not know what the guests might choose for their meals and drinks and also charges for other vendors,i will make a prepayment as initial deposit for this booking via my credit card once availability is confirmed by you.All checks and balances will be made before the final day of the wedding,
Get back to me with your response as we don't have much time left so that we can also process our accommodation within the region.

Best Regards,
Engr. William Walsh,
Email:engrwwalsh@yahoo.co.uk

Anonymous said...

I Think we shouldn't blame every Scam on Nigerians,i am a Security Analyst with an IT security firm and we have detected scams and tracked down scams for people of different nationalities,Americans,hungarians,and most of all Asians.
Why should Nigerians always take the fall....this scammers do this acts with the coperation of their European conterparts and everyone overlooks that.
From the mails i read here,none of the addresses or locations come from Nigeri nor does any bear a Nigerian name..Pls we should try to stop giving a Dog a bad name just to hang it...Nigeria is changing and we are more resourceful than during the Military era where Scam was the order of the day.
Take care all and be careful.

Sarah said...

Couple more names to add to the list. Gail Morris gailmm8@gmail.com and gailm01@yahoo.com and "groom" Benson Cole, which is a name associated with another Nigerian scam. Thanks for all the postings.

Unforgettable Events said...

I came across the same email yesterday. Soemthing was not right I had this feeling in my gut. THen I talked to a friend in the industry and she had heard of it. So then I googled around and found this blog. Thank you so much. I posted it on mine as well. Email everyone I knew in the busssiness and even the local magazines. I know that several local ( San Antonio, TX) have fallen for it and gotten into a huge mess.

My brides name was Jessica Faller fom the UK.

Please beware and pass the word out as much as possible!!

Anonymous said...

THIS IS STILL HAPPENING! New names are Monica Panes and Garry Vale. Same script as all the others. Even went so far as to set up a fake facebook account. Thank God I did not get the cashier check. I hope all event planners read these blogs. If I had, it would of saved me a lot of time and frustration!

Tines and Co. said...

Thank you so much for the info. Our company got this email:
My Name is Dr Joens Phill, I want you to plan my wedding and arrange dinner for a group of people who will be attending the wedding ceremony.Seven will arrive few days before the wedding day.
The wedding is expected to hold on the 15th September,2009 and 35 to 70 guests are expected to attend. As i do not know what the guests might choose for their meals and drinks, i will make a repayment as initial deposit for this booking via credit card once availability is confirmed by you.

All checks and balances will be made with you on 12th september which is the final day of the booking, You are to arrange for a Videography,Music, Entertainment,Photography,Officiant/Priest & Church,cake,flowers and hall.If there is any these items that is beyond your capability,you let us know so that another company can handle it. Get back to me with your response as we don't have much time with us so that we can process our accommodation within the region more convenient for you and us.

Best Regards,
Dr Joens Phill.

I just hope other planners will be aware of this. God bless!

A Beach Affaire said...

We are a destination wedding planner/organizer in Thailand and while most of the blogs I read above are targeted at US Planners; it has gone global - and since most of our clients really ARE from overseas, it left my partner and I wondering WHAT the scam really is.
We have received several emails VERY similar to those above. Luckily we have never answered ANY of these attempts due to 'red flags' and a gut feeling something wasn't right. But I was having trouble understand HOW they would scam us, and after seeing the email exchanges many people here have gone through - I understand better now.
What threw me into CAUTION MODE was the way the email was worded. Maybe I shouldn't say exactly WHAT tipped me (don't want to help the bad guys get better at their profession), but we do have clients from all points of the globe and all I can say... "If it sounds strange, it probably is."
My business partner felt the same way, but upon discussion we almost sent a proposal back to make sure we weren't actually assuming it was a scam - since the email NEVER asked for money (I see this happens on corresponding emails).
Anyway, to those of you who are legitimate Destination Wedding Planners; BE AWARE.
I am posting 3 (one at a time) similar emails we received in the last couple of weeks. I am starting to keep the emails for comparison. We had a few I deleted before I realized how serious this was.
---
The 1st is from a Mr. Donald Scott on 12 June 2009:
Hello,
My Name is Mr. Donald Scott,
I am looking for an experienced wedding planner who will handle my wedding and arrange the reception dinner for a group of people who will be attending the wedding ceremony. The wedding is expected to hold on the 30TH of Oct. 2009 and 25 to 40 guests are expected to attend.
As i do not know what the guests might choose for their meals and drinks, i will make a prepayment as initial deposit for this booking via credit card once availability is confirmed by you.
You are to arrange for a venue for the wedding (its a civil wedding), a place for the reception, Videography, Music, Entertainment, Photography, cake and flowers.
If there is any these items that is beyond your capability, you let us know so that another company can handle it. Get back to me with your response as we don't have much time with us so that we can process our accommodation within the region more convenient for you and us.
Best Regards,
Donald Scott

I have 2 more emails to share....

A Beach Affaire said...

The 2nd is from... a username... kellalex? Yes, a bit more obvious, I know. But, my how similar the words are... This one arrived on the 17th June 2009:
Hello,
My Name is kellalex, I am looking for an experienced wedding planner who will handle my wedding and arrange the reception dinner for a group of people who will be attending the wedding ceremony.
The wedding is expected to hold on the 14th of July. 2009 and 25 to 40 guests are expected to attend. As i do not know what the guests might choose for their meals and drinks, i will make a prepayment as initial deposit for this booking via credit card once availability is confirmed by you.
You are to arrange for a venue for the wedding (its a civil wedding), a place for the reception, Videography, Music Entertainment, Photography, cake and flowers.
If there is any these items that is beyond your capability, you let us know so that another company can handle it.
Get back to me with your response as we don't have much time with us so that we can process our accommodation within the region more convenient for you and us.
Best Regards
Alex
---
The 3rd if from a man in England named John Clarke on 21 June 2009 - YESTERDAY!!!
I am John Clarke, from London England. I am writing to get information on wedding/reception venues and also so in need of the services of a wedding planner.
Mary and I are planning to have a wedding in October 2009 (any date in October will be fine) and will require more information on this as we plan also to have the wedding in your region. We are looking for a venue and planner to help us plan our wedding/reception.
40 to 50 guests are expected to attend. Please advise on weather conditions and the possibilities of rain.
Please note that you (wedding planner) is to arrange for a food, Videography, Music Entertainment, Photography, Officiant, cake and flowers, decoration etc.
Please do confirm this date and get back to me.
Thanks for your anticipated response
Best regards,
John Clarke
---
Thank you all so much for your posts. Expose the information so everyone knows - that is the only way to cut down on this scam, since I read many of you find the authorities unhelpful. That's unfortunate. I just wonder what they will think of next?

Anonymous said...

Hello,

My Name is Kellalex, I am looking for an experienced wedding
planner who will handle my wedding and arrange the reception dinner
for a group of people who will be attending the wedding ceremony.

The wedding is expected to hold on the 12th of September. 2009 and 25 to
40 guests are expected to attend. As i do not know what the guests
might choose for their meals and drinks, i will make a prepayment as
initial deposit for this booking via credit card once availability is
confirmed by you.

You are to arrange for a venue for the wedding (its a civil wedding),
a place for the reception ,Videography, Music
Entertainment,Photography,cake and flowers.

If there is any these items that is beyond your capability,you let us
know so that another company can handle it.

Get back to me with your response as we don't have much time with us
so that we can process our accommodation within the region more
convenient for you and us.

Best Regards,
Alex

Lynne Williams said...

Hello all,

I too have received this email scam. I just knew something was not right so I googled the "lasoreservationagencies" that came up on the email part and this led me to this. I have not engaged in any emails so I only have the mans initial email.

Here it is:

Hello,
I'm looking for an experienced wedding planner or coordinator that can handle my wedding as i have promised my fiancee that it will be a memorable one and i have budgeted $30,000 for the wedding so, What can your establishment offer with regards to the request above?
I would like to know what is required cost implication and any other thing that will be require for a successful wedding for the month of October 10th 2009 is the date for the wedding.
Kindly get back with your budget via this email (atkins111@yahoo.com)with details.
Best Regards,
Paul Atkinson
+447045782803

As you can see they are now using the name Paul Atkinson. Good luck and follow your instincts.

Lynne Williams - Event Production and coordinator
www.lynnewilliams.co.uk

Anonymous said...

I received this email, same phonnumber different name?

Greetings
I would like to book for for training /workshop for Advanced Open Water divers for a group of 4.
i will be grateful if you can send me your time and days schedule tor the training and how many weeks will they learn to be trained on Advanced Open Water divers training . We would be coming over to your location and as
part of our plans we need all equipments that is needed for the training. Please advise
do we buy our tools?. Or you we can hire from you,Do you have a
training facility?, where do you conduct the training?can you offer us(training kits and equipments we will pay for the hiring ) Do you have rooms or is there any 3 star hotel close to your facility? please advice us on the dates we will commence training the is suitable for you
Best regards
Benjamin Davids
+447045782803

CCGC said...

These are the e-mails we received at our office to our wedding coordinator Vikki. We luckily googled wedding scams and found this site out before we got in to deep.
---
From: Engr Jodi Dekker
Vikki,
You can call my mobile,it's roamed here,though the connection comes and goes.
I'll be glad to hear from you.
Engr Jodi
+447024015917
---
To: jodekk1@msn.com
Subject: RE: Hello Vikki,
Is there any way that we can speak? If you provide telephone # I will gladly call you.
---
From: Engr Jodi Dekker [mailto:jodekk1@msn.com]
Subject:Hello Vikki,
Greetings,
Thanks for the mail,I'm really very glad to hear from you. It is the wish of my fiancé
to get married in your area and I have to give in to her wish and due to the fact that
I do not have any one there, you will be responsible for all arrangements.
My Fiancé and i will be arriving 7 days before the wedding.
We have a budget of about $65,000 CAD which includes payment for your fees, all the
other vendors you will be working with and that of our logistic agent aside us, I am
also expecting about 50Guests especially from UK,USA,Africa and Asia.
Below are other requirements we’ll need.
My fiancé decided that the color for the wedding should be white and gold.
For flowers: majority of pink and red roses. She loves red roses and we'll want lots of
them at the wedding. Please feel free to introduce any nice flower of your choice to
make the venue more beautiful.
For music, a DJ.
Food, a Continental dish buffet will be perfect.
3 or 4 tier fruit cake
Drinks: open bar
Wedding is a civil wedding,Civil marriage celebrant
Videographer for 3-4 hours
Photographer for 3-4 hours
Venue: out door or indoor
Bridal party: 2 bridesmaid and 2 groomsmen.
Flowers for bridal party
Accommodation for out of town guest(10 single or 5 doubles for the wedding night only)
Wedding time: 4pm to 9pm(A better suggestion from you will be considered).
Both the wedding and reception will be in same venue.
Please let us know if any of the above will be difficult for you to arrange so we can
work it out.
I need you to get back to me with a total estimate that will cover this arrangement so
that I can make a deposit payment to enable you start arrangements as time is not on
our side.
I'm presently offshore and we are currently drilling,which possibly will last for
another month or two and the only means of payment that will be possible for me from
here will be via my Credit card...I hope this will not pose any problem to you.
Get back to me as soon as you have the estimate and amount payable as deposit now so
that we can start off all preparation for my wedding.
I'll wait to hear from you.

Regards
Engr Jodi Dekker.
---
Good morning:
Thank you for your enquiry
The dates that I currently have in January are 2 and 23rd
I will gladly do up a proposal for you to get the most accurate cost or help yopu out with any other requirements that you may have
Look forward to hearing from you
Vikki
---
From: Engr Jodi Dekker [mailto:jodekker@freemilers.com]
To: lauriealx@yahoo.com
Subject: Wedding Venue Request.
Hello Dear,
My Name is Engineer Jodi Dekker from Scotland,I am writing to get information on your wedding/reception venue.
Laurie and I are planning to have our wedding in January 2010 (any date in January will be fine) and we'll require more information on this as we plan also to have our Honeymoon and if possible to also arrange for our accomodation in your region .
We want to use your facility for our wedding/reception.
45-50 guests are expected to attend.
Please do confirm this date and get back to me with any of the above that you can handle for us.
Thanks for your anticipated response.
Best regards,
Engr Jodi Dekker/Lauri Alexander
jodekk1@msn.com

Anonymous said...

great job posting this I got the same one - and it's one of hundreds i've probably gotten throught the years. what a pain in the A** right.

ade said...

ive had 3 of these scams in a week !!! the names used are
KENNETH SMITH
DR MELVIN HUGHES
DAVID MARK
3 very different emails but all scams im presuming cos once i told them i could only procceed with it if payment was made via paypal for my security they dont get bk !!!
we are a new buisness and this scam stuff is a nightmare
Elaine ..Elegant Occasion Events

A&H Designs said...

I JUST GOT THIS ONE:

Good day!

My name is Susannah Thierry, i'm french by origin. I live and work in the UK (Manchester) with my fiance Charles Ronald Oliverio. My fiance and i are moving to the US because my fiance just got a new job in Brooklyn, NY which he'd commence on the 1st of August, 2010. Just before then we are getting married on the 16th of July, 2010. We need your services to design our wedding with flowers for a beautiful and memorable wedding as we are in love with flowers and our wedding flowers should be very special. Our wedding ceremony and reception would take place in the same location because we are inviting just 100 guests which 80% of the guests are foreigners from the UK, France and other parts of Europe.
We are interested in a personalised/customized floral design package according to our flower needs. Our favorite flowers are roses though we love so many different flowers too like calla, orchids, hydrangeas, carnation and tulips which are the major flowers you'll base your quote on.
We are thinking of doing the wedding planning ourselves because we don't want to pay much extra for that but we'd employ the services of a planner on the Day of the wedding to supervise all vendors, prior our wedding i shall make a visit trip to the US in early-June to meet with vendors myself for face to face consultations and if we're employing your services we'd surely meet.
Please let us know if you can help decorate our wedding ceremony and reception with flowers!

Enjoy a wonderful Sunday!!!

Best,
Charles & Susannah.

Catherine said...

Here's the scam letter they sent me. I'm going to play along to see what info I can get from them! :)


Hello Catherine,
Thanks for your response, we appreciate!

We would definitely love to work with you!!
Well i'm used to calling Franck my husband to be because we are getting married and nothing's changing that fact 'cause we have come a long way together.

My husband to be and i will be arriving Louisville, KY, on the 4th of September,2010 because we would like to finish our work here and also spend the vacation season with our family and loved ones before coming as we might not be chanced to spend as much time with them after our BIG move.

Actually it was a friend of mine in Spain who just got married in the states that referred me to the Website i viewed your advert and eventually visited your website and to our surprise you got a great chance of working with us as your style is preferably intriguing.

We will be needing a wedding planner to work with us as we are foreigners to enable a wonderful and memorable event, we need customized full planning package because our work schedule is pretty tight and there will be no way to do the planning from here without your support as a professional planner so for this reason, we need you.

This is a list of Vendors we will be needing for our event;,a photographer, a videographer, an MC, a florist, a make up artiste for all the ladies in the bridal party and myself, caterer, cake, a DJ, band, invitations for our US guests, save the dates and we are expecting at most 50 guests.

Our entertainment band will be coming in from Benin Republic, It's a french coupe de calien band, they're marvelous.

Also, we would like you to know we prefer the reception and ceremony to take place in a location for the convenience of our guests and would love the ceremony to be in a garden setting and the reception in an indoor location in Louisville or surrounding areas because the weather is unpredictable at this time of the year.

We would like to know how much you'll need to make our day a wonderful one as we will only need you to work within our budget to prevent any disappointment or breech in agreement in future, we just need to know the exact amount you require to be sure the planning cost is within our budget and then we can start making arrangements for your deposit needed for you to get started?

Please feel free to ask anything else as you should know time's not on our side, and remember it will be better to contact us via email for now okay and don't hesitate to let us know if you are willing to help...

Have a wonderful Day!
Thanks,
Debbie.

Anonymous said...

I have read pretty much all of these comments and realized that the saying holds true: the game remains the same...only the players change!! I received my email from Denise Mayer and Laurent Phillip who was moving to OH to work with Coca-Cola and she was going to be opening a kiddie fashion store!!! I was all excited to get the initial email as this would have been a big help to my start-up company!! But low and behold that intuition not only kicked in, but nearly knocked me over!!! I'm glad that I went with my first mind!!! As bad as I need the money, I'm an analyst by nature and made sure to do my research before I went handing over my money to strangers!! I apologize if I offended anyone by that last comment, but research is a major factor when dealing with the unknown!! Glad I took my own advice!!

Anonymous said...

I have read many of the comments and they are almost identical to mine. As a matter of fact, I received an identical email as the one on Sept 13, 2010....in addition to this majority of the other comments were the exact same. This is so unfortunate! What made me suspicious was the fact that this "Denise Mayer and Laurent Phillip" were not as prompt in answering some basic questions that I asked about their wedding nor were they responsive to signing my contract that I sent to them via email. They did not want to give me a phone number to contact them and seemed to be in a hurry to pay-- of all things "A BAND" before going over some basic things like securing a venue, and time of the wedding. I am no fool but I was falling for it initially until something told me to "STOP" and process all of this. So I did a search for this band and found this blog talking about the scam...all I could do was feel sheer disappointment, anger, and then I was thankful that I went no further with this. I am glad this happened to me in this way so that I can always be extremely cautious in the futre. I will post this on my blog as well!

Anonymous said...

I am a wedding planner and recieved several scam emails from the two email addresses below. These two email addresses are associated with the same person
a Dr. Gabriel Unterbrink

I do not have a credit card machine as I do not have enough clients to jsutify it. Instead I accept credit cards through papal when this person insisted on me getting a credit card machine I became leary. I continued to converse and talked to a friend who would be willing to process it if I decided it was safe. However, when I started getting emails requesting me to send money to 3rd partiesAnway these are the emails I think are most important to share:


reply-togabswedplan2011@yahoo.com

I have a very bad experience using paypal to make payment early this year,i lost huge sum and would kindly ask you to set up a credit card machine (POS) please.I am willing to make all the required payments and signed papers too.
Gabriel



I am glad that you can assist us with all the planning of the wedding.My Fianceé and I will be arriving 5 days before the wedding and I need you to also make arrangement for our accommodation. I will need you to book 2 double rooms for us for 5 nights and one honeymoon suite for the night of the wedding 12 Feb. 2011.
We have a budget of about $85,000 which includes payment for your fees,all the other vendors you will be working with and that of our logistic agent aside us, I am also expecting about 50 Guests especially from Europe,USA,Africa and Asia.

We also decided that the color for the wedding should be white and gold.
For flowers: majority of pink and beautiful cascades of roses. Please feel free to introduce any nice flower of your choice to make the venue more beautiful.

For music, a DJ.
Food, a Continental dish buffet will be perfect.
3 or 4 tier fruit cake
Drinks: open bar
Wedding is a civil wedding,Civil marriage celebrant
Videographer for 3-4 hours
Photographer for 3-4 hours
Venue: out door or indoor
Bridal party: 2 bridesmaid and 2 groomsmen.
Flowers for bridal party
Accommodation for out of town guest(10 single or 5 doubles for the wedding night only)
Wedding time: 4pm to 9pm(A better suggestion from you will be considered).
Both the wedding and reception will be in same venue.


Do not hesistate to inform us if any of the above will be difficult for you to arrange so we can work it out.I need you to get back to me with a total estimate that will cover this arrangement so that I can make a deposit payment to enable you start arrangements as time is not on our side.

I'm presently on medical rotation offshore with the drilling crew of our company,which possibly will last for another month or two and the only means of payment that will be possible for me from here will be via my Credit card...I hope this will not pose any problem to you.

Get back to me as soon as you have the estimate and amount payable as deposit now so that we can start off all preparation for my wedding.
I'll wait to hear from you.

Regards,
Dr Gabriel U

Anonymous said...

Still at it! Here is the recent request I received from my Knot ad:
Please contact:

The Knot Member: Grace Nice

Email: gracenice18@ymail.com

Wedding Date: 9/17/2011

Expected Guests: 55-60

Telephone Number: 817-545-3159

Date: 8/13/2011

Time: 11:17 AM

Category: Wedding Planners

Member's request:

My name is grace and I live in texas but presently in Connecticut to take care of my grandmother. I'm a nurse, I give children Polio Vaccine and work for the WHO.I'll be coming over there soon to start my new job and I'll be getting married shortly after my arrival to my fiance Gray phillip who's a business contractor.

We will need a wedding/event planner/coordinator who can render a full wedding package service and who can make our event a glorious day because we require the best for the best memories of our loved ones and children in future and as a matter of fact we have made a good budget for the best on our wedding day.?Once again I felt really excited to hear from you. I'm pretty busy down here but I'll be more than happy to keep in touch with you so that we can proceed with all the necessary arrangement and also work on how to reserve the venue. You sound like a fit of what we are looking for and we'll definitely love to work with you If you can make all the arrangement before the wedding day.

Thanks

Grace & Gray

We conversed many times but here is a portion of another email which highlights the red flag:

Wedding cake is also part of the budget and our preferred cake flavor is fruit flavored but we can make a choice on that as well.Photographer is also an important part of the wedding that is a photo journalistic style of photography/storybook. Same as videography for both ceremony and reception.Our wedding colors haven't been fully decided yet but here are a few combination we would love to choose from, wine and pink, violet and blue, yellow and orange, white and sky blue.We are presently contradicting with a musical DJ here in Connecticut but we might need your support with a musical group or band.Decorations is also another important part of the budget ranging from lighting to flowers, centerpieces, table linens, candles with scents etc. Accommodation for all guests will be included in the services of the planner but the cost isn't included in the budget.Transportation for all guests will be included in the budget though that is shuttle from the airport to their various hotel rooms, from hotel to location if not in the same location as the wedding venue.Also, we recommend your full planning package which include contradicting with the vendors and reservation of the venues.

In that email the red flag was that the band was in Connecticut...just like all the other scams.

Other red flags: obviously not being local and wanting to do everything from abroad, the quick wedding date, the lack of punctuation and grammar and an overall feeling that her emails were "weird". I hope no one else falls into this scam.

Anonymous said...

I've been checking all responses to my craigslist ad for scams... I received an email from garryvale...@gamil.com and discovered the name "Garry Vale" cited as a scammer within this site.. I suppose the principle of diversity applies to crooks as well...

The email read:
I'm interested in buying your item which I came accross on Craigslist. Kindly contact me promptly if you still have it for sale.
Thanks

I'm selling a "Car" ... referring to it as an "item", failing a spell check and the use of "Kindly" (I work with alot of overseas employees that overuse that word) are all clues something is wrong...

Thanks for this thread... the hit on the name was the final nail in the coffin..

Related Posts with Thumbnails