Skip to main content

Brides Beware!

Several years ago I discovered an ongoing scam targeting wedding industry vendors (where an "overseas couple" reaches out to U.S. based photographers, videographers and wedding planners to help execute a wedding on their behalf, they mail an international cashier's check exceeding the agreed upon cost and ask the vendor to send back the difference, but after the check is cashed and found to be fraudulent the vendor has actually ended up sending their own money to the scammers).  Sad to say, I am still contacted by these international couples every now and then.  However, scams are also targeting brides more and more now.  Here's an article (courtesy of The Huffington Post) and video on a recent case being investigated by the FBI concerning a fraudulant bridal show.

Brides, be careful and always do your research no matter what.
BOSTON — Scammers set up a Web site advertising a fake bridal show billed as the "biggest and most extravagant" and used it to steal from thousands of brides-to-be and their vendors, who were lured by chances to win "fabulous gifts and prizes," police and FBI experts said Monday.

A site called The Boston 411 invited would-be brides and potential vendors to a nonexistent Spring Home and Bridal Show at the Hynes Convention Center this weekend, police said. Around 6,000 people and vendors signed up, paid registration fees and bought floor space through the Web site, which promised elegant wedding displays, demonstrations and samples, they said.

Authorities said they got wind of the scam after vendors began calling the convention center to ask when they could go in and start working on their exhibits for the show. Convention center officials said no such show had been scheduled.

The victims include wedding photographer Aram Orchanian, who said he lost nearly $3,000 he paid to attend the show and to produce promotional materials for it.

He said he heard about the show on the Facebook social networking site and called a telephone number listed on the fake site to seek more information about it before he registered and paid more than $900 for a corner booth in October. He spent another $2,000 producing fliers, magnets, free gifts and other promotional goodies, which are sitting in his office.

Orchanian said vendors who discovered the event wasn't scheduled at the convention center were assured by a woman who answered the fake site's telephone number that there had been a mix-up at the venue and it would be resolved.

Orchanian said the scammers insisted on receiving payments through the PayPal online money transfer service, declining to accept checks, and responded quickly to voice messages.

"They know the industry and knew what they were talking about" as they sought to encourage people to quickly pay for nonexistent services, he said.

Orchanian said the fraudulent show was timed to take advantage of couples who may have been euphoric over Valentine's Day proposals.

The site charged couples pre-registering to attend the show $10 to $15, promising they "will receive a welcome bag of goodies and will be entered for a chance to win fabulous gifts and prizes!"

Authorities said vendors paid up to $4,000 to participate in the event, described on the Web site as "New England's biggest and most extravagant Bridal Show!"

The Web site, created using a free online event registration and marketing service at eventbrite.com, had been taken down by Monday evening. Efforts to access the site generated a message saying: "The owner has indicated they are no longer in business."

The Facebook account used to lure vendors and brides-to-be was no longer active. A message was left at the phone number listed on the bridal Web site.

Officials at eventbrite.com did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment. Police and the FBI Cyber Crime Unit are investigating.


- - - - - - - - - -
by Rashana Anderson
Founder & Managing Director, THE BRIDAL PARTY

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Farm Sweet Farm" 1st Birthday Party

My husband and I celebrated our baby twins, Jonah & Gia's, 1st birthday with a "Farm Sweet Farm" party last weekend.  The party was held at our home (aka The Anderson Farm) and our closest family and friends excitedly attended.  Honestly it's still difficult for us to believe a full year has gone by since they entered our lives, but one thing was clear from the beginning --- we had a lot to celebrate and we intended to do just that!

Everyone had loads of fun; they would've partied until the cows came home if we let them.  And since the guests of honor LOVE animals, the theme proved to be absolutely perfect for them and their guests.  To most, I'm known for planning amazing weddings and bridal celebrations by means of THE BRIDAL PARTY, so it was really a lot of fun to step outside of my comfort zone and show off my versatility and range.  I can't deny, this was FUN!  I'm still quite "giddy" about it all.
* * * * * * * * * * INVITATIONS:
O…

New & Improved! (our 600th post)

Today's post is #600 since our debut on August 20, 2007 (yay) ... and along with that, The Bridal Party has a NEW look on the web!

To better serve prospective clients, our all new innovative website features a modern and clean design, user-friendly navigation and the latest in media tools ... plus a ton of gorgeous event photos right at your finger tips.

We love it ... and hope you will too  ♥
www.RashanaAnderson.com



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…