common scams

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Scams aren't new to the wedding and event industry, but if you're new to the industry you may not be aware of how they work. Basically, you'll get an email from someone who wants you to plan a wedding or party in a short amount of time. They'll offer to send you a check to cover your services and they'll tack an extra amount on to it and ask you to send it on to their florist, band, photographer, etc. They're banking (literally) on the hope that you'll deposit the check, send the extra amount on to the other vendor that day (which is an address that redirects to them) and then the money will be out of your hands by the time the check bounces. Essentially, they'll have the money you sent to the "vendor" and you'll be out that cash with no hopes of recovering it from them.

The people sending these have gotten better about making it sound legit by researching a bit about your area before sending it to you. Sometimes there are some discrepancies that you would only catch if you know the area. For example, in one that I received they mentioned having an upscale wedding for 40 guests in the Phoenix area, but the venue they referenced was far from upscale. I knew that if they had actually done planning research, they wouldn't have picked that location for their wedding. Instead they had gone down a list of venues and chosen one for the email so that I would think they were actually getting married here. The emails also tend to have poor grammatical structure and don't use their real names.

Below are a few that some people have received. The most popular are a variant of these:

Hello, How are you doing? Thriving!!!

My name is Camila Lawson, from Rathmines, Ireland (Europe ). I will be coming over to Ohio with my Husband Terry Ray 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 Dayton and i have made plans of opening my new kiddies fashion store in Ohio as soon as we are settling in. Just before then we will be getting married on the 16th of November, 2007 and we have decided to get married in Dayton since we're moving on and we pretty know it'ld be wonderful.

We will be needin' a great event planner to take care of our wedding event both reception and ceremony. 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.
Also, the ceremony and reception event will be taking place in a location and we are expecting at most 60 guests on the day of our occassion 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 it to be in a garden or outdoor setting, ocean view or a beach ceremony in Dayton.

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 full wedding planning package.

The budget is 35000$US.

Please let us know if you can help work with us on the day of our event with the budget?

Have a great day!

Thanks,
Camila.


Here's one I received today:

Hello, Myself and my family are planning a surprise birthday party for my mother somewhere around your location and i would like you to handle everything concerning venue, Heaters, fans, dance floors, tables, chairs, silverware of all kinds, linens, draperies, catering and drinks. I would like you to get back to me as soon as possible with a quotation for 60-100 guests only. Music will be supplied by a Spanish band. I am making further arrangement for securities, photograph and video coverage. I would appreciate if you would get back to me soonest so as to enhance this transaction. My mother's birthday comes up in about 4 weeks from now and i am not ready to entertain any form of disappointment.

Do contact me via email
Best Regards,
JOHN SMITH


Here is one sent through my email contact form, a little more time consuming than just sending an email:

My name is Marie Kent, from Dublin, Ireland (Europe ). I will be coming over to Arizona with my fiance Charles Ronald Oliverio 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 AZ and i am making plans of opening my new kiddies fashion store in the States as soon as we are settled in.

Just before then we will be getting married on the 25th of July, 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 70 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 Scottsdale 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 30,000$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 budget?

Hope you enjoying a blissful day!

Thanks,

Marie&Charles.



These are quoted verbatim. Note the words and phrases that are stereotypically American. Needin' for example, as though everyone in Arizona speaks like a cowboy from Texas. I wonder how many of these emails will start showing up with the words 'fierce' and 'ferosh' in them now that Christian has cemented them in the American vernacular.


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