Be careful out there, guys! Watch out for the wedding planner scam. There are scammers out there lying in wait. Nowadays, they are getting pretty tricky and it can be a bit difficult to tell a scam apart from a real lead. I have even seen seasoned planners question the validity of an email—that’s how good they are getting. Their methods have changed over the years, but it’s still the same old scam. They used to only use email to get to you, but now they text and are even as brass as calling. Their English has even gotten a little better, making it even more difficult to know for sure if it’s a scam.
Wedding Planner Scam
If seasoned planners are having a hard time sorting out a scam email, then it can be even harder for an up-and-coming wedding planner. They are often so hungry for new business that they overlook the warning signs. I wish people didn’t get suckered by them, but I’ve actually known two people, one photographer and one DJ, who lost $2,000 when all was said and done—scammer never to be seen again—both were new to the business. As a budding wedding planner, you need to aware of how the scam works and what to look out for. Here’s my PSA about scammers.
How the Scam Works
This is how the scam works. You get an email, text, or call from a “lead.” They want to hire you for a graduation, family reunion, or wedding. You happily respond. They are ready to sign. You send the contract. They sign it and pay a deposit. Then they say, “oh hey, my photographer doesn’t take cards. Can you pay the photographer $1,000 and I’ll add it to the deposit?” You agree. They tell you where to put the money. You send the money. They “pay” you. A few days later their payments won’t clear and you’re out the $1,000. So, that’s the scam and how it works.
Dealing With Scam Emails
What to do with a scam email? Nothing. Sorry to say, there’s nothing you can really do about getting those types of emails or text messages. Some people like to have fun with them and string them along for just a bit, but truth is, I don’t got time for that. So I just block the number or flag it as “scam.” The best thing we can do to counteract these horrible people is help other new planners be more aware of the scam.
How to Know If It’s a Scammer
As I stated before, it can be hard to identify a scammer right off the bat nowadays, but there are some telltale signs it’s not a legit lead:
- They can’t meet in person for some reason
- Their English is poor
- They ask, “Do you accept credit card payments?” in the first message
- They have a long list of needs that aren’t customized to what you do
- They tell you your service is needed ASAP
If the email or text has any or all of these features, don’t trust it. Be suspicious. See example below:
You can’t stop these emails or texts from coming in, but you can be aware of them. Also, help spread the word by sending this blog post to other new wedding planners you may know. Share it so no planner ever gets scammed again.