Tuesday, April 7, 2009

PLANNERS BEWARE! SCAM

PLANNERS BEWARE THIS IS A SCAM. IT COMES IN MANY FORMS. USUALLY THIS COUPLE STAYS CONSISTENT WITH BEING RELOCATED FROM ENGLAND TO CHGO, NY NJ ETC... IF YOU RECEIVE AN EMAIL LIKE THIS IGNORE IT! ERASE IT! DO NOT RESPOND! THEY MAY EVEN SEND YOU A PICTURE OF A NICE COUPLE. MAKE A COPY OF THIS EMAIL AND SAVE IT... Hello! Thanks for your response, we appreciate ! We would definitely love to work with you!! Well i'm used to calling David 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 24th of May 2009 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 State 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 , invitations for our US guests, save the dates and we are expecting at most 50 guests . Our theme colors are Light pink and Royal blue . Our total budget is $25,000.00 , our wedding commence 6pm to 11pm , ok . Our entertainment band will be coming in from Port Au Prince , Republic of Haiti , 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 Chicago 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, Jess & David

3 comments:

LuAnn said...

Samantha, and all other wedding planners:

I get these emails all the time. The first time I got one, a year and a half ago, I suspected something was not quite right...too good to be true having this type of wedding to coordinate for that kind of money. My gut was telling me to be careful. I corresponded with this "couple" at least five different times. They sent me a picture of themselves at a local tavern. I got curious and was going to see how far they'd go with this pretense. When they got to the point where I was suppose to accept a check in the amount of $2,500, deposit it, and keep $500 for my deposit on "the wedding" and send them back $2,000, I had my proof I was looking for. These checks are fakes, but drawn on legitimate banks here in the US. I called the bank on my check and let them know what was going on. They had no idea. Then I took the check to my local bank and had them verify whether or not the funds were actually in the account depicted on the fake check. Of course, there wasn't!! I made copies of all of the email, a copy of the check and the FEDEX envelope it came in, and took it to my local law enforcement agency who then told me to file a report online with the FBI, which I did. Do you know......after two weeks I got a phone call from the "groom" who was VERY IRATE demanding his money back or else???!!!! Luckily, I didn't speak with this person directly, but I have his voice message saved on my answering machine. ABSOLUTELY BEWARE!! I still get these stupid emails. I just save them in a file I set up for this particular scam. Sometimes, if the email is particularly pointed, I will send them an email back say, "I am forwarding your email address and all of your contact information to my local law enforcement agency, as this type money scam is punishable by law." Of course, I delete my email signature, just to make is as blank and to the point as I can.

get real with samantha goldberg said...

Hi LuAnn!

You certainly did take it the extra mile. I sadly knew of a new planner who fell for the scam and lost $3000. She said her bank did not feel they were resposible.

I was completely shoked that a bank would not be held resposible for this. How are we supposed to know of something is real?

It's not like we carry the pen to detect $100 bills!

Thanks for your post. I do hope people will read your story and follow the protocol for staying away.

Kudos to you for paying attention!

Such a shame people would try and destroy a wonderful industry with a scam. It's not like we don't have our clients to worry about too!

Sam

LuAnn said...

Good morning, Sam

Thanks for the support and for posting this type of thing on your blog to begin with. Predators out there are very, very clever. They are trying to destroy all industries, not just our wedding planning industy. But I was shocked to find that they'd pick our industry to try to pull this stunt in. I just wanted to add to your comment on why the bank won't take the blame. I agree with you 100%. I didn't have a clue as to why the banks wouldn't support their bank customer when their customer falls victim to these type people. Until one day, when I talked to my bank manager about this, I asked him point blank, "What would have happened if I HAD deposited this check, and then found out I was a victim of this scam?" You know what he said, "YOU would have been responsible for paying the BANK back every dime, PLUS bank fees that incur in these type situations, PLUS any litigation fees if it turns into a prolonged legal process." I was floored! I asked him the exact same question as you...."How was I suppose to gather from this fake check that this was a scam? It was from a legitimate bank here in the US! I know this because I called this bank and asked them." He had no answer. I was furious. That was one of the main reasons I went ahead and filed a report with the FBI. I soon realized the bank actually makes money when something like this happens by collecting their fees (much like overdraft fees which is just free money in their pockets. They don't have to work for this money...it's handed to them over and over.) The exact money of the check becomes a washout for them, because the victim customer is forced to pay it back. But the bank fees, albeit less than $100 without litigation fees, they keep! So they aren't as inclined to have something like this stopped. I have a "thing" about banks, a negative thing, and wish we could go back to saving our money in our mattresses at home! 8-) I'm sorry. I didn't mean to get on my high horse, but this type of thing just makes my blood boil. Thanks again for posting this article on your blog, and for listening to me rambling on and on! Have a fabulous day!

I devote my time to ensuring our clients recieve fab service. There's another "calling" for me. To give back to my peers that aspire to be the next "best" fancy pants somebody! Those who play it safe standing behind me, will fail. I do serve as a warning to others and yes, I'm nutty. It's who I am & it's not going to change, as it works. Feel free to comment & join me on what could be the best road trip EVER!

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