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A "Fake" Bride Tried To Scam Me!

Wedding Photography Albany NY

By Jeffrey House Photography

 

A "fake" bride tried to scam me.  

But do you know what I find really strange?  A few weeks ago, I shared a blog article that spoke about "dishonest couples."  In case you missed it, here's a link to check it out.

[REWIND:  Couple Bashes Photographer With A Twist]

It seems like every time you turn around there's a new scam out there - "skimming" devices at gas stations and ATM's, IRS phone scams, etc.  The wedding industry is no different.  Not only does it infuriate me, but it saddens me too.  For real couples, this is a big moment in their life.  They shouldn't have to worry about their wedding photographer not showing up on the big day or skipping town without delivering a single photograph. 

As a wedding photographer, I truly love what I do.  Photographing a wedding is truly special because I get to create photographs that move and inspire people.  I get to create memories that couples will treasure for a lifetime.  It's incredibly rewarding.  

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the scam!

I was initially contacted by this bride through a wedding website.  I don't want to share which one it was, but it's a site like Wedding Wire or The Knot.

The bride advised she was getting marred on Sunday, July 15th and she was still in need of a wedding photographer.  She asked if I could forward her some pricing.  I advised that I needed a little more information to get her some pricing.  This information included hours of photography coverage, location of her ceremony and the location of the reception. 

The bride told me she wanted 5 hours of coverage and would get me location of the ceremony and reception.  Obviously, the location is vital because there could be charges for long drive times.  When I asked again, the bride said the wedding would be in Cohoes - no actual ceremony or reception location was provided. 

It was at this time I knew something wasn't right.   

Based on the limited information I was given, I provided her with a quote and she agreed.  There was now 12 days left to her wedding and payment for weddings is due 2 weeks before the wedding day; therefore, I advised that prior to guaranteeing her wedding date, I would need payment in full along with a signed contract.  In order to get her the contract, I would need the specific locations of her ceremony and reception as this must be included in the contract.  She continued to avoid the question.  

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3 days to the wedding

3 days until the wedding and I still didn't have payment or a signed contract.  It was abundantly clear at this point this was some sort of scam; therefore, I advised the bride that I would not be able to photograph her wedding since these issues remained outstanding.

I figured at this point, she would drop it and move on, but she didn't.  She responded advising she would get the ceremony and reception locations to me later that day and her father-in-law issued the payment which I should be receiving any day.  She even said that if everything wasn't done in time, she could change her wedding date as the programs weren't done.    

Seriously?

How many couples can just change their wedding date 3 days before their wedding?  

But that wasn't all she said.  She then went on to tell me that the check her father-in-law mailed me, was for the wrong amount.  He "accidentally" included the payment for their DJ in my check too.  She asked that I deposit the check - keep my portion of the payment - and then send her DJ the balance.  

At this point, the scam became clear.

In theory - I would deposit the check and then write a check to her "DJ" for their portion of the payment. 

Here's the catch.

She's the DJ.  She's planning on me depositing a "fake check" and issuing a check for thousands of dollars that would eventually wind up in her hands.  A couple days later my bank would advise me her check was no good and I would be out the money I send to her "DJ."

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it's pathetic and sad

It's truly pathetic and sad that so much dishonesty exists, especially when we are talking about weddings.  It seems to be getting worse and worse.  Even when someone contacts me with a legitimate reason, I find myself being very guarded until I know for sure it's not some sort of a scam. 

On average, couples are spending $25,000 - $30,000.  It's imperative that you hire the right people for your wedding - professional people that you can  trust  to make your best interests a priority.  

If you'd like tips on how to spot potential wedding scammers, please feel free to CONTACT ME anytime!  I'm happy to help.

has anyone tried to scam you?  do you know someone that was scammed?  please share your story and don't forget to share this article too!  it just might save someone's wedding!

   

    

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