Now is the time of the year that a lot of brides are getting engaged and starting to make contact with wedding vendors, however there is a scam going around that could cause some unneeded frustration for brides, and too much frustration for the vendors that are being contacted.
It’s been around for about a year, but essentially, wedding vendors are being contacted primarily via text, though a few are being contacted by email in regards to a wedding or birthday party that’s coming up. The text is typically broken and sometimes hard to understand. They try to continually add to their rouse and add last names, but grammar doesn’t always match.
Here’s text from a message that came in today.
Hello this is carolina brown how are you doing today? i will like to book Dj for my daughter birthday please let me know if you are available for the Dj Services Do you accept credit card payment
The messages always come from a cell number in another area, which is the first red flag for vendors. The second is a lack of a date or place. While sometimes we have that happen, we’ll ask about it and it starts a conversation. It’s an open-ended text designed to do just that. The address that is found, eventually, is typically a residence. The residence almost never matches the name given. The date, is ALWAYS during the week because most DJs will be available during the week and will jump at the opportunity to take a huge gig on a night they don’t typically work.
The way it works, the scam artist will contact a vendor asking about their services. Sometimes the items are out of order. They’ll typically sign fairly quickly and make it seem like it’s an easy gig. Then, they ask for a favor. And they always ask for a favor. The text below is taken directly from a text we received a couple of months ago and is letter-for-letter.
“the price is ok though, and am onna need a little favor from you”
“xtra $1800 to the total cost of the fee and you will have all that charge on my card”
“and the favor is that i want you to know that the event planner that will handle the event does not have facility to receive credit card, i want you to add an e”
The scam artist will continue to go back-and-forth with the vendor, trying to get them to run their credit card. What happens, however is that the credit card is stolen. If I were to run that card for $3,300 for the event above, and then send the $1,800 to an account number they provide–because it’s never cash to the person on the day of–so the other vendor can be paid, you’ll then get hit with a charge back on your own account. When the original card holder disputes the charge on their account, the vendor is responsible for the full amount back to the card. However some of that money, $1,800 in the example above, will be gone to another account which will quickly be closed and not retrievable.
This scam has been going around a while, so when you’re looking to contact a professional for your wedding, please do so via phone call or email at first. Provide specific information and ask questions. Most DJs have seen this scam attempt already, so asking via text is going to be met with suspicion nearly right away. If you do have to text, please use proper grammar and spell check.
We really do want to work with you, but please don’t ask us for the favor above. And we promise not to deliver on those favors!