Your wedding day should be the happiest day of your life but some businesses set up purely to scam people out of their hard earned cash.
These businesses really annoys me, so I wanted to share some tips with you in how to avoid them.
Also if you do get scammed by someone, please let me know. I want to create a list below of companies which scam brides and grooms out of their hard earned savings.
Everything seems to be more 3 x more expensive as soon as the W word is mentioned, so don’t let it become even more expensive by giving fraudsters some of your money.
While hopefully something shouldn’t go wrong but if it does the method you paid for something determines who easy it is to get your money back.
The first step to look out for is payment methods.
If they are insisting on payment via Paypal Family and Friends this would be a big red flag for me.
Yes I know it means they don’t get charged fees, but for you it means you loose a lot of protection rights.
If they only accept PayPal, which is a legitimate payment method then make sure its via paying for goods and services.
The other way to pay is use a credit card, it gives you a lot more rights.
In fact, and I am not recommending this, but my now husband signed up for a British Airways Credit card – it meant we was covered for all purchases, but we earn’t quite a few Avois points which we was meant to use on our honeymoon but instead used for a family holiday.
The reason I am not recommending the above is I am not a financial advisor, I don’t know your circumstances.
Paying for items, with payment methods such as cash, debit cards and PayPal friends and family gives you very little protection.
If the company goes bust you just join a long list of creditors that are owed money.
Another way scammer want you to pay is via bank transfer again becuase you have no rights to a refund. Never pay by bank transfer unless you are 100% certain they are a legit business and even then I would still be wary incase they go bust.
Now we have covered some of the methods for paying for goods incase something goes wrong, lets take a step back and look at the website your about to purchase off.
There are some signs which should bring up a red flag 🚩.
Just to be clear a good scammer can make a site look legit and some real businesses don’t understand websites and therefore might fail on some of these, so they are just pointers.
My husband who works in digital marketing helped with the below, its above my head if I am honest.
Look in the browser and depending what devices and browser you are using you should either see https before the domain name of a padlock symbol.
This means that the information you enter can not be easily accessed, its free for the website owner to do to get the basic level of protection and as well as adding a trust signal it means your card details when you enter them are hidden.
Every legit business should want to tell you more about them. There are reasons why but mainly its because it allows them to coney why they set up the business.
The About page should be easy to find and be detailed.
Also if they use images – make sure they aren’t buying “stock” images and are using real images.
The best way to tell – do they look too ‘professional’ and not real.
This is probably more important than a About page, if your handing over your hard earnt money you want to be confident that you can contact the business.
If you want to go one extra step, actually contact the company and see how long they take to respond.
I get some people run their businesses from home and don’t want to reveal that – that is fine but phone numbers and email addresses should be easy to find.
Do a quick Google search for “brand review” and see what comes back, if they are really small nothing might appear, but its a check you should always make.
This will probably appear when doing a Google search, but also check online for the major review platforms to see what is coming back.
Scammers are getting smarter these days and coming up with new ways to trick consumers.
Creating similar looking sites is one way.
Amazon is a well known brand, but someone could create amàzon and make the site look the same but really its just a fraud site.
So double check the site.
Online businesses have to accept returns, it’s the law the only acceptance is personalised goods.
So check to see the returns page and see what it says.
it might just say they can accept returns for personalised items, but they should still accept returns for damages etc.
Some people run a business of third party platforms like Facebook groups, or Ebay pages which means some of the above steps aren’t possible. Here are some additional checks for these type of businesses.
What are people saying about this business, a business will never have 100% postiive reviews, even large companies like Amazon don’t get it right 100% of the time and small businesses are no different.
Check out the negative comments and see how the business is responding if they are dealing with it in a positive manner thats a great sign.
If you notice that it says “20 comments” but when you click to read the comments you only see a handful that is because the business has deleted these comments and can be a bad sign. One or two could be because of user error, consistently doing it across multiple posts isn’t a great sign.
This is a fairly new feature from Facebook, allowing users to see change name history but it can be key.
A business can for numerous reasons change their name, but if you know the old companies names do searches online for that name, did they change the business of bad press / not delivering on products.
As other brides in our Facebook group, and get honest feedback.
Ask around, a friends recommendation will mean a lot more.
While this is a pretty good list of things to check, a smart scammer will know off all this and combat it.
That’s why I started with the payment methods so if something does go wrong you get your money back.
Also these same principles can be used when doing any type of online shopping.
I see in Facebook groups nearly every day that it seems to be the same companies scamming people, after all you usually only get married once and therefore they aren’t relying upon repeat purchases.
If you have been scammed please get in touch with details, we will investigate and if enough data is available we will publish the companies below.
This one isn’t confirmed as a scammer – but I have been sent numerous examples of this business not delivering.
They are called: Wedding and Party Hire by Monster Munchies.
They take full payment, even send you a invoice and confirm everything is paid but never deliver and let you down very close to your actual date leaving you very little time to sort out a replacement.
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I hate spam too, thats why I won’t ever sell your details or send you unwanted emails. Just the very best posts.