Action Fraud is warning that with the upcoming “Wedding Season”, and for those individuals who are considering making plans for next year and beyond, you should be aware of the potential risks of fraud involved.
Whilst weddings may not seem the most obvious event for fraudulent activity, there is a number of way fraudsters may operate to take your money.
- Fraudsters use social media to con people planning their wedding.
- People on average spend over £30,000 on their wedding, key tips and advice to stop you from falling victim.
- Some photography websites use fake images to lure victims in.
According to bridesmagazine, in 2017 the average wedding cost spend is approximately £30,111. This will be paid out to multiple vendors, including; photographers, caterers, reception venues and travel companies, to name a few.
Many of these services will require booking at least several months in advance and you may be obliged to pay a deposit or even the full balance at the time.
Being aware of the potential risks and following the below prevention advice could minimise the likelihood of fraud.
How to make sure you don’t get caught out by fraudsters
Pay by Credit Card
Paying by Credit Card will provide you with protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, for purchases above £100 and below £30,000. This means that even if a Company goes into liquidation before your big day, you could claim a refund through your Credit Card Company.
Be careful using social media
Some Companies run their businesses entirely via social media sites, offering low cost services. Whilst many are genuine, some may not be insured or may even be fraudulent.
Make sure you obtain a physical address and contact details for the vendor and verify this information. Should you experience any problems, you will then be able to make a complaint to Trading Standards or consider pursuing via the Small Claims Court.
Also you should ensure you obtain a contract before paying money for services. Make certain you fully read and understand what you are signing and note the terms of cancellation.
Have you considered insurance?
Consider purchasing Wedding Insurance – policies vary in cover and can be purchased up to two years in advance. They can protect you from events that would not be covered under the Consumer Credit Act.
Always do your research
Complete research on each vendor, ensuring you are dealing with a bona fide person or company. Explore the internet for reviews and ratings and ask the vendor to provide details of past clients you can speak to. You should do this even if using companies recommended by a trustworthy friend or source.
Fraudsters use fake images on websites
For services such as wedding photographers, beware of websites using fake images. Look for inconsistencies in style; Meet the photographer in person and ask to view sample albums. If you like an image from a wedding, ask to view the photographs taken of the whole event so you can see the overall quality.
Remember, if something appears too good to be true, it probably is!
Report fraud and cyber crime to Action Fraud and receive a police crime reference number.
(Source- Action Fraud, 2017)
For more information about our work, please visit www.safeinwarwickshire.com/cybercrime
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