Bogus Bridal Show Warning

Bogus Ad for Bogus Bridal Show

I wrote the piece below for Technorati earlier today, but wanted to add a little more to the upfront -- really just a simple warning to you brides out there: do your homework. Research every vendor you work with. Get references. Be smart. Trust your gut. Ask for documentation, receipts and customer references. The day is too important to simply trust the internet.

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Later this week, thousands of people could descend upon the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA for a bridal show that doesn't exist.

Boston Police tell the Boston media that someone set up a bogus website and created accounts on Twitter and Facebook, all to promote "The Boston 411 Bridal & Home Show 2010." The promotions claimed it would be held at the convention center March 5-7.

According to reports, at least 5,000 people paid at least $15 a person and that about 200 businesses also paid fees, ranging from $350 to $4,000. The payments were made through PayPal, police told the Boston Globe.

The investigation, which began last week, was put on hold in favor of a media event to alert the victims about the scam so they could cancel any travel plans they had for coming to Boston.

No suspects are under investigation, though the website set up for the show shows relevant contact information for show organizers.

Jimmy Jay, who was at the press conference, was one such consumer who was taken for money.

"I am shocked,'' he told the Globe, citing hundreds of dollars lost. "It amazes me that this would happen, that I'd get caught up in this sort of thing because I am pretty sharp."

The show was advertised using a mix of Facebook, Twitter and as “New England’s biggest and most extravagant bridal show.” In all actuality, the Hynes is hosting a show for the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

Photo credit: Boston Herald, courtesy of the Boston Police