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Avoid Scams

Basic Rules to Avoid Scams

1)      Deal with local vendors and buyers. When you conduct transactions face-to-face you can avoid the vast majority of scams.

2)      Don’t ever wire funds. If they ask you to wire money through Western Union, Moneygram or any other wire service, they are a scammer.

3)      Cashier Checks and Money Orders can be fakes. When the fakes are deposited or cashed and then discovered weeks later, the bank will hold you responsible.

4)      NEVER give out your financial information. (Bank account number, Social Security number, PayPal information, etc.)

5)      Avoid deals involving escrow or shipping services. If they “guarantee” your transaction, it’s probably a scammer.

6) does NOT handle payments, provide escrow services or offer “buyer protection” or seller “certification.”

Who should I notify about fraud or scam attempts?

    * FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)

    * FTC online complaint form (

    * Internet Fraud Complaint Center (

    * Non-emergency number for your local police department. 

If you suspect that an item posted for sale on may be part of a scam, please email the details to Be sure to include the ad title in your message.


In brief, scammers almost always have one or more of these BIG RED FLAG warning signs:

  • Buyer/seller is far away, often in another country. Since the event industry in,  say, Indonesia or Nigeria is nascent, to say the least, that should tip you off right away!

    If the buyer or seller is interested in items that are hard to find and is located in another U.S. or Canadian city, use caution and good judgement. Sometimes people from out-of-town might be looking for rare items. Another red flag would be if the shipping of the items to that location would be cost-prohibitive.
  • Complex financial transactions involving Western Union, Money Gram, cashier's check, money order, shipping, escrow service, or a "guarantee." Here’s where staying local helps you to stay safe. 
  • They won’t meet face-to-face before consummating the transaction. If you are dealing with a local vendor or bride, meeting together is a great way to make sure that you get to check that person out and use your good judgement.
  • Meeting in person is especially important when you are buying goods from someone post-event in advance of your event. You want the details (Who will be there when you pick up? What time? What if some items are missing or broken? Etc.) worked out with someone you feel that you can trust. You don’t want to be stuck short of those goods on short notice. Reputation is crucial to most vendors, and most want their clients to walk away content, so make sure that communication is clear to avoid any disappointments.

    It’s to everyone’s advantage if resale of usable items post-event becomes the norm, so let’s work together to make this happen!