July 21, 2008

Planner Beware....Email Scam


For the past couple of weeks, I have been in communication with a gentleman that was planning his wedding and wanted a memorable day for his fiance here in the city of Nashville. His first email, was very professional, raised no red flags so I responded back to him with my general "Thank you for your interest in Bridal Opulence" letter. To my surprise, he emailed back and wanted to proceed, but still was very vague with his information.

That's when my "Inspector Gadget & I Spy self" started doing a little research! The emails were being sent from an oilrig.com email account, so I googled that & it was a legitimate company. He also listed a secondary "Rocketmail" account and I tried to trace that. I had heard about bridal industry wedding scams, and knew the warning flags of incorrect spelled words, etc. This email was a really good one. Something still just did not sit well for me in my gut. You know those gut feelings you really have to listen!

Here is a copy of the 1st email that he sent to me:

Hello,My Name is Mr Cross James Allen,

I am looking for an experienced wedding planner who will handle my wedding and arrange the reception dinner for a group of people who will be attending the wedding ceremony.

The wedding is expected to hold on the 22nd of November 2008 and 25 to 40 guests are expected to attend. As i do not know what the guests might choose for their meals and drinks, i will make a prepayment as initial deposit for this booking via credit card or check once availability is confirmed by you.All checks and balances will be made with you on 22nd September which is the final day of the booking, You are to arrange for a a venue for the wedding (its a catholic wedding), a place for the reception ,Videography, Music Entertainment,Photography,cake and flowers.

If there is any these items that is beyond your capability, you let us know so that another company can handle it. Get back to me with your response as we don't have much time with us so that we can process our accommodation within the region more convenient for you and us.

Please get back to me via my personal email which is crossjallen@rocketmail.com

Best Regards,

Mr Cross James Allen crossjallen@rocketmail.com

Seemed like a pretty normal letter wouldn't you say? That's when the 2nd or 3rd email came in and all the bells & whistles started going off for me that this was a scam, but it was a clever one, because it did not ask me for any money. He was going to send me money...That's always a great thing! It was in the 2nd letter that I started putting all the pieces together, when he mentioned is guest were coming in from other countries & only using a credit card...very sketchy!

Take a peak at the 2nd letter:

Hello,

I will like to apologize for not getting back to you sooner than now.Its nice of you to respond to my inquiry. It is the wish of my finance to get married in your area and I have to give in to her wish and due to the fact i do not have any one there, you will be responsible for all arrangements.

I will be arriving with my Fiance 7 days before the wedding and i need you to also make arrangement for our accommodation.I will need you to book 2 double rooms for us for 7 nights and one honey moon suite for the night of the wedding.

We have a budget of about $50,000 USD which includes payment for your fees,all the other vendors you will be working with and that of our logistic agentAside us, i am also expecting 30 to 40 other guest from Uk, USA, Asia and Africa.

I am working with a logistic agent that will take care of their arrival and accommodation arrangements.I need this wedding to be a memorable one and if possible an outdoor weeding with lots of flowers and beautiful colors. It is a catholic wedding.

I need you to get back to me with a total estimate that will cover this arrangement so that i can make a deposit payment to enable you start arrangements as time is not on our side.

I am at an oil rig in Iraq now and the only means of payment that will be possible for me from here will be via my Credit card. I hope this will not pose any problem to you.

Get back to me as soon as you have the estimate so that we can start of all preparation for my wedding.

I await your response . You can call me anytime on 01144-704-575-2007.

Mr. Cross J Allen 01144-704-575-2007

Planners or any wedding vendors listen to your gut...and ask lots of questions! Like the old saying goes, "If it smells like a rat, it probably is"

19 comments:

Lisa Michelle Event Planner said...

This is really serious..

A. Latrice said...

Yes, its extremely serious! I hope that more planners are getting educated about this! Thanks for dropping by.

Latrice

Jessykinz x0x said...

It's not just wedding planners. We run a small motels and campground in New Zealand, and have just received a very similar enquiry from a 'Cross J Allen' via a rocketmail email. Thank you for posting this as I will now just delete it. As you say, if it smells like a rat it probably is, and this did - hence my search and finding your report. Best wishes, Colin Ball, Tapawera Settle, NZ.

A. Latrice said...

Colin,

I am so glad that this post has been helpful to you as well! Thanks for responding.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I have just received an email from CrossJAllen requesting accommodation at my Villa in Cape Town, South Africa. It raised red flags for me immediately. As a precaution I always Google persons enquiring from overseas. Ruth

Anonymous said...

This is what he send me today:


Hello,

Could you please confirm availability and total cost for the dates stated
below for 3 guests from the Scotland, UK. I am Cross Allen of the Flat
2-1,35 Polwarth Street,Glasgow,G129UE Scotland, UK.


Arrival Date: 18th October, 2008
Departure Date: 1st November, 2008
Room Type: Standard single Room
Number Of Rooms: 3
Length of Stay: 2 weeks


Please advise availability. Moreover, what is the TOTAL COST in EUROS for
the entire period? and the total cost however should reflect government
taxes.

As our policy, we will make a payment for this booking via certified
cheque or credit card, once availability and total cost is confirmed. Is
this ok? Your prompt response will be appreciated and hoping that we could
partner in the hospitality business.

Send your response to my personal Email which is crossallen@rocketmail.com

Sincerely yours,
Cross J Allen
crossallen@rocketmail.com

Thanks for posting previous mails by this fraudulent person, keeps us informed!

Philippe

Big Night Out Events said...

He's at it again! We just received very, very similar emails from "Cross J Allen." We are a new business in Michigan. We'll start Googling people always in the future! I just don't get how he was going to make money off this. We said we would take a payment through PayPal & send a contract. We'll see if he even writes back! Ugh....:0

Anonymous said...

Cross J Allen is also writing these wedding enquiries in England.

There are a few out there, Watch out for the names:

Adrian Jons
email:adranaajons2@yahoo.co.uk

Danny Romos : Will send a fake cheque to you
email:deafdanny07@yahoo.com

Donald Taylor
email:donaldb2ktc1@yahoo.com

Johnny Jones
email:johnny_jo_2000@yahoo.co.uk

Dr Melvin Hughes
email:melvinhughes76@gmail.com

Hope that helps you all.

Bliss Wedding Design said...

My company in Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada, Bliss Wedding Design, also almost got scammed by Cross James Allen with the exact same emails. Thank you for getting the word out. I was shocked that these frauds would target our industry!

saga said...

thank you so much!! I just got an email today and thought it was odd. I emailed back with questions for him but no more information about myself. What Idon't understand is how he makes money off it? He sends you money with his credit card where do you dinged?
Thanks for posting this.
Saga Fogdall, Seattle, WA

A. Latrice said...

Thanks everyone for your feedback! I am working with another planner in FL to get this guy. Its getting pretty serious. So please be careful....again...if it looks like a rat & smells like a rat...It probably is!! Be Safe!

Katarzyna said...

Hi everyone. We've also received an email from adranaajons2@yahoo.co.uk, we are based in Poland. I found it suspicious and came across your discussion.
Now we also received one more from
drdavidsoffice@yahoo.co.uk, drdavidsoffice1@yahoo.co.uk
I somehow have the feeling the problem is similar in this case.
Don't people have anything better to do?...
I'm going to delete this emails too.

kasia

Jamorah said...

Planners please be cautious. This Cross James Allen needs to get caught and thrown under the jail for his games.

Below are a few emails that I received from him:

From: Mr Cross James Allen

My Name is Mr Cross James Allen,
I am looking for an experienced wedding planner who will handle my wedding and arrange the reception dinner for a group of people who will be attending the
wedding ceremony. The wedding is expected to hold on the 4th of Febuary 2009 and 25 to 40 guests
are expected to attend. As i do not know what the guests might choose for their meals and drinks, i will make a prepayment as initial deposit for this booking
via credit card once availability is confirmed by you.All checks and balances will be made with you on 13rd October which is the final day of the booking, You are to arrange for a a venue for the wedding (its a christian wedding), a place for the reception, photography, Videography, Music Entertainment,Photography,cake and
flowers.

If there is any these items that is beyond your capability,you let us know so that another company can handle it. Get back to me with your response as we don't have much time with us so that we can process our accommodation within the region more convenient for you and us.

Pleas get back to me via my personal email which is crossjamesalen@rocketmail.com
Best Regards,
Mr Cross James Allen
jcrossalen@rocketmail.com

Sound Familar?
He event went as far to provide me with credit card information but refused to sign my contract and allow me to process any payments via pay pal. I should have known something was fishy when he asked for a wedding on Feb 4th which is in the middle of the week. The location changed from where I was from, to Italy.

Very, very scary PEOPLE PLEASE BE AWARE!

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I work for a wedding company in Florida and just received an email almost exact to this from Dr. Melvin Hughes from England at this email melvinwedss@ymail.com. How crazy that this guy is trying to scam, but exactly how is he scamming if we don't put out money and neither does he?

weddingsinthedominicanrepublic said...

my company does wedding planning in the Dominican Republic. I received this email too . I said we would process his credit card and number. He said he would give me this info in a few minutes. I really don't understand this scam. I guess the credit card won't go through or will be reversed later or something.

Anonymous said...

The scam is this: he will approve you to charge his card for $10,000 of which $2000 goes to you for planning the wedding & then you are to write a check to the "logistics agent" (who doesn't have a credit card processing option) for $8000. So, really he's giving you a bad credit card so you will not get any money but then you will be out the $8k for the check which obviously goes to him.

Karen said...

I recieved an email from drdavidsoffice1@yahoo.co.uk as well. I found this thread on a website that "baites" or rather wastes the time of the scammers so as to keep them from spamming other people. http://forum.419eater.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1261128#1261128 doesnt sound like a bad idea =P

canadachickadee said...

We own a wedding planning company in CANADA ands he has also just emailed us- STAY AWAY.

Allison K said...

Bridal Oppulence,

Thanks for posting about this!! Just to give you the heads up, this guy is STILL at it! He uses the alias JAMES THATCHER now - all be aware! The best to all of you.

Allison Nance
Blessed Events, Houston TX
www.blessedeventsweddings.com