LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Scams targeting couples looking to get married are on the rise. The BBB of Acadiana and a cybersecurity expert talked with News 10’s Sylvia Masters about how to avoid these scammers.

Cybersecurity and scam expert Adam Levin says there are unethical wedding vendors out there who overpromise and under-deliver. They try to take your money and then vanish, claiming to be doing the happy couple a favor when they offer an unbelievable deal.

“One of the important things to do is really set up a regime where you say, ‘I want to have references. I want to check online reviews, and I want to get every proposed service in writing,” said Levin.

The Better Business Bureau also receives many complaints each year about phony wedding vendors, extending from delivery of products to services.

“What we receive in regards to weddings or event planning is timing and contract issues. People thinking that certain things were arriving at certain times, possibly price issues based on what they thought they were having to pay versus what they thought they were getting paid in the end, and then in some situations, things just not showing up as they were supposed to,” said Chris Babin of the BBB.

Here are some tips to avoid wedding problems:

  • Research businesses before hiring them. Before you fall in love with a vendor, check its availability for your wedding date.
  • Double check prices. If you’ve learned about a vendor at a bridal expo, make sure you ask if rices are the same after the event.
  • Watch out for unexpected fees. Ask whether any fees apply beyond the cost per person, gratuities, or room rental.
  • Pay with a credit card. Avoid paying in cash up-front for services. If you pay by credit cards you have protection in the event of a problem that is not available with other forms of payment.
  • Lastly, follow up. Confirm all services one or two weeks prior to the event and verify all of the details agreed upon. You don’t want any unpleasant surprises on your wedding day.

If you have a scam you’d like me to investigate, feel free to send me an email at smasters@klfy.com.