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Wedding Tips

How to Avoid Wedding & Event SCAMS

It’s 2024, and event season is upon us.
This means an influx of booking inquiries for event professionals and wedding couples, and companies are on the search for their venues & vendors, but it also means that scammers are very active as well. 

Unfortunately, scams in the event industry are at an all-time high.
We have been providing DJ/MC, sound & lighting for 20 years and never seen it this bad.

**At the bottom of this article I’ve included an actual email exchange from a recent inquiry we received as a helpful point of reference. 

First, a bit about us:
Our DJ company, Hey Mister DJ,  is based in Los Angeles and widely regarded as one of  California’s top/best DJ services for weddings & corporate events.

Our DJ & Production company does a large variety of events including corporate events, fundraiser, Bar & Bat Mitzvahs, Birthdays, Reunions, School Prom & Graduations etc.

However, weddings make up a large part of our business and this is where we see most of the scamming occur.

We take a lot of pride in providing amazing DJ services for our Los Angeles clients and want to help wedding couples that are newly engaged avoid the pitfalls of this shameful practices. We also love & respect our fellow wedding & event vendors, so looking out for them as well.

For several years, scammers did most of their trolling through vendor listing sites like The Knot & Wedding Wire.
Mainly because listing sites allow a potential couple or client to send inquiries to multiple vendors at once or will enable them to fake a photographer’s profile easily.

It seems lucrative for scammers because they are now reaching out to venues and vendors directly.    I’ve noticed a big surge in the last couple of years in how many inquiries we have received directly in our company inbox.

We often see vendors new to the industry fall victim to these scams.
Usually, they don’t know what flags to look out for, or they are eager to work and overextend beyond what they might typically do to earn a potential client’s business.

Sadly, the scams are not limited to event vendors and venues.

 Wedding couples are also getting targeted, as the rise of online marketplaces has made it easier for fraudsters to create fake vendor profiles and lure in unsuspecting couples with attractive offers. Additionally, the pressure to book popular venues and vendors quickly can lead couples to overlook warning signs and rush into agreements without thorough vetting.

In an effort to help keep everyone safe and profitable, We’ve compiled a list of red flags and ways you might test to see if the individual you are communicating with is legitimate.


  • Inquiry email and client’s name don’t match up (they are getting better at this)
  • The inquiry is a direct email and not through your website contact form.
  • They ask your pricing and then immediately say they want to book you with no questions.
  • They don’t include a venue name or when asked, they provide only an address.
  • They want to pay by money transfer.
  • They ask if they can give you a check for MORE than your asking rate, and have you help pay out another vendor on their behalf.
  • They avoid phone calls by saying they are travelling, working overseas, or hearing impaired.
  • They say that someone else (Boss, friend etc.) is paying for your services.
  • Time is for daytime wedding/corporate (happens but rare)
  • The initial inquiry is only 1-2 sentences, very brief, no spacing or bad punctuation/grammar.
  • You ask detailed questions, and they ignore answering in their reply.
  • They emphasize too much, too early on how payment will work.
  • They are rushing you to make a decision too quicky.


  • Ask for venue name and then google map the address to see if it’s a legit location.
  • Ask them to give you the name of the sales manager at the venue so you can reach out to them.
  • Ask them to share their social media account with you.
  • Call the venue (if they give you a legit venue name) and confirm they have booked this date.
  • Ask for the name of the wedding/event planner so you can introduce yourself.
  • Ask for a preliminary phone call with the bride/groom or corporate client, birthday guest etc.
  • Quote an unusually low or high price (if it’s legit inquiry you can claim it was a typo)
  • Ask for the name of their wedding/event planner.
  • Tell them you only accept direct bank transfer for the EXACT amount of your deposit.


  • If you find your venue/vendor on a listing site, make sure you migrate the conversation to regular email and a phone or Zoom call. Scammers will try to get you to process a payment quickly to reserve the date by providing a payment link directly in the site app.
  • Ask the vendor to provide a few direct referrals that you can reach out to prior to booking.
  • Ask them to provide a copy of their business license or COI (certificate of insurance)
  • Post on an industry or wedding Facebook group (there are many) and ask if anyone has worked with this venue/vendor before.
  • Do a separate Google search on the name of the venue/vendor and make sure all the information lines up with the details in their listing site profile.
  • Make sure they send you a legitimate contract and read it thoroughly before giving a deposit.
  • Ask if your vendor is willing to do multiple payments instead of 50% deposit or payment in full up front.
  • Make your deposit with a credit card. Call your card company and find out what type of protection they offer if you get scammed.
  • Be cautious of requests to make payment via wire transfer or Venmo.
  • Be wary of unrealistically low prices or deals. Do your research and understand what the going industry rate is for the vendor/venue you are looking to hire based on your city/state.

ACTUAL EMAIL INQUIRY & EXCHANGE (edited a bit to be an easy read)

From:Jessica Garza <ica.za0014@gmail.com> Sent: Wednesday, December 13, 2023 10:23 PM To: lee@heymisterdj.com Subject: Wedding DJ !! Los Angeles
My name is Jessica Garza, we need a wedding DJ for our wedding. the date is 02/24/2024, would you be free for the date? Thank you. Jessica


On Mon, Feb 12, 2024 at 4:37 PM Lee Dyson <lee@heymisterdj.com> wrote:

Hi Jessica!

Thanks for your inquiry and interest in Hey Mister DJ.
*Voted “Best Wedding DJ in Los Angeles” by California Wedding Day : )

GOOD NEWS! Yes we have availability on your date of 2/24

Just a few quick preliminary questions:
Venue name/location?
How many guests?
Average age range of your guests?
Do you have a wedding planner?


Lee Dyson- Owner www.heymisterdj.com


From: Jessica Garza <ica.za0014@gmail.com> Sent: Monday, February 12, 2024 10:32 PM To: Lee Dyson <lee@heymisterdj.com> Subject: Re: Wedding DJ !! Los Angeles

Thanks for the response. The wedding venue is City Market Social House at 1145 San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90015.. We will need you for 6hrs from 10am-4pm….The date of the wedding is Saturday, April. 27th 2024 and the guests are approximately 50…How much will you charge for this service and will you be available on that date? Thank you. Jessica

On Tue, Feb 13, 2024 at 1:45 PM Lee Dyson <lee@heymisterdj.com> wrote:

Thanks for the info Jessica.
Are you having ceremony, cocktail, and reception all at the venue?
If so, will each be in a separate part of the venue (requiring multiple speaker setups) or is everything in one area and doing a “room flip” during cocktail hour? What is the name of your wedding planner please?

Lee Dyson- Owner www.heymisterdj.com


From: Jessica Garza <ica.za0014@gmail.com> Sent: Tuesday, February 13, 2024 6:34 PM To: Lee Dyson <lee@heymisterdj.com> Subject: Re: Wedding DJ !! Los Angeles

Yes, the ceremony, cocktail and reception will be at the same location. How much would you charge?


On Wednesday, February 14, 2024, Lee Dyson <lee@heymisterdj.com> wrote:

$2950 for full sound & basic lighting package, but it could vary up or down based on a few logistical details. We’d need to have a quick phone call just to get a little more information to customize your package so that it perfectly fits your needs.

When are you free to have a call?

Lee Dyson- Owner www.heymisterdj.com


On Feb 14, 2024, at 6:03 AM, Jessica Garza <ica.za0014@gmail.com> wrote:
That sounds good to me $2950 and works perfectly for the budget…I will make a deposit of $1000 today by sending a check and pay the balance on the wedding date/venue and I want the payment to mail to you on time because my boss is the one going to make the payment as a contribution towards our wedding and I want him to mail it out as soon as possible ..please get back to me with your full name and address for the deposit payment Thank you.



From: Lee Dyson <lee@heymisterdj.com> Sent: Wednesday, February 14, 2024 12:35 PM To: Jessica Garza <ica.za0014@gmail.com> Subject: Re: Wedding DJ !! Los Angeles

Sorry we only accept cash.
This is a scam
Please don’t contact us again.
Your email has been blocked.

Good day.

No Reply  : ) : )


Remember to trust your gut instincts.
If the tone of the inquiry or conversation feels fishy it most likely is a scam.

Good luck and have an amazing event!

About the author:
Lee Dyson is the owner of Hey Mister DJ.
A DJ & production company based in Los Angeles with 5 star reviews as a top provider of DJs, music, sound & lighting for all types of special events.

#weddingtips #weddinghelp #2024wedding #2025wedding #weddingexpert #weddingblog #weddingarticle #weddingplanning #weddingvendor #eventhelp #eventideas

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