Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Thousands of women fall for bridal show scam

Have you ever been to a bridal show? I went to one many years ago when I didn't even have a boyfriend. As a teenager, I had a friend who had a life-long obsession with being a pretty princess bride, and she really wanted to go, so I went with her. It was a terrifying experience; bitchy women and their miserable, even bitchier mothers were grilling sleazy vendors about prices while some poor guy (presumably the groom) trailed along behind. I was pressured into trying things on (rings, headpieces), putting things against my skin (hm, do I like candle white, or ivory?), and taking unwanted fliers (WIN A FREE HONEYMOON) despite my insistence that I wasn't getting married, but merely helping my friend.

So I'm definitely not laughing at these women, because I'm sure a fraction of them are kind, reasonable people. I'm laughing at the grabby, scary, type-A women (hope you get your money back!)

Photo by Daniel Day

Boston police and the FBI say at least 6,000 brides-to-be and wedding vendors have been duped by a "non-existent convention" called The Boston 411 Home and Bridal Show 2010. Advertised on Facebook and as "New England’s biggest and most extravagant bridal show," the convention claimed to be booked at the Hynes Convention Center March 5-7. In fact, the Hynes is hosting the annual assembly of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine on those dates.

Pre-paid admission passes were sold for $10 and $15, and attendees were promised “a welcome bag of goodies” and “a chance to win fabulous gifts and prizes” on the show’s bogus Web site. The show’s contact number goes to a voice mail.

Authorities said the scam artists were also selling advertising space in the show program for up to $450. Investigators are holding a press conference this afternoon to provide updates on the case and offer help to scam victims

Generally, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. I can't imagine paying $15 to get into a convention and expecting a welcome bag. It's not the Oscars! And I am not condoning any of this malicious scam, but I think targeting brides and home decorators was clever. Everything in those categories attracts ravenous, cash-flush people. But I really do hope that these people get their money back, and that the genius masterminds behind this are punished.

-Kay Banks

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