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Limo drivers, bakers, florists, photographers, all the local bridal services vendors, not to mention brides in the Boston area, had been buzzing for weeks over the major bridal show, "The Boston 411 Bridal & Home Show 2010," that was supposed to begin on Friday, March 5. "Supposed to" are the operative words here, because after months of tweets, ticket sales, Facebook friends and an extensive website, it turns out the whole thing was a scam. No arena, no hotel rooms, no flowers, no dresses, no cake. Just... left at the altar.
The Boston Globe reports local wedding vendors are in shock. About 200 area bridal businesses paid fees ranging from $350 to $4,000 to participate. Ticket sales were also brisk, with an estimated 5,000 people paying form $10 to $15 a person to attend the show that wasn't. Jimmy Jay, a local D.J., was talked into producing radio spots for the Boston bridal show. "I am shocked,'' he told The Globe. "It amazes me that this would happen, that I'd get caught up in this sort of thing because I am pretty sharp.''
Boston police began their investigation last week, when they received a phone call from the executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority. Director James Rooney contacted authorities when a sales manager was stunned to discover a phony website promoting an event to local wedding vendors and brides that had never been booked.
According to The Globe, the police department held a press conference on Monday, hoping to alert the victims so they could cancel any travel plans they may have had. Police have also set up an email account that victims can use and help the police gather evidence. The email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The woman fronting the whole elaborate charade gave her name as Jamie Edwards and even supplied a Boston area phone number as a contact. Like a bridezilla who will say anything to get what she wants on her wedding day, the scammers even lured prospective vendors with the promise that some proceeds would go to earthquake victims in Haiti.
Boston police, and the FBI, are out to get their man or woman. The Globe reports Detective Steven Blair, who gave the press conference announcing the investigation, is confident they will catch whoever was behind the bridal show scam. Blair said it was possible that the culprits were from outside the area, perhaps even from outside the country, but added that "I'm banking it's a local issue."
"We're going to catch who did this,'' he said.