Local bride out hundreds of dollars to wedding photo scam

Published: Nov. 8, 2017 at 10:45 PM CST
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Planning a wedding can be expensive and photographers can run you thousands of dollars, but one local bride-to-be contacted our Whistleblower Hotline after she was scammed out of hundreds of dollars. She found an online company offering to set up a website where guests could upload photos and videos, which she thought was the perfect way to save a little dough, but two months later she is left with only memories and a few photos to remember her special day.

"Why would you scam somebody on their wedding day?" Priscilla Kramer asks looking at a frozen computer screen. Kramer is a happy newly wed, busy packing to move into the new home she bought with her now husband, but there's one thing missing from her big day - pictures.

"Right now I don't have any wedding pictures," Kramer explains. She bought a package through WedReel, a website advertising the ability for wedding guests to take and upload pictures and videos of her big day. Those, along with pictures and videos from the bridal party and honeymoon, would later be turned into a video for Kramer as well as be available to download from the "cloud" they were uploaded to.

But two months post-wedding, Kramer hasn't seen a thing. "It's pretty frustrating that somebody would create something and just not answer, not give an explanation as to why they did it, or maybe even saying it's not a scam, I'm working on it."

WedReel is registered as a business in Phoenix, Arizona. But looking closer, the business address listed for the company is a building for virtual office space. VNL left three messages over a week span with WedReel's tech support line and didn't hear back. And if you call the number Kramer received automated texts from you get a prerecorded message saying the phone number isn't registered.

And the Better Business Bureau of Arizona says they've recently received multiple complaints for the company - Just like Kramer's. Reading through, brides complain of the company starting out professionally and promising, but later realizing they lost out on hundreds of dollars and wedding photos.

"They put all their money into you to, you know, upload pictures of their wedding they're expecting from their great day," Kramer said. "It's their special day, especially the bride. I mean, you shouldn't really take that from somebody."

To top it off, as Kramer showed VNL the logon portal for those uploading photos to her account, the website stopped working. She wasn't able to click into the forms to type in her email or password, and the links labeled for "PRIVACY" and "ABOUT US" wouldn't open either.

Kramer says she wants to warn others who are planning their wedding to look deeper into services like WedReel, and for now hopes that the precious wedding photos and videos uploaded to the website are still there. "My wedding was great and I had a lot of fun, but I wish I had something to look back at years from now."