There are countless moving parts when it comes to planning your wedding, and many of those parameters can lead to scams and fraud. Wedding scams can turn your dream day can turn into a nightmare.

Say yes to the dress but no to scams. Wedding dresses that do not look like they did online and photographers who do not produce the photos of your big day despite advance payment, are just the tip of the wedding scam iceberg. Some bride and groom related scams can lead to identity theft, online account takeover and even home invasions. Here are just a few possible ways those planning a wedding can fall victim to a scam.

Social Media Oversharing

Your engagement means you will be planning a wedding, booking a honeymoon and perhaps looking for a new place to live. It could even mean expensive gifts will be arriving at your residence. Social media is great for keeping your friends and family updated on your wedding preparations, but it can also have some pitfalls.

If you do not choose to keep your posts private, then you need to be on your guard against too-good-to-be-true offers and advertisements. Worse, a bride-to-be could be sharing both her married name and her maiden name with a would-be identity thief, or alerting a burglar to a possible payday.

Honeymoon Travel

Whether you are taking a far-flung distant trip of a lifetime or a more low-key weekend getaway, your honeymoon does not need to be ruined by a travel scammer. From phony listings, reservations that steal your credit card information and bookings with bogus hidden fees, there are a lot of ways someone can take advantage of your finances and your identity.

To avoid this trap, only use reputable sites that you can trust with your private information, and monitor the payment accounts you used carefully for any sign of fraudulent activity. Remember, this is not only true for your pre-wedding planning. Follow up in the weeks and months after your trip to make sure nothing is amiss.

Gift Registries

If you are accepting gifts from your friends and family, a gift registry really does help them out. It can provide a wide price range to choose from, and helps ensure their thoughtful gesture is really something you want or need – but no one needs identity theft.

Establishing an account with a reputable online retailer with a proven history of security gives peace of mind about making an online purchase. You will also have a better chance of receiving a tracking number for purchases, as well as customer service protection.

Credit Reports, Social Security Cards and More

Part of getting married inevitably involves your government documents. Some brides choose to change their last names, which means applying for new drivers’ licenses, Social Security cards, credit cards, insurance benefits and more. Newly married couples may also need new tax withholding forms, wills, insurance paperwork, utility or rental agreements and other similar considerations.

What it boils down to is an abundance of paperwork with your complete identities on it, waiting to be stolen, copied or forged. It is vital that newlyweds keep all of their important papers secured and out of sight, and destroy completely before discarding. That might mean adding a home-model cross-cut shredder to your gift registry, just to be safe!

Contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at 888.400.5530. For on-the-go assistance, check out the free ID Theft Help App from ITRC.

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