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The Resource Center Identity Theft & Protection | article

Avoid the Pitfalls of a Wedding Fair

Planning the perfect wedding is no simple feat, as brides and grooms want to be sure that when they look back on the big day, it will be an event filled with happy memories. If you're planning your dream wedding, you probably understand that doing this successfully requires an expert attention to detail, from picking a design for the invitations to sizing up the attire for those in the wedding party.

Since February is National Wedding Month, there are a lot of wedding fairs that aim to make the planning process an easier venture for all involved. These conventions are essentially a one-stop shop for the happy couple to peruse everything from bakeries for the cake to wedding bands for the reception. In many cases, you can sign up for contests or promotions at these fairs that promise either free or discounted wedding packages that are too good to be true. You might even find the perfect venue to walk down the aisle and sign your name, along with other personal identification information, on a form to reserve the space for the big day.

Large conventions are swimming with strangers — one may be an identity thief
When you are at a large convention where vendors are asking you to share such personal information as your address or phone number, you may be putting yourself at serious risk for identity theft. This is especially true if you put your information on a list with a bunch of other brides and grooms, as you can't be sure who will be scanning it after you've signed away.

Protect your information from exposure to the masses
Often, identity thieves will take down the names on these lists while they sit relatively unguarded on tables in booths, and then they'll use the information to commit fraud. The last thing you want before you start your new life with a partner is to be the victim of identity theft, as it could lead to a diminished credit score, or even ruin your good name. This can limit your chances of getting loans for things like a new car or house on terms that you and your mate can afford.

In order to preserve the integrity of your credit report, do yourself a favor and avoid signing up for things at this event if the lists are publicly viewable. Moreover, enroll in an identity monitoring program to help make sure you start of life as newlyweds on the right foot.