Possible scam or legit?

Hello everyone,

I am a wedding planner in southwest Missouri and I use the service Thumbtack for quite a few of my leads. This morning I had received a request for a quote for an anniversary party and I thought, why not? Since I do other events too.

I received a text from the potential client, who verified my email address, and then sent me the following email:

Thanks for your prompt response.

Due to the nature of my job, a Seaman/Sailor, always on a ship taking cargo from one destination to the other, it's kinda hard to plan a successful 10th year wedding anniversary party with the intent to make it a surprise party to wife, family and some friends all on my own, I guess I need help. I'd like to hire the services of an event planner in regards to my upcoming 10th year wedding anniversary which is coming up on Oct 14 2017, but I don’t wanna host this event at my residence, I'm already having lots of stress planning this event on my own that's why i want you to please coordinate this event for me, as I do believe that you will do me a lovely party and thrill my guest to the best of your ability.

Listed below are the services needed for the event:

*Getting us a venue is very important *Making proper arrangements for flowers and decor *Photography services *Catering Services; food and drinks for the guest I presume my guests would like to try a new cuisine. but it shouldn't be more than my budget. *I'd prefer a DJ and would like R&B and Jazz music. *Event color : White and Lemon *3tier Cake *Budget : 15k

I would like to inform you that all payments to vendors will have to go through you as my party coordinator/event planner and you can get all the necessary arrangement done for my event as i am officially out of town because my work makes me travel a lot and that's because I work 24/7 on a ship, so I'm always on the high sea but I will be in town 5 days prior to my wedding anniversary. My party time is 3pm to 7pm, Expected guest is 50. I'll like to know how much you charge for this kind of event. Deposit or full payment, will be made asap with my credit card once availability for venue is confirmed by you. I believe you can bring a level of service that surpasses anything we’ve seen before.

Please acknowledge the receipt of this mail and revert to me as soon as you can.

Signed, Potential Client.

I texted him and let him know that I was compiling an estimate and that I needed a little bit of time. He asked me what credit card processor I use, and since I'm just a small business in Missouri, I just use either Square or PayPal. I told him Square right off of the bat and he said "Okay go ahead . Iwill be expecting your email" and I had also said that I used PayPal as well. He then told me "I don't think my card provider works with that two merchant… Maybe you can set up chasepaymentech". I told him "Square and PayPal should be accepted and accept all major cards but I will double check". He said "I tried that before not working for, set up chasepaymentech, I will pay for the charges and fee okay?"

I am now very nervous because this is a huge job that I could make quite a bit of money off of but the way he's reacting is making me think this is not legit.

Should I insist on using PayPal since I (should) be protected or insist on a money order? He lives in Northern Arkansas so the event would be an hour-ish commute.

Thanks in advance!


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