Scam Warning: Avoid fraudulent offers of attendee lists and hotel discounts

There are two common scams in the events industry where scammers post or send messages, usually by email, attempting to sell event attendee lists or solicit individuals to make hotel reservations at unauthorized hotels.

Registrants, exhibitors and sponsors of GPA Midstream and GPSA events should be aware of these common scams and how to identify their fraudulent offers.

The Facts

GPA Midstream and GPSA

  • data is securely managed and the association’s IT systems have not been compromised,
  • does not share or sell registrant emails nor physical addresses to any third party,
  • does not send this type of communication and is not affiliated with any party selling attendee lists or providing hotel reservation discounts for unauthorized hotels.

What to Look For

Scammers may aggregate contact lists using publicly available information or information produced by “web crawler” or “email scraper” software. These programs search the internet for the @ sign and compile lists that scammers can use to target event registrants, sponsors, etc.

Scammers will use the contact lists to send fraudulent communication using tactics such as:

  • Creating and using domain names that seem close to the association’s formal name, product names, or event names. These are fraudulent domains.
  • Producing a “sample” attendee list that may look credible but is, in fact, fraudulent.
  • Including “too good to be true prices” as part of the scam, including inexpensive, fraudulent attendees lists, greatly reduced rates for unauthorized hotel bookings, or scam discount codes for both.
  • Using multiple, varied domain names to push through spam filters.

What to Do

If you receive a scam email:

  • Do not interact with the message, not even to unsubscribe. Scammers can use your act of unsubscribing to confirm your email address is valid and then send you more scam and spam emails.
  • Again, do not interact with the message. Do not click links, sign any documents or provide any payment information.
  • Follow your organization’s procedure for reporting SPAM. You can also choose to block the sender’s email.
  • Be certain to book your event hotel the safest way possible. Go directly to the GPA Midstream website and follow event links to the registration section. If you have questions about registering for an event or booking event accommodations, please contact: Melodi Foster, Director of Meetings and Events.
  • If you receive lots of scam emails, you may consider filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC has a process to gather reports of these types of scams. The FTC works with law enforcement partners to investigate and bring cases against instances of fraud and other bad business practices. Use this link if you’d like to file a complaint ReportFraud.ftc.gov.