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1 Sep, 2012

Exhibition Association Warns Members About “Misleading” Directory Scams


31 Aug 2012 – UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry, has warned members to beware of scams purporting to provide “misleading directory services.” Published in the September 2012 edition of its newsletter, the full text of the warning reads thus:

In the past we have provided you with information concerning a scam perpetrated against exhibitors by FairGuide.com/Construct Data Verlag with their misleading directory services.

Now, Expo Guide, which is working out of Mexico and which is suspiciously similar to FairGuide. Expo Guide/FairGuide.com/Construct Data Verlag is also targeting companies through legitimate exhibition guides aimed at exhibitors. Their current activities cover companies throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia.

Expo Guide joins FairGuide in claiming to offer online listing services. They use a form which resembles an organiser’s free catalogue listing service, inviting exhibitors to complete the form for an entry in an on-line directory. Unsuspecting exhibitors who sign and return the form are then contracted into a three-year, nonretractable agreement, which could cost the exhibitor a significant amount of money, with no foreseeable benefits.

Included in their group is debt collection agency Gravis Inkasso Gmbh and Swiss debt collection agency Premium Recovery AG (a Construct Data subsidiary) which works in partnership with the various guides to intimidate exhibitors into paying.

These publications have no connection with exhibition organisers or any of their events. It is important that all companies who are exhibiting are made aware of this.

There are many so called guides that mail deceptive contracts and then harass those who sign them in error for money. However the sheer scale and systematic way in which these guides attack the credibility of our exhibition industry is outrageous.

We strongly advise our UFI members, all exhibitors and the entire exhibition community, to be most vigilant against this and similar organisations. These organisations can cause extreme damage and harm to the reputation of our exhibition industry.