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FTC Takes on Scammers Targeting Association Events and Member Lists

ISA submitted written testimony, influencing the positive outcome 

ALEXANDRIA, VA – February 22, 2024– The International Sign Association applauds action taken by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) earlier this week, targeting scammers who impersonate businesses to sell fraudulent hotel reservations and attendee lists.  

The FTC’s Government and Business Impersonation Rule allows the FTC to file federal court cases aimed at forcing scammers to return money they made by impersonating a business entity.  

“We have seen an increase in these deceptive activities each year and in 2023, ISA sent more than 300 cease-and-desist letters to companies fraudulently using ISA Sign Expo’s name and brand,” said Lori Anderson, ISA president and CEO. “Victims may be impacted by identity theft or overpaying for hotel rooms or may purchase lists that have no basis in reality.”

ISA submitted written testimony as part of the FTC’s rulemaking, citing the confusion that these fraudulent actors create and the negative impact they have on the sign, graphics and visual communication industry events. 

“This is a good first step to seeing these scammers put out of business and ISA will continue to be at the forefront of this battle,” Anderson said.  

Expo scammers may offer hotel rooms that cost more than official room rates. Or they may charge an attendee’s credit card without making a reservation. Lists may never arrive or be culled from the internet and be outdated or inaccurate. ISA never sells attendee lists. Hotel reservations are handled by onPeak on behalf of ISA International Sign Expo; onPeak is the exclusive housing partner for ISA Sign Expo. 

Anyone receiving an email offering a list of ISA Sign Expo attendees or hotel room reservations outside of onPeak can forward the email to info@signs.org. ISA can verify whether the email is legitimate and take appropriate steps as defined by the FTC rules against companies using ISA’s name and/or logo.