Fraudulent emails, purporting to be from ISA or on behalf of ISA, have become an increasing issue affecting the association and potentially opens the industry to scams.
That’s why ISA has joined other industry organizations calling for intervention from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to act to prevent business impersonation fraud.
Scam emails impacting industry associations tend to work in one of two ways: hotel reservation scams, in which brokers offer misleading cancellation policies or non-existent hotel rooms to gain an attendee's credit card information, or attendee list sales, in which a rogue list broker falsely claims to have the attendee list.
In the weeks and months before the highly successful ISA International Sign Expo® 2023, held in April, ISA sent more than 300 cease-and-desist letters to these scammers. Exhibitors and attendees contacted ISA frequently, confused and concerned about what communications were legitimately from ISA and which were fraudulent.
ISA is not alone, as these scams run rampant throughout all industries and all types of events.
On May 4, 2023, the FTC held a hearing on business impersonation scams. ISA's concerns were cited in the testimony. ISA has joined with other industry trade groups in supporting a new regulation currently under consideration by the FTC: "Rule on Impersonation of Government and Businesses."
ISA will continue to monitor the proposed FTC regulation and, if need be, support further regulatory actions to deter fraud and punish scammers.
Any company that claims to provide a current and accurate list of ISA Sign Expo attendees or discounted rates on hotel rooms is misleading purchasers and potentially exposing them to identity theft. ISA does not sell its list of attendees and their email addresses to any outside entity.
Legitimate emails from the International Sign Association will always come from the @signs.org domain email address or will direct you to signs.org or signexpo.org websites. Booking rooms directly from links on the ISA Sign Expo website (www.signexpo.org) is the safest way to prevent hotel-related fraud. If you receive an email of concern do not click on any links. To verify its legitimacy, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm.