Beware of scammers who organize non-existent expos. An Expo scam is when someone creates a fake event, usually in the form of an exposition, and gets innocent people to pay for it in advance. They then disappear without a trace, leaving the victims out of pocket and without an Expo.
One recent and high-profile example of this was the Amsterdam Cannabis Expo. This fraudulent Expo was supposed to take place between November 24th and 26th 2022, but never materialized. The people behind it collected payments from interested businesses and attendees, but never delivered on their promise. Reports indicate that it was already advertising as early as 2020 with a website and multiple social media pages, convincing even some well-known organizations with its offers of sponsorship deals. It appears that the scam made sure to cover all corners in its effort to dupe people.
Expo scams work by convincing businesses and individuals to pay for a trade show or expo that doesn’t exist. The fraudster will create a website or social media page for the Expo, and they’ll even go as far as to create fake reviews from happy customers. They’ll promise a prime location for the exhibition, as well as top-quality exhibition stands.
But the scammer won’t stop there. They’ll also require payment in advance, often asking for half or even the full cost of the expo. Once they have your money, they’ll disappear without a trace, and you’ll be left with no Expo and no refunds.
Sometimes, scammers even set up social media profiles and websites that make it look as if the Expo is legitimate. This can make it difficult for people to tell whether an Expo is real or not. So it’s important to be vigilant and do your research before buying any tickets or paying for exhibition space.
How to spot a fake Expo
So, how can you avoid getting scammed? Here are a few things to look out for:
- If the event website looks brand new, and too good to be true, that’s a red flag. Be sure to check the website carefully before you commit to anything.
- If the organizers are reluctant to give you specific details about the event, that’s another warning sign. You should be able to get a clear sense of what the event will be like before you agree to participate.
When in doubt, always do your own research. A quick Google search can often turn up information about whether an event is legitimate or not. Also talk to the owners of the purported venue of the expo. If the Expo is legit, then the venue owners will confirm this. If it’s not, then the owners will say there is nothing like that being organized at their venue.
If you’re ever unsure about an event, it’s better to err on the side of caution and steer clear. There are plenty of legitimate Expos out there, so there’s no need to take risks with your time or money. Please share your experience with Scam Help if you have been a victim of an Expo scam. Let’s share and help others not to fall victim.