Hotel reservation poachers are more sophisticated and deceitful than ever
The malicious practices of hacking, espionage, and even the lesser happenstance of snooping aren’t the sole provenance of Russia or Wikileaks. If you’ve had your credit card or checking account information stolen, you know all too well that the theft could have happened through the hacking of a fast-food company’s server, through one of those card-capture gadgets placed over gas station and ATM card slots, or through phishing, malware, and spam links sent to your email. And you know how difficult it can be to make right.
Of course, sometimes your information is accumulated though unscrupulous means that are not strictly illegal. Customer lists are the big one, bought and sold daily, often because doing so is allowed in the minuscule print buried in those long user agreements we all automatically e-sign these days.
I’ve said this before: NSSF does not sell its membership list, nor does it sell its SHOT Show attendee list. Yet we’ve received a number of emails and calls lately from members concerned that we’ve done just that. We haven’t, but here’s what’s going on.
It seems that the current trending scam is for enterprising individuals to crawl LinkedIn and other social media platforms, aggregating lists of and contact information for anyone affiliated with a company that has a mention of SHOT Show in its profile or postings. These individuals are then taking that list and working it to scam you with “official” hotel offers for the 2018 SHOT Show.
Note: One way we’re seeing these scammers tip their hand is when their communications don’t specifically mention the SHOT Show. That’s a clue that they are trying to skirt trademark infringement. Their messaging may imply that the offer is about SHOT Show, yet have no license or approval to use our trademarks and logos.
NSSF has only two partners with respect to hotel accommodations in Las Vegas—the Venetian/Palazzo Hotels and onPeak—and we strive to make sure any communications regarding hotels comes from NSSF directly so that you know these communications are legitimate. To that end we will, on occasion, include news of a hotel profile or a great opportunity for a specific hotel if such an opportunity presents itself. Last year’s announcement regarding the newly opened W Hotel as being available through onPeak is a good example.
If you’re receiving emails, text messages, phone calls, private messaging through your social media accounts, or even good old snail mail advertising some “great deal from your friendly SHOT Show partner,” delete, block, hang up, and trash them. These offers did not come from us or our SHOT Show partners, they certainly aren’t “official”—and I can fairly guarantee that none of them are any “great deal.”
Have you been solicited by a Las Vegas hotel or service you think is scamming you? Contact customer service at ShowMgr@SHOTShow.org and tell us so we can get rid of these unscrupulous poachers.
NSSF Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer