Bogus conference invitations introduce innocent to a scam | Business | #phishing | #scams

With a dose of flattery and an invitation to an exclusive event, scammers hope you’ll pay to attend a conference that doesn’t exist. Numerous women have reported receiving phony invitations to the “Women’s Leadership Summit.”

In this scam, an email arrives from a woman who says she reviewed your LinkedIn profile and found it interesting. She thinks you would be an excellent fit for an upcoming Women’s Leadership Summit in your state. One consumer looked into the event and discovered that scammers are using the name of a real person who organizes conferences and events, which makes the message seem legitimate.

If you reply to the email, you will receive a link for a “Women’s Leadership Summit” near you. This website has more information about the conference. Some of the speakers listed are high-profile people. One recent event allegedly included a talk from the CEOs of Apple, Netflix and Whole Foods. However, the speaker photos, titles, and bios are simply stolen from other websites.

Without giving many specific details about the event — not even the price — you’ll be prompted to enter credit card information to participate. If you enter your details, scammers will charge your card and get access to information, such as your company’s phone number and address.

The Better Business Bureau offers these tips for avoiding event scams:

• Research events before you opt in. Search the event name online and look for reviews and comments from people who already have attended or purchased tickets. Keep a close eye out for complaints about scams. If you can’t find anything about an event outside of the official website, consider this a red flag.

• Watch out for phishing scams. Scammers love to send professional looking emails to unsuspecting consumers that include links to events, prizes and other offers. Sometimes simply clicking on a link from a stranger can download malware onto your computer and compromise your personal information. Learn more about phishing scams.

• Check for contact information. Legitimate companies and organizations should have a real website with more than vague claims. It should include a working phone number and email where you can ask questions and get specific answers.

If you’ve spotted a scam, whether or not you’ve lost money, report it to Your report can help others avoid falling victim to scams.

Find more information about scams and how to avoid them at

Reanna Smith-Hamblin is president and CEO of the Better Business chapter serving this region. She can be reached at 502-588-0043 or

Reanna Smith-Hamblin is president and CEO of the Better Business chapter serving this region. She can be reached at 502-588-0043 or

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