Be vigilant in any dealings with Expo Guide/FairGuide.com/Construct Data Verlag and other questionable practices.
Informa Exhibitions would like to advise all exhibitors to beware of a series of scams targeted at exhibitors of major trade exhibitions.
Who are these companies
Fairguide.com/ Construct Data Verlag has been carrying out this scam for several years now. They have been known to be registered in various countries including Slovakia, Austria and Switzerland.
Separately, an organisation called Expo Guide, operating out of Mexico, has also been carrying out similar scams. Due to the evasive practices of these companies, similar operations may sprout from other parts of the world under different names in the future.
How the scam works
Expo Guide and FairGuide claim to offer online listing services. They use a misleading form which resembles an organiser's free catalogue listing service, inviting exhibitors to sign-up and return the form for an entry in an on-line directory. Doing so contracts the purchaser into a three-year, non-retractable agreement.
The exhibitor then receives an invoice for about US$981 which, when not paid, quickly escalates into intimidatory debt recovery tactics and threats of legal action. Fairguide.com has engaged the services of two debt collection agencies, an Austrian company Gravis Inkasso Gmbh and a Swiss company Premium Recovery AG to harass these exhibitors.
What to do
If you are approached by Fairguide.com/ Construct Data/ Expo Guide, their debt collection agencies, or similarly suspicious operations, we suggest that you follow the advice below.
- You should not complete the listings form.
- However, if you have mistakenly completed and returned the forms, the advice is to ignore demands for payment. It has been established that Fairguide.com/Construct Data/Expo Guide have never carried out their threat of legal action against non-payers. Hence, do not be intimidated. Fairguide.com/Construct Data/Expo Guide will also attempt to get companies to settle for one-year payment instead of three to "avoid prosecution". The advice here is not to be tempted.
- Keep a written record of any communication with this company. If possible record any telephone calls and inform them that you are doing so.
IMHX was very well organised and focused on the true objective of the event – to showcase the materials handling industry.
MHE Fleet Controller, Kuehne+Nagel