The latest update about the international Fairguide scam is that Wolfgang Valvoda from Construct Data in Slovakia has been charged with fraud in the US by a Grand Jury in Illinois. It has been estimated that Construct Data has defrauded 1000 victims out of over $2 million across the US.
This continues to be an issue for our industry on a global scale. Please continue to keep exhibitors updated and ensure new exhibitors are aware
We have recently been made aware that Expo Guide is now operating out of Mexico. It is run by a company called Expo Guide, S. de R.L. de C.V., based in Mexico, which sends out an innocent looking directory application form to companies world-wide that are exhibiting at business expo events of all types. This company's details are as follows:
Expo Guide, S. de R.L. de C.V.
Ave Horacio 340 -3
Col. Chapultepec Morales
C.P. 11570 Mexico D.F.
Fax: + 52 (55) 26 24 26 97
A more recent PO Box address that is also used is the following. It appears that both addresses are used, the one above as the legal office and the one below to correspond with scam victims:
Apartado Postal No 39-064
C.P. 15621 Mexico D.F.
We are in the process of gathering further information about this latest scam and would advise organisers to remain cautious and vigilant of any such communications.
View more information regarding Expo-Guide, Mexico.
We have recently been made aware of a fraudulent hotel booking company who are contacting exhibitors and claiming to be either a preferred supplier or, in some cases, working for the show/exhibition itself.
We are in the process of gathering more information about this latest potential scam but in the meantime, we would urge organisers to be vigilent and cautious of any such communications.
IAEE recently announced it has stopped the Construct Data/Fair Guide scam that many IAEE members have received. The full announcement can be found here.
The company Construct Data Verlag ceased to exist in Austria on 30 January 2010 after legal action was successfully taken against them by the Austrian Agency against Unfair Competition.
It is important that the entire industry is made aware of activities relating to third parties contacting exhibitors for entries into show guides. An example of one such guide is Fairguide and more recently 'Expo-Guide' (click here to learn more about Expo-Guide). We are strongly advising our members and all exhibitors to be vigilant against organisations such as these, who do not represent the good name developed within the exhibitions industry. Please warn all your exhibitors about such guides and more generally to carefully read small print details before signing any document.
Please also note that despite settling out of court and agreeing to stop sending out misleading forms, Fairguide/Construct Data have altered the look and format of their forms (including a new logo) and are continuing to send these to exhibitors.
Fairguide and Expo-Guide are not the only threats to your exhibitors and visitors. Beware of bogus hotel booking agencies that offer discounted accommodation, take your exhibitors' and visitors' money and don't deliver the services they claimed. Click here to read more.
Expo-Guide and Fairguide.com/Construct Data Verlag regularly publicise their services to exhibitors at events, primarily in Europe. Both companies use a misleading form, which resembles an organiser’s Free Catalogue Listing Service, inviting exhibitors to sign and return the form for an entry in an on-line directory. Doing so contracts the purchaser into the three-year, non-retractable agreement. Non-payment is then followed by aggressive debt collecting by Premium Recovery.
What to do
Our advice, should receive any communication from Expo-Guide and Fairguide.com/Construct Data Verlag is to IGNORE THEM COMPLETELY and do not communicate with them in any way. Experience tells us that writing letters simply confirms that you are alive and at the address / email address / number they have for you and therefore they are able to continue to pursue you.
Expo-Guide and Fairguide.com/Construct Data Verlag have no connection with exhibition organisers or any of their events but they deliberately target exhibitors who are about to exhibit across Europe.
NEW Expo-Guide form example (if you get one of these, throw it away)
NEW fairguide form example (if you get one of these, throw it away)
Old fairguide form example (if you get one of these, throw it away)