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The AEO guide to protecting exhibitors from scammers

Scamming is a huge problem across the globe, with the total cost to the world of cybercrime estimated to rise to a staggering $10 trillion by 2025.  It’s a fact that the scammers are getting smarter, more sophisticated and more aggressive. 

Trade and consumer shows are not immune from this worrying trend and exhibitors at shows can represent an attractive target for scammers, who harvest data from public websites and directories and pretend to represent the organiser of the event, or companies associated with the event.  We want you to enjoy your exhibition experience, to be alert and to protect yourself and your company from potential scams.  In this short video, we will tell you about the type of scams you should look out for, what makes something look suspicious and what to do if you are a victim of scamming.

Members are welcome to add their own branding to this video. Please let us know if you would like the raw video file to do this. As we’re only a small team, we do ask that members do this in house.  

Contact Lauren 

Organisers - Alert your customers!

Please make exhibitors aware and reassure them that these are scams. Let your customers know to check the small print before signing anything related to your events.

Many AEO Members include information on their websites, in exhibitor manuals and at exhibitor days, we would encourage this practice and any other means of customer communication that is relevant to your business.

What to do if targeted by a scammer

If you fall victim to one of these scams:

Our advice is to IGNORE THEM COMPLETELY, and do not communicate with them in any way. Writing letters and responding to emails simply confirms that you exist and are available at the address/email address/number they have for you, and therefore payment can be pursued.

  • ALERT the organiser of your event
  • Report it to your local trading standards 
  • DO NOT COMMUNICATE WITH THE SCAMMERS even when they threaten legal action
  • Optional: Complain to the receiving bank that their client Expo Guide (or equivalent), is obtaining money by deception.


These organisations have also been known to use debt recovery agencies, the same advice stands for these agencies. Do not engage with them.

Some feedback from exhibitors we've advised

"Thank you so much for your email. From reading forum discussions it does seem as if my experience is following the same routine as others in the past."

"There is comfort in knowing I am not the only one to fall victim to this, it makes me feel so embarrassed that I fell for it."

"They threaten legal action, then offer to reduce the payment. It’s reassuring to hear that in your experience no one has actually been taken to court over this. The UKFT said the same."

"I think I will definitely change my contact details for peace of mind."