During the past several years, most of us have been deluged by unwanted emails offering event attendee lists for sale or offers for discount loging at these events offered by trade associations and professional organizations. Some may even look like they sent by the sponsor organization.
Impersonator scams were the most reported type of scam in 2022, with an estimated $2.6 billion in losses. These impersonation scams have serious economic consequences for businesses, including non-profits. Notably, reported losses from scammers impersonating businesses grew nearly 50 percent compared to 2021.
While an overwhelming number of these emails are scams and should be ignored, it does not eliminate the nuisance that these emails cause for recepients and the time it takes for associations like SPFA to respond to member concerns.
There is now proposed rule under consideration by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to crack down on these scammers: "Trade Regulation Rule on Impersonation of Government and Businesses", R207000, Docket No. FTC-2022-0064. Joining hundreds of other trade associations and professional organizations, SPFA has signed on to a letter to the FTC urging them to adopt this new regulation.
If enacted, it will be a violation of federal law to impersonate businesses and send these unwanted solicitations by email.