lammert - 2:33 am on Sep 19, 2010 (gmt 0)
Today I received an email which was directed to one of our clients. It was a professionally written email to promote an exhibition where they invited my client to participate. The exhibition website which they linked to contained several hundreds of pages with professionally written content, photo and video galleries, press releases and lists of proposed participants. It must have taken thousands of man-hours to create that site. The domain name was carefully chosen. They offered pre-paid exhibition space in a first-class exhibition center in the near future in a foreign country.
The only weird thing were a few spelling errors on places where you wouldn't expect them and a floor plan of the exhibition center which didn't list the actual exhibitors. These few minor things were enough red flags for me to investigate further.
Although the organization claimed to be in business for many years, the domain was only recently registered. And at the dates they mentioned there wasn't an exhibition of that kind planned in the exhibition center they mentioned.
I am sure many people they contacted won't do the thorough checking I have done and will pay to have a cheap opportunity to promote their business.
I have seen many Internet scams over the years, but this was the first which had such a high quality that it was almost impossible to see the difference with a legitimate business.