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The practices of hacking, espionage and even the lesser happenstance of snooping aren’t the provenance of Russia or Wikileaks. If you’ve had your credit card or checking account information stolen, you know all too well that the theft could have happened through the hacking of a fast food company’s server, through those card-capture gadgets placed over gas station and ATM card slots and through phishing, malware and spam links sent to your email.

Of course, sometimes your information is accumulated strictly through unscrupulous means, even if those means aren’t strictly illegal. Customer lists are the big one, bought and sold daily, often because doing so is allowed in the minuscule print buried in those long user agreements we all e-sign so automatically these days.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: NSSF does not sell its membership list, nor does it sell its SHOT Show attendee list. Yet we’ve received a number of emails and phone calls lately concerned that we’ve done just that. Again, we haven’t, but here’s what’s going on.

It seems that the current trending scam is for enterprising individuals to crawl LinkedIn and other social media platforms, aggregating lists and contact information of anyone affiliated with a company that has a mention of SHOT Show in their profile or postings. They are then taking that list and working it to scam you with “official” hotel offers for the 2018 SHOT Show. Note: One way we’re seeing these scammers tip their hand is when their communications don’t specifically mention SHOT Show. That’s a clue that they are trying to skirt trademark infringement. Their messaging may imply the offer’s about SHOT Show, yet have no license or approval to use our trademarks and logos.

We can’t caution you enough. NSSF has only two partners with respect to hotel accommodations in Las Vegas, the Venetian/Palazzo Hotels and onPeak, and works extremely hard to make sure any communications regarding hotels comes from NSSF directly so that you know these communications are legitimate. To that end we will, on occasion, include news of a hotel profile or a great opportunity for a specific hotel if such an opportunity presents itself — last year’s announcement regarding the newly opened W Hotel as being available through onPeak is a good example.

If you’re receiving emails, text messages, phone calls, private messaging through your social media accounts or even good old paper mail advertising some “great deal from your friendly SHOT Show partner,” delete, block, hang up and send them to the trash can. These offers didn’t come from us or our SHOT Show partners, they certainly aren’t “official” — and I can fairly much guarantee you that none of them are any “great deal.”

Have you been solicited by a Las Vegas hotel or service you think is scamming you? Let us know! Contact customer service at ShowMgr@SHOTShow.org and tell us what’s happening to you. Together, we can make this SHOT Show and every SHOT Show the best experience for everyone and get rid of these unscrupulous poachers.