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Tampa Bay women, that invite to a conference could be a scam

The Better Business Bureau is warning about a flattering email that could actually be an attempt to soak you.
Got an unexpected email invitation to a leadership summit? Check it out before you act.
Got an unexpected email invitation to a leadership summit? Check it out before you act. [ BOYZELL HOSEY | Times ]
Published Oct. 11

The email says they saw your profile on LinkedIn, and they were impressed. In fact, they think you would be a great candidate to attend a Women’s Leadership Summit right there in your state.

Pretty flattering, right?

Don’t pack your bags just yet. It could be another attempt by scammers to relieve you of some of your hard-earned cash.

This latest twist on the classic get-an-unsuspecting-person’s-credit-card-information scheme is currently making the rounds, according to the Better Business Bureau, with “numerous” women having already received the phony invitations.

Reply and you get a link to a website with information about the conference that could include some impressive details.

“One recent event allegedly included a talk from the CEOs of Apple, Netflix, and Whole Foods,” said a news release from the Better Business Bureau — except the speakers’ bios were lifted from other websites.

At least one email also used the name of someone who actually organizes such events, making it look legitimate in case a recipient googled it.

Recipients are prompted to enter a credit card number — only reasonable if you want to attend the event, right? — giving scammers access to account information.

Advice from experts: If you’re interested in an event, do your research, including looking for reviews from previous attendees. Also search for complaints from people who have been scammed. And be leery if there’s no information about an event beyond what’s on a website they sent.

“Legitimate companies and organizations should have a real website with more than just vague claims,” according to the Better Business Bureau. “It should include a working phone number and email where you can ask questions and get specific answers.”