This email invitation to the International Litigation Legal-Con Singapore 2018 made my day:
Dear Martin Schweiger,
We would like to inform you that 5th October is the last day of registration for the upcoming “International Litigation Legal-Con Singapore, 2018.”
Date: 15th & 16th of October, 2018
Venue: The Fullerton Hotel
If you have not registered, kindly visit the link below to register online.
Do let us know if you have any queries regarding the mentioned forum.
I look forward to welcoming you and your firm on board.
Client Relationship Manager
Phone: +1 510 298 xxxx
The conference is not cheap. 999.00 US$ registration fee per participant. Plus a 199.00 US$ Cocktail Reception and Networking Dinner fee.
The word “Con” in the email subject line jumped at me. The term “con” is used in “con man”.
And men don’t send each other “warm” regards. In no country of this world.
A black (!?) box was added as signature to the email:
The above data privacy statement in the email signature is not correct. I have never opted in via their website.
I would normally delete such a nonsense but I ran a routine check, out of curiosity. What is behind this “Legal-Con”?
Step 1: Check the Business Address
I looked up the above address in Google Maps:
Actually, it is an empty field:
The Google street view shows that (at least) there are roads. But no building.
This is what Dr. Google says about this address, it is residential (4 beds, 3 baths):
Step 2: Check the People
The email above has been written by “W. J.”. Below is W. J.’s LinkedIn profile. The profile has no photo of W. J., and no work experience is mentioned before April 2018.
Why does a Client Relationship Manager not want to show his photo in the Internet?
Step 3: Check the Phone Numbers
The phone number in W. J.’s email is definitely fishy. The entire ILC organisation uses the same phone number +1 510 298 xxxx, all over the place on their website. And the same phone number is used in W. J.’s email signature. Does a real Client Relationship Manager use the general incoming phone line of his company?
The area code 510 is Oakland at the SF Bay, says Wikipedia:
And not Manteca which has the area code 210.
There are a number of VOIP phone companies in Oakland, so having that area code is not unusual. But it does mask where they are really located.
Step 4: Check with People that You Know
Then I made a few enquiries with the speakers that were listed on the conference webpage. It is always good to know people.
The speakers had the same doubts as I had, and there is one person who is mentioned as a speaker on the event webpage who even told me that he did not agree to speak at this conference. And still they use his good name to promote this event.
Not everyone was negative. One speaker was enthusiastic. She did not have to pay the registration fee. That definitely reduces the risk of attending such an event. She will travel all the way from Washington D.C. down to Singapore for attending this event.
Step 5: Wait for Inspector Luck and Sergeant Chance
A guy named K. L. started to pester me via LinkedIn messenger, about the same Legal-Con conference. His LinkedIn profile says that he works as a Senior Executive at a HSG company in South West Delhi, India.
This is the LinkedIn messenger conversation that I had with him:
That was when K. L. became silent. I removed him from my LinkedIn contacts.
Call to Action
As I have been writing the above lines, a “A. D.” started to pester me on LinkedIn about the IIPLA 5th Dubai IP Congress 2019.
Please do steps 1 to 5 above for the IIPLA 5th Dubai IP Congress 2019 yourself and decide whether IIPLA is a conference organizer that you want to trust. Or not.
The above is a good example for doing business in our part of the world.
What else do you need to know before you can say “no” to such a generous invitation?
If you have signed up for the International Litigation Legal-Con Singapore 2018 conference, and if you come to Singapore on 15 and 16 October, and if there is no conference, just book a 3-day holiday pass for seeing all the tourist attractions, here:
This one is a bargain.
You can trust me, I am a lawyer.
Martin “Beware of Thieves” Schweiger