To be clear: German trade fair organisers do not pass
on visitor data to address traders. Exhibitors can therefore assume that such
offers are regularly made with fraudulent intent, as the promised data cannot
be delivered at all. In addition, contact lists of address dealers have only a
limited value anyway. Section 7 of the German Act against Unfair Competition (UWG)
stipulates that contact for advertising purposes by e-mail or telephone is only
permitted if the person concerned has given his express prior consent. Lists of
e-mail addresses are therefore practically useless without a specific
declaration of consent from the data subject.
The publicly accessible exhibitor directories of the
trade fair organisers are misused by fraudsters in order to specifically
address exhibiting companies in connection with their trade fair participation.
A reference to the upcoming trade fair for which the exhibitor is registered
suggests that a business relationship already exists and that there is a
cooperation between the e-mail sender and the trade fair organiser. With this
trick it is possible, that exhibitors respond to such offers and transfer
money to accounts outside Europe. Once the money has been transferred abroad,
it is virtually impossible to get the money back, especially if the amounts are
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Information on data protection at AUMA can be found here.