Someone representing themselves as a senior marketing officer of an "on-line meeting booking, sign up and event RSVP reminder service" by the name of Cvent, out of Virgina, contacted me the other day saying that they were calling specifically on behalf of my national professional association. I am a local board member and take these calls seriously.
I verified, clearly and several times, with this person that they were endorsed by my national chapter. The Cvent officer insisted that national had requested that they contact me, personally, as a local board member. I am usually a deep skeptic, but they were very slick and persuasive. I dutifully went to their teleweb conference a couple days later and brought up their name at my board meeting in my report as someone we might work with.
I learned later that day that this organization apparently does NOT have our organization's national endorsement. They apparently do this kind of misrepresentation thing with many non-profit groups, and then sell them deceptive, multi-year contracts with outrageous hidden fees. Naturally, I also learned the person I spoke with was just a low level sales flunky, not a senior officer.
Alarmingly, this CVent company had recently duped the board of a small, local sister organization and then sued them for an extravagant, bank busting sum of money when they terminated a few days later after learning of the fraudulent representations and dangerous contract. They arrived at this incredible dollar amount based upon some very inflated and dubious "estimated revenues" over a multi-year period. They then called a number of board members up to 10 times a day to "collect".
I understand they hooked their board also when they clearly and repeatedly presented themselves as endorsed by their national organization as the "exclusive vendor" for this product.
Cvent reps apparently use the internet to find public informatation on volunteer board members, and then apply very displined, deliberate manupultative sales tactics to "hook" them unwittingly.
Just a word to the wise if any of these "on-line meeting" RSVP vendors, such as Cvent, contact you or other members of your volunteer organization.
You may need to bring this to the attention of your national organization office, as others, I suspect, have gotten pulled in by this outrageously false pitch.