The IAFC has been alerted that unauthorized housing companies (called hotel poachers) have been contacting registered attendees and exhibitors offering cheaper rates at hotels in the IAFC’s VCOS Symposium in the Sun Conference housing block. This practice, also known as room pirating, is a scam that all attendees should be aware of in order to avoid passing along personal and financial information.
How hotel poachers book rooms and attempt to get your money:
Most poaching agencies do not have a contract with any hotels for room blocks. They will contact a housing wholesaler, such as Expedia, Priceline, etc. to see if rooms are available that they can mark up to resell to unsuspecting guests. Hotel poachers will claim to be calling on behalf of the IAFC or state that they are the official housing company and will sometimes ask that your room be paid in full, up front.
What we do, and what you can do, to avoid hotel poachers:
The IAFC negotiates contracts with hotels to include clauses to protect our attendees should the hotel oversell the rooms or any other issues that may arise with reservations. Rooms reserved outside of the IAFC's VCOS Symposium in the Sun Conference housing block do not have official contracts with the IAFC; therefore, we are unable to help you if any issues arise.
- Be aware that the IAFC has housing blocks with the Hilton Clearwater Beach only. To book a hotel room you must call or go online to reserve your room - a company will not call you to book your room for you.
- Trust your instincts and the old adage: If it sounds too good to be true then it most likely is.
- If you are ever unsure whether or not something is legitimate, contact us first before providing your personal information, company information, or any financial information.
If you receive an unrequested call or email from any company that is not our official housing provider, contact us immediately.