Musings: National Association of Professional Women SCAM

This is an off topic post, but as I share my love of bubbles with you, I would feel remiss not to share other lessons I have learned.  As a business professional during my day job as well as having experience as a small business owner, I understand many of the common pitfalls that come with trying to grow a successful business.  I write my blogs mostly about products from small business owners, not only to help you as the consumer discover some hidden gems created by artisans who don't have major marketing budgets, but to also assist those small businesses reach a broader audience if possible.

So I write this quick blog to advice some small business owners not to fall victim to this and other predatory scams.  

Today at work, I received a letter from the National Association of Professional Women. 
The letter stated:
 Dear Ayieta,
It is my pleasure to inform you that your 2015 membership has been approved in the National Association of Professional Women.  You were considered for this honor because of your outstanding leadership, commitment within your profession and employment at ****.
NAPW highlights and profiles the country's most accomplished professional women in more than 200 industries and professions.  We provide an exclusive and powerful networking forum where our members can communicate and connect.
Inclusion in NAPW is a privilege shared by thousands of professional women throughout America each year.
 The letter goes on to insist that membership is limited and I must return my application in 5 business day or go online to reserve my membership.

At first I was flattered. My hard work in my chosen field has been recognized.  But then I began to think, how?  How did they approve a membership for which I did not apply?  I don't remember speaking to anyone about this association and I have only worked with my current employer for about nine months.  Why would I be recognized for my work here versus with my previous employer for whom I worked for five years and as the general manager, I networked and did much more outreach than I do now as an HR Director. 

Ego aside, something just didn't feel right.  I googled the NAPW and came across a "D" rating from the BBB as well as several blog posts and articles including this one.  Confirming my suspicion, that this indeed was just a way to usurp funds from me.

When deciding to join a professional organization, promotion or networking opportunity, before paying for anything, be sure to do your homework, ask questions and in the end, if you don't feel good about it in your gut, don't be afraid to say no.  I truly suggest you read this blog post.  It has some very good information about the tactics of such "associations".

Don't get suckered: National Association of Professional Women

No comments