Academics beware, there is a new phishing ploy ongoing and it is made just for you! Step 1 in this scam is that you receive an invitation through social media or email. The organization of an upcoming exclusive conference is very positively impressed by your qualifications and expertise, and would be honored to book you as guest speaker at their next event. Now isn’t that nice to hear?

The invitation looks professional. Your name (and title) are spelled correctly and there is even a link to the conference. And there are of course all these nice words of appraisal for your work, how very kind. When you look at the conference by following the provided link, you will find several announced speakers for the conference and all kinds of data about the event.

If you would follow that link, which we don’t, right? Of course we don’t! We start with googling the name of the organization and sometimes we actually find the organization but no connection to the conference. Sometimes we don’t even find the name of the organization, with the exception of multiple entries on a site where you can register events for free. Wait a minute, the conference you are invited for shows up, too…

Next stop, googling the name of the person who invited you. Similar results. You will find no link between the person and the organization, other than that conference on that free event registration site. But all those kind words, and the appraisal for your great work? These invites are of course a hoax and just created to lure you into providing personal data including your banking data.

If you would respond and show you are interested, the “organization” of the conference will kindly request you personal details so they can make all arrangements for you. Of course, passport and credit card are in safe hands… NOT!

Best response is don’t respond at all!

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