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Searching through websites dedicated to collect upcoming scientific conferences, I have stumbled upon a lot of similar-sounding conferences around the world (e.g., see here), all organized through the "World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology", WASET. There is plenty of information about them on their respective websites, as the organizing committee, speakers already confirmed, etc.

This high quantity of similarly-titled conferences smells fishy. Is this some sort of scam, be it hard (they steal your money) or soft (lectures are actually given, without any real effort to look for relevant speakers, do peer-review, etc.)? Can anyone shed some light on this? Has someone here actually participated in, or even organized one of those?

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There are many, many different red or orange flags that you can use as signal to identify whether a specific conference may be spam, but the simplest algorithm is as follows:

Have you previously read high-quality, relevant papers from this venue? If no, is there some other specific reason for you to believe that this venue is reputable (e.g., trusted colleagues believe in the conference, or you are aware that this is a new conference bootstrapped by trust members of the community)? If the answer to both of these questions is "no", it's likely spam and not worth further investigation.

In the specific case of WASET, I would be surprised if this is anything else than a scam. They seem to be doing the same "conference" many times a month in many different "places" (although all virtual at the moment, apparently), and even though they seem to have a bunch of software engineering related conferences I can't for the life of me recall ever reading, or even seeing, a paper published there. Clear pass.

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