Today I received the following email which was entitled the same as one of my publications:
Dear Dr. Ian,
I followed your research works which were of extremely high standard. I would like to invite you to the World Pediatrics Webinar 2021 which aims to accelerate scientific discoveries and major milestones in the field of Pediatrics. The conference will be held during June 08-09, 2021.
Conference Website: https://www.▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮-▮▮▮▮▮▮▮.com/
You can directly contact me through Whatsapp: +37▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Please let me know your interest so that we can discuss further. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Ian Watson | Program Manger
World Pediatrics Webinar 2021
I get a few of these scam conference or predatory journal emails a week. It takes about 500 milliseconds to recognize the scam. First, that paper was not of extremely high standard. Second, Whatsapp, really? I dutifully report them as junk to my organization's email platform, but they keep coming.
I've found a couple of tangentially related questions:
- How to warn others about a conference-related scam?
- How to make sure that a conference is not a scam when you are invited as a speaker?
The first has to do with a specific scam associated with a particular conference and the second is about identifying the scam.
In contrast, my question is about how to deal with the problem once identified, productively.
- What arguments can I make to my academic institution's IT department that blocking these emails should be a priority?
- If I can't convince my IT department to block the emails for everyone, is there an authority I can complain to? Google? The website's hosting provider? The payment processor?
In addition to the annoyance (which spread over an organization sized number of individuals is considerable and detracts from meaningful academic pursuits), academics fall for prey to deceptive practices all the time  . This means potentially hundreds wasted on registration fees, which are frequently paid by funds provided by taxpayers or charitable organizations.