I usually receive many emails from scam journals asking me to publish my work there. And as I understand the scam is that they charge you a lot of money for that, and/or they steal your authors' rights.

But I recently got a different email (and a reminder) from Ms. Elsa Wang about a conference 9th Annual World Congress of Advanced Materials 2022 (WCAM-2022) in Tokyo, where I'm supposed to be an invited speaker/chair:

On behalf of committee and based upon your outstanding contribution in this field, we cordially welcome you to deliver a presentation as Speaker/Chair regarding your recent work [...]

The rest of the email is pretty well written, and the website claims to have important speakers who I recognize and have a pretty good CV. I guess this email is a kind of scam, but it's not clear to me how the scam would go.

So do you confirm this email is a scam? If so, where is the trap? (I guess all expenses are covered for invited speakers usually, no?)

  • 5
    Not every reputable conference covers all expenses for their invited speakers - some will just not have the budget for this. And in a scam, bait-and-switch tactics are common.
    – Arno
    Aug 29, 2021 at 11:26
  • Possibly related: academia.stackexchange.com/questions/9362/…
    – Daniel K
    Aug 29, 2021 at 13:27
  • 2
    I deleted the reference to a specific person - I'm not sure we should be doing that. Aug 29, 2021 at 20:41
  • The key point is how much registration you still have to pay. Unless the email explicitly states you will have to pay nothing, or states the discounted registration fee, it’s likely a vanity trap where you will have to pay registration and everything else (travel, hotel etc). This kind of invitation is generic. Aug 30, 2021 at 1:33
  • You'll have to pay money to register for something, it won't be free to attend.
    – Tom
    Aug 30, 2021 at 13:03

1 Answer 1


A good technique to research questions of the form "is X a scam?" is to google "X scam".

I just googled "Annual World Congress of Advanced Materials WCAM scam".

One of the first hits is someone's blog, which describes the author's experience:

I’m answering a spam email from BIT Life Sciences, which inviting me to their WCAM-2018 conference in Xiamen, China. I suppose the conference is real (see the cover picture), but for sure it is a predatory conference from a for-profit organization.

So, I created a fake email with a fake name and started contacting Ms. Elsa Xing, who sent me the spam email.


followed by a hilarious e-mail exchange with the scammer. TLDR: the scammer wants your money.


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