Warning: Conference Scams
Recently, several scams have been brought to our attention involving
fictitious conferences. We wish to bring this type
of activity to your attention, as some of our members have been the
unfortunate victims of these fraudulent practices.
Scams of this nature involve announcing a fictitious conference and then
collecting fees from participants, sometimes for registration, but often
for accommodation. In the end, there is no conference and the funds are
Sometimes the emails announcing these fake conferences are poorly
written and are obviously fake. Other times however, the emails are very
convincing and include full agendas and other conference details. Often
emails advertising the fake conference are sent to different NGOs and
networks who unwittingly pass the information along to their members,
thus lending legitimacy to this fictitious event.
Some hints that a conference might not be real are:
- Participants told they must book accommodation at a specific hotel
before receiving assistance in procuring a travel visa
- Participants told to pay a registration "processing fee"
- No detailed contact information for the organization holding the
- A Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail address as the main contact point
- No website for the organization, only mentions of the conference on
the websites of other organizations
- Payment accepted only through Western Union or MoneyGram
More information on fake conferences and additional tips on spotting a
fake conference are available at:
We urge our members to be cautious when registering for conferences that
have been advertised on the internet. Do not divulge any personal
information or transfer funds until you are certain the event is legitimate.