Scam alert: New email scam targets scientific writers

Here’s an interesting twist on the Nigerian diplomat/Irish Lottery scam. Elsevier, one of the largest publishers of scholarly journals, warned of a new scam targeting potential authors:


It has come to our attention that fraudulent emails are being distributed widely in the scientific community. These spam emails use fake publisher email addresses and attempt to appear as official communications from the publisher.

The fraudulent e-mail messages are generally called “Manuscript Submission”, “Call for Papers” or “European-Elsevier Scholarships” and are typically sent using e-mail accounts supported by Gmail, Hotmail or other free e-mail providers. Typically, the body of these messages contain a “Call for Papers”, requesting that authors submit scholarly articles via e-mail for publication by Elsevier in various Elsevier journals and other publications. These fraudulent e-mails involve a request for the victims to send “handling fees” to cover the processing of the article submitted.

Another message called “Editorial/Reviewer Appointment” asks potential reviewers to pay a fee to sign up as a reviewer.

Please be assured that Elsevier, Inc. is in no way associated with these fraudulent e-mail campaigns. Elsevier is currently investigating this fraud to identify the persons responsible and to bring them to justice. Elsevier does not solicit intellectual property or sign up fees from authors and reviewers in this fashion, and does not utilize Gmail, Hotmail, or any other free third-party e-mail providers in communications with authors and editors.

If you receive any e-mail messages that appear to be a part of this fraudulent solicitation, DO NOT respond to the message and do not open any attachments contained in the message. Rather, please forward the message to Elsevier’s Fraud Department at We will use the information included in the message to aid in our investigation. If you know of someone who has received this message, please pass along the above information and ask them also to forward the message to the Elsevier’s Fraud Department.

More information on “phishing” is available from Elsevier at

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