How to spot a fake conference event

Fake, 'scam' or 'predatory' conferences have become more common in Covid times. Registration is taken, but there is no conference and no means of retrieving the funds.

Signs to look out for are:

  • an overly ambitious title (e.g., 'international' or 'global')
  • a scientific programme that is very broad and difficult to access
  • a website with spelling and grammatical errors
  • a mismatch between the profile of the conference and the sponsors involved
  • missing or suspicious organiser details (no conference secretariat details, or secretariat in an “odd” location)
  • similar name to another existing conference
  • the conference or its organisers have known associates with links to suspicious conferences or journals
  • fees are higher than normal, or there is a charge to speak or to submit a poster
  • if the conference is unusually frequent

For more information on these scam conferences, read up on ‘Red flags: How to spot a predatory conference’

You may also wish to utilise a Conference ChecklistConference Evaluation Tool, or a Conference Checker to help you make the right decision before registering to attend any event.


More news & views