Beware of Who’s Who Scams

Some of the most popular posts on my old blog site relates to Who’s Who scams, and since I continue to get e-mails very similar to the ones I talked about there, I thought it might be worth mentioning this topic again.

Here is the text of one e-mail that I received very recently:

Dear Academic Professional,

You have been elected to represent your area of expertise in our upcoming registry. This notable accolade can improve your marketability and exposure.

The 2011/2012 edition of the “Who’s Who In Academia” registry will include biographies of America’s top academic professionals. Recognition of this kind is shared each year by members all over the world. It is often considered the single highest mark of achievement.

Upon confirmation of your inclusion, you will be listed alongside other professionals in The Who’s Who Registry. There is no cost to participate.

If you are interested in being reviewed, click here. Take thirty seconds to fill out your basic information.

If you have any questions call our staff at 877-936-4577.

Sincerely,

Diane Franklin Esq.

Senior Managing Director

245 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10167

Who’s Who In Academia.

Copyright 2011. All Rights Reserved.

If nothing jumped out at you in the above, then you need to learn more about how to identify a potential scam.

First, if what is being referred to really involved a selection process and your identification as worthy from among a larger pool of people, you would expect the e-mail to address you by name. A generic form of address indicates that this is a mass mailing, and the link offering you the opportunity to unsubscribe confirms this. So too does their suggestion at the end that you forward the e-mail to others who might be interested.

When you get multiple e-mails over a long period of time all of which indicate that this is your final notice, that should clinch it for you.

An e-mail from a Who’s Who organization is not an honor for which one is selected, but either an attempt to get people to pay for some sort of package, or an attempt to get personal information. It is sad to see that some academics and professionals actually proudly list their having fallen for scams like these on their web sites and profiles.

On the organization’s own web site there is something that should warn anyone and everyone about the fact that most Who’s Who organizations are scams. Here’s what they say at one point:

“The Sutton Who’s Who Registry is proudly not affiliated with any other Who’s Who organization(s).”

What sort of organizations must these be, for one of them to say that they are proud not to be affiliated with any of the others?

I will not say that all “Who’s Who” organizations are scams. But many of them are, and so be extremely cautious.

If you have received such e-mails, feel free to share your story in the comments section below.