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Beware of Fake International Conferences

Posted by Administrator on November 25, 2011

Kenyan scholars are at risk of falling for international scams involving invitation to fake conferences abroad.

The latest of the scams is “the International Conference on Clean Energy and Climate Change (ICCECC 11) scheduled for 16-20 December, in London, UK.

Registration was said to be free of charge for delegates from developing countries like Kenya with a promise of free flight tickets, travel insurance, visa fees and a generous per diem.

Participants were to discuss ideas to make economies more energy-efficient and reduce pollution that has been blamed for causing climate change.

The “organising Committee” for the “conference” had invited proposals from policy makers, business people, social scientists, researchers, media specialists, marketers, energy experts, program designers, implementers, and evaluators.

One Kenyan who almost fell victim to the sly scam is John Evans Arek, the Director of Fasterserve, an organisation involved in environmental issues.

Were it not for a timely warning from a colleague last Friday, he would have lost big money.

“I had submitted an abstract for a presentation. I was working very hard to send Sh70,000 in UK pounds for hotel booking at Palace Garden Hotel in order to get a Visa and a grant as per their instructions,” he revealed.

Fortunately, before he could wire the money, Mr Arek saw an alert in a professional email group warning people not to participate in the fake “conference.”

“I was so determined to attend the conference. Little did I know it was fake. Only God came to my rescue. I was going to transfer the money the following day. I would have burnt my fingers really badly,” he added.

Another would-have-been victim of the scam is Caroline Lumosi, a Project Officer at the Ecological Society for Eastern Africa based in Nairobi.

For her, alarm bells rang when she noticed that the email addresses for the conferences organisers were not official and were not linked to any organisation.

She also received an email from a colleague warning her about the conference and asked to check in a specialised website, www.scamwarners.com which lists the latest scams on the web.

“When I checked the site, the conference was listed there as a fake. I immediately alerted my friends and colleagues who would have been interested in participating in the non-existent conference,” she said.

Source: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/m/news.php?id=2000047253

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