Are phony academic conferences the new Nigerian princes of the internet? An email inviting recipients to a conference on human welfare and the global economy, said to be taking place in January and February of next year and featuring talks by some of the top scientists in the field, is making the rounds. Last week, I received an email from someone going by the name of Alyssa Logan, who claimed to be "Youth Leader" at a group called the Action World International Organization (AWIO) and a member of the International Committee of the Red Cross. In the message, Logan invited me to the "Seventh Annual International Global combine Conference on Global Economy and Human Welfare" that AWIO was hosting. The conference would take place over the course of ten days at two separate sites, the first in New York City and the second in Dakar, Senegal in Africa. All I...

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