27.07.17 - EPFL researchers and professors have recently been the targets of scientific phishing by telephone. Here are some tips to know what to do (and not do) if you become a victim of such practices.

Scientific phishing generally starts with messages and more recently with phone calls from (unscrupulous) organizations whose aim is to sell a product presented as a service to the community, which factually is of no or only marginal benefit to the researcher in question or the scientific community.

Messages or verbal invitations may propose the following:

- Invitations to conferences (as a speaker, as a plenary lecturer…);

- Contributions to scientific journals with article charges (as an editor or as an author);

- Research promotion services (for your laboratory, research project or institute), often presented as part of current practices of important organizations (such as the EU or various research funding organizations).

While the conferences may not exist, publishers may be predatory, and research promotion services are unnecessary, if not counterproductive. Fees are often not presented upfront, and researchers can be harassed by aggressive marketing practices.

EPFL would like to remind you to be very careful before entering into business with these very aggressive societies or service providers. Furthermore, using public money to pay fake or unnecessary services contravenes EPFL regulations.

In case of any doubt, please do not hesitate to contact the Library for support:, when it comes to publication-related issues. For any general enquiries regarding legal issues, particularly if you become a victim of such practices, please contact the EPFL General Counsel.