I gotta hand it to the criminal mind. It is always thinking of new ways to separate people from their money. The latest (and first in medical publishing that I know) is a variant of the Nigerian scam, and it uses Elsevier as the bait. The email from “Chief editor” Jochem Koos (hey, that’s a Dutch name, right? It must be legit…) is looking for reviewers of manuscripts submitted to Elsevier. And the pay (PAY?) is good – $30 per page of manuscript reviewed. All you have to do is pass the screening of your credentials, and pay $100 for the screening process. What a deal! You get back that $100 and more with your first review.
Elsevier is aware of this scam, and has posted a web page warning people about it, but I’m surprised it hasn’t received much publicity. Librarians might want to warn their faculty, although it is hard to imagine even the greenest, most naive instructor falling for this. A document accompanying the email is reproduced below, complete with spelling errors and mangled English.