Wednesday, November 18, 2009

This conference is so prestigious, you can even participate in it in absentia!


Take a look at the website of this conference, and then at the brochure (which, presumably, was circulated quite a while ago) for the same conference.

See any difference?

For one thing, the brochure says that the conference is organized by ACM (Association of Computing Machinery). The website, however, is silent about the involvement of ACM. Similarly, the brochure mentions -- and the website is silent on -- the ACM Digital Library as a destination for the papers presented at the conference.

We now know why the conference website has been cleaned up. This is what ACM says on its main page:

Conference Misrepresenting ACM as Sponsor
ACM has been made aware that the International Conference on Futuristic Computer Applications (ICFC) to be held in Bangalore, India, March 20–21, 2010, is using ACM's name to promote their event. This is not an ACM conference, and the organizers have been asked to remove all references to ACM on their site.

The brochure lists Google, Intel, Texas Instruments, HP, Philips, Yahoo Inc, Alcatel-Lucent Technologies, NASSCOM, and Vnysea as "supporting" the conference. While the website has their logos flashing in the left panel, its page for participating companies just thanks "all our current sponsors," without naming a single one of them.

This page lists a "Patron" and a "Co-Chair" from Duke University which seems to be unaware of their association with it: its directory has neither Steve Paterson nor J. Thorpe [except possibly this guy in the Department of Pharmacy!].

Finally, any conference that says this should make your scam sensors antennae tingle and throb violently:

Participate in ICFCA in your Absentia.
Those who cannot come to Bangalore on the conference days due to prior engagements but wish to present a paper in absentia are encouraged to send in their "Application in Absentia" by January 15, 2010. Papers presented in absentia are eligible to be included in the conference and shall avail of all the privileges bestowed on any regular paper.

* * *

Well, this has got to be one of the most fabulous conferences! I mean, wouldn't it be great to participate in it "in absentia" and still get a paper in a journal which will be distributed by the "Harvard Press", and available on Google Scholar?

I was sort of looking forward to running into some of the conference participants because the venue, J.N. Tata Auditorium, is right here in IISc.

I'm deeply disappointed that the "organizers" have not booked this auditorium (yet).

* * *

Thanks to a couple of colleagues who alerted me about this scamference conference.

51 Comments:

  1. Anonymous said...

    I thought someone was playing a joke. But googled the journal and found that a faculty at IIIT Allahabad actually lists an acceptance to that journal.
    See http://www.mnnit.ac.in/departments/csed/profiles/csed_akm_pub.htm

    List Of Publications of Prof. A. K. Misra

    1. “Software Maintenance Effort Estimation - Neural Network Vs Regression Modeling Approach”, with R. Shukla, Accepted for publication in Journal of Futuristic Computer Applications, 2010.

  2. Anonymous said...

    Not IIIT Allahabad; MNNIT Allahbad.

  3. Anonymous said...

    There are hundreds of such useless conferences out there, the onus is on the prospective attendees to verify which ones are legitimate.

    I am surprised that a "fake conference" has popped up so late in the game in India. Students routinely play practical jokes on each other and their professors in US universities using such conferences. Sometimes, they just make these up, not very difficult to get a 30-day free trial for a web-site...

    Good you warned people about it Abi, but looks like an NIT professor has already taken the bait.

  4. Abi said...

    @Anon (#1): Thanks. Here's a news item about someone who's proud to be associated with this scamference as a "reviewer".

    Also, a colleague in our computer science department wrote in to tell me that "there is no journal called IJFCA in the first place." He pointed to yet another indicator that the conference is a fake: the acceptance letters don't contain the reviews.

    What a sorry mess!

  5. Subrahmanya said...

    List of scapegoats:
    1. http://twitter.com/jitrc
    2. http://alok-the-greatest.blogspot.com/2009/10/alok-greatest.html
    3. http://sites.google.com/site/dveer2009/Publications
    4. http://www.cusat.ac.in/faculty/w_papers.php?userid=356
    5. http://ece.nitk.ac.in/html/muralidhar.html

  6. Subrahmanya said...

    Please notice the conversation in this post:
    http://alok-the-greatest.blogspot.com/2009/10/alok-greatest.html

  7. Anonymous said...

    Is it so difficult to distinguish between a real and fake conference?

  8. Anonymous said...

    Here is a dump from whois on the
    conference domain name!
    Mysteriously, their Bangalore Address has no
    street name and pin code! :-))
    _________________________________
    NOTICE: Access to .ORG WHOIS information is provided to assist persons in
    determining the contents of a domain name registration record in the Public Interest Registry
    registry database. The data in this record is provided by Public Interest Registry
    for informational purposes only, and Public Interest Registry does not guarantee its
    accuracy. This service is intended only for query-based access. You agree
    that you will use this data only for lawful purposes and that, under no
    circumstances will you use this data to: (a) allow, enable, or otherwise
    support the transmission by e-mail, telephone, or facsimile of mass
    unsolicited, commercial advertising or solicitations to entities other than
    the data recipient's own existing customers; or (b) enable high volume,
    automated, electronic processes that send queries or data to the systems of
    Registry Operator or any ICANN-Accredited Registrar, except as reasonably
    necessary to register domain names or modify existing registrations. All
    rights reserved. Public Interest Registry reserves the right to modify these terms at any
    time. By submitting this query, you agree to abide by this policy.

    Domain ID:D155502984-LROR
    Domain Name:ICFCA.ORG
    Created On:02-Mar-2009 14:33:52 UTC
    Last Updated On:12-Sep-2009 09:22:51 UTC
    Expiration Date:02-Mar-2010 14:33:52 UTC
    Sponsoring Registrar:Name.com, LLC (R1288-LROR)
    Status:CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED
    Registrant ID:ncr-2807315-4ae1
    Registrant Name:Protected Domain Services
    Registrant Organization:Protected Domain Services
    Registrant Street1:125 Rampart Way
    Registrant Street2:Suite 300
    Registrant Street3:
    Registrant City:Denver
    Registrant State/Province:CO
    Registrant Postal Code:80230
    Registrant Country:US
    Registrant Phone:+1.5555555555
    Registrant Phone Ext.:
    Registrant FAX:
    Registrant FAX Ext.:
    Registrant Email:
    Admin ID:nca-2807316-1128
    Admin Name:Protected Domain Services
    Admin Organization:Protected Domain Services
    Admin Street1:125 Rampart Way
    Admin Street2:Suite 300
    Admin Street3:
    Admin City:Denver
    Admin State/Province:CO
    Admin Postal Code:80230
    Admin Country:US
    Admin Phone:+1.5555555555
    Admin Phone Ext.:
    Admin FAX:
    Admin FAX Ext.:
    Admin Email:
    Tech ID:nct-2807317-d0d5
    Tech Name:Protected Domain Services
    Tech Organization:Protected Domain Services
    Tech Street1:125 Rampart Way
    Tech Street2:Suite 300
    Tech Street3:
    Tech City:Denver
    Tech State/Province:CO
    Tech Postal Code:80230
    Tech Country:US
    Tech Phone:+1.5555555555
    Tech Phone Ext.:
    Tech FAX:
    Tech FAX Ext.:
    Tech Email:
    Name Server:NS1.HOSTULTRA.COM
    Name Server:NS2.HOSTULTRA.COM
    Name Server:
    Name Server:
    Name Server:
    Name Server:
    Name Server:
    Name Server:
    Name Server:
    Name Server:
    Name Server:
    Name Server:
    Name Server:
    DNSSEC:Unsigned

  9. Abi said...

    @Anon (at #7): Please go back to the brochure, and tell us the things in it that would flag the conference as an obvious fake.

    My point is this: At this late a stage, it's easy for me -- an outsider -- to laugh at all this stuff well after the truth is out. But, what can a researcher do when all he/she has is that brochure, which says the conference is "organized" by ACM and which flaunts a pretty impressive-looking "Technical Committee"?

  10. Anonymous said...

    An IIT Kharagpur Asstt Professor has been a victim of
    this hoax!!!!
    http://www.facweb.iitkgp.ernet.in/~pb/publications-pbhowmick.html
    He boastsS. Pratihar and P. Bhowmick,
    Vectorization of Thick Digital Lines Using Farey Sequence and Geometric Refinement,
    Proc. International Conference on Futuristic Computer Applications (ICFCA-2010) (to appear),
    I.I.Sc. Bangalore, 20-21 March, 2010.
    has been accepted!!!!

  11. Anonymous said...

    Abi: I agree that brochure is a bit realistic.

    But for an active faculty in research with some engagement and idea about professional societies in his/her own field, it should not be too difficult to know which conference is real. If this conference was real then ACM would have listed on its website. Did ACM list it?

    The difference between real and fake should also become obvious during communication stage with organizers, if not from the brochure. Abstract accpetance note should be coming from a real faculty email. Of course email ids can be fake too. But its just like a difference between a real and hoax/junk email. 99% of the times one can differentiate between a real and junk email.

    I feel these fake conferences can fool occassional researchers easily as comapred to the active researchers.

  12. Anonymous said...

    Abi: The brochure does not shown any faculty from IISc Bangalore listed as organizer or member of the organizing committee. It is very unlikley that a conference would be organized in IISc Bangalore without any local faculty involvement.

    But as I wrote earlier, such brochure can fool occassional or new researcher more easily.

  13. Anonymous said...

    Who hosts www.icfca.org ?
    The request for the website goes to ip
    address 208.167.230.132from where it is directed
    again to a machine (not visible to outside network)
    hosting the site.
    Note that the organization hosting the site is
    in New Jersey and has a Hindi name Choopa meaning
    quiet or may be Chhoopa meaning hidden. The company
    hosts such dubious sites such as cheat-the-planet.com.
    The same ip address is gateway to 932 more
    such junk sites. NJ is famous for Desis operating
    cheat businesses and one of them figured out
    to make money hosting hoaxes and frauds.
    Here are the details:

    OrgName: Choopa, LLC
    OrgID: CHOOP-1
    Address: 2400 Main Street Extension
    Address: Suite 12
    City: Sayreville
    StateProv: NJ
    PostalCode: 08872
    Country: US

    ReferralServer: rwhois://rwhois.choopa.net:43

    NetRange: 208.167.224.0 - 208.167.255.255
    CIDR: 208.167.224.0/19
    NetName: CHOOPA-NETBLK03
    NetHandle: NET-208-167-224-0-1
    Parent: NET-208-0-0-0-0
    NetType: Direct Allocation
    NameServer: NS1.CHOOPA.COM
    NameServer: NS2.CHOOPA.COM
    Comment:
    RegDate: 2005-12-14
    Updated: 2006-11-07

    OrgAbuseHandle: ABUSE1143-ARIN
    OrgAbuseName: Abuse Department
    OrgAbusePhone: +1-732-264-8533
    OrgAbuseEmail:

    OrgNOCHandle: NETWO1159-ARIN
    OrgNOCName: Network Operations
    OrgNOCPhone: +1-973-849-0500
    OrgNOCEmail:

    OrgTechHandle: NETWO1159-ARIN
    OrgTechName: Network Operations
    OrgTechPhone: +1-973-849-0500
    OrgTechEmail:

    == Additional Information From rwhois://rwhois.choopa.net:43 ==

    network:Class-Name:network
    network:Auth-Area:208.167.224.0/19
    network:Network-Name:208.167.230.128/26
    network:IP-Network:208.167.230.128/26
    network:Organization;I:Host_Ultra
    network:Tech-Contact;I:
    network:Admin-Contact;I:
    network:Created:20070101
    network:Updated:20091019
    network:Updated-By:

    network:Class-Name:network
    network:ID:CHOOPA-208.167.224.0-19
    network:Auth-Area:208.167.224.0/19
    network:Network-Name:CHOOPA-208.167.224.0-19
    network:IP-Network:208.167.224.0/19
    network:Organization;I:CHOOPA.COM
    network:Tech-Contact;I:
    network:Admin-Contact;I:
    network:Created:20070412
    network:Updated:20080902
    network:Updated-By:

  14. Anonymous said...

    So what Can we do now being one of the victim ..

  15. Anonymous said...

    I have come to know about the IJFCA Journal. Its actually a closed access journal for Duke University. There's a relief that Prof. J. Thrope exists. I will try to meet him in person and let you people know. But one of the volunteers have said that ICFCA articles will be published in the Q1 issue. Don't have full details yet.

  16. Arpan said...

    The last thing we need in this fiasco is a list of anonymous posts. I request everyone posting here to at least leave a name, institution/company & email address in your post.

    Take for example post #15 .. first of all, there is no such thing as a "closed access journal" ..and even if there was, it wouldn't be called "International Journal ..." would it?

    There is no Prof. J. Thrope, that's not even a correct name. Whoever posted this post (#15), could you please tell everyone which department this Thrope is associated with? I bet you are one of them, trying to calm things down.

    Anyways, another point that came up earlier in these comments was whether ACM had listed this conference on their website(s). Believe it or not, the answer is yes. It was there on http://india.acm.org/ for quite sometime (it may still be visible on a cached version of the homepage), and was removed when the global ACM site sent out the "conference misrepresenting" message.

    Well, I am a victim of this big fat joke too..but you can't blame us if ACM itself was fooled! Anyways, the worst part is they've collected money from all the paper authors (including us), and are likely to close up their accounts and disappear soon.

    Their bank account details are all public, so tracking them down shouldn't be a big deal. But we need to act fast. If anyone has ever been involved in a cyber-crime case like this and knows exactly what to do, please post here and let all the people listed in post #5 know. If someone knows a cyber-crime police officer in Bangalore who might be competent enough to handle this, that would be great!

    Thanks for bringing together all us losers.

    Arpan Chakraborty
    Department of Computer Science
    North Carolina State university

  17. Anonymous said...

    Arpan:

    You should write to the Attorney General of North Carolina. I think the whole thing may be a fraud. If there is no J. Thorpe in Duke who is involved in this, it is a fraud and the attorney general has the tools to uncover it.

    Call a couple of TV stations in North Carolina too. They may take this up too.

  18. Jit Ray chowdhury said...

    Chill arpan .. by the way .. there are 943 victims.. What are they doing .. is no one esle aware.. they have made around 6.5 to 18 lakhs of profit.. nice business .. now they can also sell our papers for more money..

    Blogspot do log IP address of Anonymous post too .. they have to maintain it for 7 years..by law..

  19. Anonymous said...

    To ARPAN and JIT
    Could you please display the bank details to which
    you paid the "publication fee" for this scamference ?
    Like person name (?), bank name, account number,
    SWIFT or other code...
    If you used your credit card, I advised you to call
    your credit card company for
    immediately blocking the card
    and then to request a fresh card (same thing you'd
    do if it were stolen). If you paid via a demand or
    bank draft ask your bank for information on who
    encashed it...

    TO ABINANDAN:
    Please find out the ip address from
    where anon. 15 posted the message.


    We need to STOP the criminals.

  20. Jit Ray chowdhury said...

    Thanks for your comments.. the bank details are with every victim.. we are going to wait a few days formally contact IISc, Google and all before taking any action

  21. Anonymous said...

    JIT,
    The more you wait, the harder it'd be to track down
    the crooks who took your money. It is already established
    beyond doubt that this is a fraud.

    Please organize a victims' group on your blog site.

  22. Jit Ray chowdhury said...

    What needs to be tracked is already tracked .. and can't be changed or removed..
    But I need a team...
    I can't even afford the time to fight them alone.

  23. arpan.ncstate said...

    Hello Mr. Anonymous (post #19), please send me an email (accessible on my profile), and I'll send you all the bank details. It's an ICICI bank account in Bangalore.

  24. Alok said...

    What can be done now if it is a hoax, since we have lost already nearly 5000 rupees as the payment for the papers

  25. Jit Ray chowdhury said...

    Anybody have any Idea or suggestions about this

    If for any reasons, you want to ask for reimbursement of the payment, please let us know. We will immediately reimburse the amount to your mentioned account. Please send us a formal request bearing the subject line "Request to Withdraw Paper"

  26. Jit Ray chowdhury said...

    The poster
    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/41s3LFagpuvyMYjYsPQ1wQ?authkey=Gv1sRgCO6GwMultuPR7QE&feat=directlink

  27. Jit Ray chowdhury said...

    We have asked for the refund and they agreed to refund in next 3 days.

    Some more light on this subject.

    http://cybervictims.blogspot.com/2009/11/fooling-wisemen-cyber-frauds-on.html

  28. Anonymous said...

    I am an author but I am surprised why certain people are writing against them when it is quite clear that they have updated all the information on the website and have said to launch the journal by Feb 25th, 2010. Let us wait for the launch for the IJFCA instead of tarnishing the image of a research initiative.

  29. Jit Ray chowdhury said...

    Dear Anonymous,

    Being an author u have no reason to stay Anonymous ....

    by the way whats you paper on ??

    you can find my paper at explorica-fiem.co.cc .. look for it in the files

    But evene if it is all tru there is no value when ACM is not htere, IISc bangalore is not there and gradually all sponsors/internships can vanish and ICFCA would just inform us..
    what would you do with paper under IJFCA that have no recognition ????

    And from the next time if you are not a part of ICFCA please use your name and not Anonymous..

  30. Moiz Hussain said...

    @Jit: I am Moiz; author of Paper ID: RES-32. A digital library is recognized from its ISSN number and not from any association with ACM.

    I sent a mail to ICFCA regarding the ISSN. They have responded back with a valid answer saying since IJFCA DL is the maiden launch, ISSN will be available on the day of launch from the Digital Library itself.

    I think if its not the ACM; then perhaps a handful of people will succeed in damaging the reputation of ICFCA and thereby our papers.

    Plz do not use the mail for spams.

  31. Jit Ray chowdhury said...

    Big Day Feb 25, 2010..
    Best of luck to all author ..
    let us wait till that day...

  32. Anonymous said...

    Jit: What is there to wait for the big day.

    ICFCA used organizations (ACM etc.) and people's name without permission and put them as co-program chairs and possibly invented a few names. It does not list the addresses of its main organizers. It advertised about a conferences in Bangalore which it is now not going to hold. Anyway it fooled many authors into submitting to it. The authors can tell us if there was any reviewing done.

    What will come out on Feb 25, 2010 is that hundreds of authors, some from well known places, got fooled.

    That will not and should not legitimize the ICFCA journal.

    This should be publicized enough that any self-respecting author withdraws their paper from that journal.

  33. Jit Ray chowdhury said...

    Well I asked ICFCA about no. of Accepted Papers and they replied 42. and that 30 applied for absentia.
    And I also asked to withdraw my paper and yesterda they replied they would refund in 3 working days.

    So if Papers are published on 25th they must be below 24.. and anything that Can be proved can be done on that day.
    As ACM/IISc/Google doest have interest or time to respond to us there is no way to prove fake legally untill 25th.

    Even after that I can't do anything as where I stay I have friends in police but they does not have cyber crime branch and not even have computers.. So they can't even understand the case. And other states cannot take up a case on my words..Even thought I'm Infosec Auditor I can't gather info like IP's with out order from law.

    So I any is seriously taking this case then he should take actions not depending on us.. but could take inputs from us and info that no one else might have

  34. Jit Ray chowdhury said...

    ICFCA is lucky that I'm not under soe active police like mumbai..

  35. Moiz Hussain said...

    I sent a mail asking for the details. The mail mentions that a few unintentional errors in the co-chairs took place which they have removed. For my question regarding contact details, the mails reads that telephonic contact details are reserved only for personnel usage asking me to direct any queries to the official mail address.

    I think its valid response from ICFCA. Atleast I won't share my contact details on the internet and get spammed.

    By the way, why are we talking this stuff when ICFCA have apologised on their website and provided the launch date as Feb 25th , 2010.

  36. Moiz Hussain said...

    Its surprising how some people can rush to conclusions. Apologies but I want my research to be published. It matters less if its under ACM. If the work is under "open access" like IJFCA its better since it will be available freely on the web. ICFCA should meet the launch date of the Journal. Its also mentioned that the journal is the initial issue and so, there is no point of argument.

  37. Anonymous said...

    Who are thw people behind this scam?Will the papers actually get published?If yes,will it have enough weightage?

    It is sad and bad that this type of academic fraud is going on...in India and involving the name of ACM,Duke University and IISc bangalore.

  38. Anonymous said...

    Lets come together and form a link who all have submitted their papers. It is really very sad.

  39. Anonymous said...

    Is there any Prof. J. Thrope?

  40. Anonymous said...

    I realised I have been duped just today!!! After I noticed on their website about the cancelled conference and the missing ACM logo!!! What do we do now?

  41. Anonymous said...

    We in Bangalore have managed to locate 'Prof. Thrope' who happens to be a young B.E. graduate working in a telecom company in Bangalore. When questioned, he seemed to have an answer to everything from the missing ACM and company logos to why the Hall in IISc wasn't booked. He insists that the ICFCA is being run by volunteers from all over the world and he happens to be just one of them. As for Prof. Thrope at Duke, he feigns ignorance saying that he assumed the volunteer existed.

    What do you wish to do with this guy? If you could let us know, we can proceed further. He has promised to contact all the authors within the next two days informing about the refund in case any authors wish to withdraw their papers.

  42. Anonymous said...

    Reply to comment 41:

    Can you please update the details of the B.E. graduate you mentioned

  43. Anonymous said...

    I receive this mail on 12 dec 2009 Stated below ----


    Dear XXXXXXX XXXXXX,

    We have received maximum number of applications for "Absentia Presentation". For such low number of attendees, it is unfeasible for us to conduct an oral presentation of the research papers. Hence, we are calling off the presentations/ conference based on the response of the participants. We apologize to the authors who were interested in oral presentation.

    All the manuscripts are being published in the maiden issue of the "International Journal on Futuristic Computer Applications" with initial indexing with DBLP and citeseer. The Digital Library will be launched for public usage on Feb 25th, 2010. The journal hardcopy and the certificates will be posted to you on Feb 25th, 2010.

    Please note that J. Thrope, Steve Peterson and S. Subramaniam are not associated with ICFCA any longer.

    We profusely apologize for the unforeseen developments. For any clarifications on "International Journal on Futuristic Computer Applications" and indexing, please write to chair@icfca.org.

    Since, this is a maiden launch of the "International Journal on Futuristic Computer Applications" DL, we need your continued support towards this initiative.


    Thanking you,
    IJFCA Support Desk,
    ICFCA Publications

  44. Jit Ray chowdhury said...

    thankz for the update.. plz keep posting.. if not able to post do foward them to my mail ID .. we have contacted ACM and are going to need it.

  45. Anonymous said...

    hey jit can u please come to me in g-talk?

    I am sending you a request.

    I am Anonymous(43#)

  46. Anonymous said...

    Reply to comment 42:

    The guy calls himself Chandra and he says he works for Sloka Telekom. His phone number is +919901815031.

    Now he claims to publish the articles "with initial indexing with DBLP and citeseer". Only time will tell if he is true to his tall claims. Till now he has excelled in his phony tactics. If he doesn't stay true to his latest claim we may have to go to the press and the police maybe and ruin this guy aka Thrope's career.

    Big names - ACM, Google, Intel, Duke University, etc..... - vanished one by one from the wb site. If citeseer and DBLP meet the same fate later on we'll have to hunt and nail this guy down so that he doesn't fall into these scanference habits any more.

  47. Anonymous said...

    Anonymous 2 ......
    Hi.. I have been visiting this blog since I had come to know that ICFCA conference is a big fraud and nothing more than that. I had also submitted a paper in icfca but later on I withdrew my paper when I came to know that they are not associated with acm and many such claims which later was revealed as false. ICFCA have also refunded me the registration fees. Today I visited ICFCA website and found that instead of techinal committee a list of reviewers has been added and all the reviewers are indians. Quite strange that all of a suden the list of reviewers has been revealed though no review comments were received by the authors. The rate at which icfca is changing something or the other everyday, it will not be surprising if the persons whose names have been mentioned in the reviewer list of ICFCA are actually the reviewers of ICFCA.

  48. Anonymous said...

    Wow!!! This guy Chandra, talks so well and has answers for everything! He should have become a politician! If this guy was Kasab's lawyer, Kasab would have been a free man today!!

  49. Jit Ray chowdhury said...

    A few more days ... for the launch of Digital Library ....hope a lot of people is keeping a watch and have not forgotten everything that happened ..

  50. Anonymous said...

    It's Feb 25th, and beyond 11 PM. Nothing seems to be published, and also no email so far. If I had seen this blog, earlier, atleast, I would not have had hopes till today (though I lost my confidence, on the day when ACM logo was removed).

  51. DIPESH DUGAR said...

    Dear all

    am a student published paper after working hard seeing the intel's and googl's logos and icfca's promise for internships.wat it's all about? do they really have tie up with companies?

    i got mail on 05-03-2010 that my application is rejected due to low marks