"Even by the standards of Internet scams, the scheme is brazen. According to a tip sent to Science, fraudsters are snatching entire Web addresses, known as Internet domains, right out from under academic publishers, erecting
fake versions of their sites, and hijacking their journals, along with their Web traffic." writes
|Photo: DAVIDE BONAZZI/ @SALZMANART|
Website spoofing has been around since the rise of Internet search engines, but it's only in the past few years that scholarly journals have been targeted. The usual method is to build a convincing version of a website at a similar address—www.sciencmag.org rather than www.sciencemag.org—and then drive Web traffic to the fake site. But snatching the official domain is an insidious twist: Unsuspecting visitors who log into the hijacked journal sites might give away passwords or money as they try to pay subscriptions or article processing fees. And because the co-opted site retains the official Web address of the real journal, how can you tell it's fake?