Preventing and protecting against fraud

Preventing and protecting against fraud

At AJSRP we are always alert to the potential for fraudulent or scam behaviour and work hard to ensure that our authors, editors, reviewers and readers do not fall victim to such activity. We have a dedicated team that monitors for fraudulent activity, thoroughly investigates it if found and works to stop any such activity, counteracts any impact and supports any of our authors, editors, reviewers or readers who have been victims of fraud.

Signs that a request is potentially fraudulent or has not come from AJSRP

While fraud being perpetrated on authors, editors, reviewers or readers of our journals is rare, we have identified that the most common way in which scammers will attempt to defraud researchers is by sending fraudulent emails to request payment for some part of the publishing process. To help protect you in this regard, we can confirm that AJSRP will:

  • Only ever contact you from AJSRP.com email addresses. If you receive communications that claim to be from us, or one of our journals, but do not come from a ajsrp.com email address, please contact us directly at info@ajsrp.com
  • Only ever request payment through our own invoicing system. Any email requesting payment will always be from a ajsrp.com email address and will always direct you to our invoicing system.
  • Never request payment of any kind specifically for your article being peer-reviewed

Please also note that:

  • Emails from AJSRP will never come from hotmail, yahoo or any other commercial email providers’ email addresses (e.g. info@ajsrp.com is not a valid AJSRP account)
  • Editors will never request payment of article processing charges or any type of fee
  • Reviewers will never request payment of article processing charges or any type of fee
  • AJSRP does not link payment of article processing charges to acceptance of a manuscript
  • Whether your account has been compromised or not, this will have no impact on the assessment of your manuscript(s)
  • Some scams are sophisticated and may use AJSRP’s employee names or titles to trick you into thinking that they are authentic communications – in these cases, the email addresses will potentially look similar to AJSRP address but be very slightly, almost unnoticeably different
  • Your institution may also provide institutional guidance on how authors can avoid payment scams
  • All article acceptance and publication decisions at AJSRP journals are based on the outcome of peer review conducted by active researchers and overseen by editors, both of whom are independent from AJSRP. Article Processing Charges (APCs) covers the costs of turning a manuscript into a finished article, as well as the costs of hosting, distributing and promoting an article. APCs are not related to, influenced by, nor influence, editorial decisions. Find out more about about APC’s here.

Below is a list of email characteristics that can also help you identify if an email is not from us:

  • Poorly worded emails (e.g. spelling mistakes, typos, incorrect use of language) or grammatical errors
  • An urgency in the tone or requesting a payment to be made urgently or to a short deadline
  • The payment amount requested differs from the article processing charges on AJSRP’s website
  • Confusing honorifics (“esteemed”, “venerable”, etc.)
  • Use of ellipses (set of three periods ( . . . )) indicating an omission
  • Use of capitalisation (to intimidate or imply an urgent response is required)
  • Unusual or inconsistent formatting of the email – changing in fonts, over use of bold and italics, etc.
  • Inclusion of inappropriate bank account details (e.g. to a named individual or personal bank account or bank account based in a country in which AJSRP does not operate).
  • The email has attachments which look suspicious (please do not open the attachments)
  • The email states that a paper has been accepted but the status on AJSRP’s manuscript system is different
  • The journal name differs from the real title on AJSRP’s website
  • The email contains links to a website which looks similar to the genuine AJSRP website but differs in important ways (e.g. it has adverts from third parties on it).
  • The email asks you for your bank details in order to refund you money
  • The email has been sent to your junk folder (this is not definitive).  Is the recipient in your email address book or an existing contact?  You may wish to add AJSRP editor email address to your contacts so that your platform warns you if there is a difference between a saved email and a new one for the same name.
  • The email asks for further unnecessary personal details (e.g. your phone number) which AJSRP is unlikely to routinely ask for
  • The email feels wrong in tone or content, purpose or origin to you

Help and support – who to contact

  • If you receive payment requests or information in ways other than those listed above, please contact AJSRP’s Customer Service team at info@ajsrp.com
  • If you believe that you may have made a payment to a fraudulent bank account, please contact your bank immediately to report the matter and contact info@ajsrp.com to inform us.
  • You may wish to mark a fraudulent email as a phishing scam and notify your email provider.
  • If you believe that your compromised email is part of a wider data breach (whether recent or historical), please contact relevant parties immediately.

Steps to prevent fraud

We recommend that you regularly change your passwords on AJSRP systems to make sure you are always safe and secure.  We also suggest that you keep your antivirus software up-to-date and consider using a password manager.  If you think any of your devices have been compromised, run security scans on all your devices.

If you think your email account may have been compromised but are unsure, you can use this free service to check: https://haveibeenpwned.com*

If you are going to change your email address, please make sure to contact us or update it in our systems so that we can ensure your manuscript continues to be processed without delay.

Please do not share your email password or login details for your AJSRP account with any other person and please avoid registering joint email accounts on AJSRP systems.  You may wish to consider using 2 factor authentication for your email account.  Please do not share your bank details by email.

You may also wish to use third party software or commercial services such as Cloudfish to filter and sort your messages**.

*This service was developed by a Microsoft executive to provide a free resource for anyone to quickly assess if they may have been put at risk due to an online account of theirs having been compromised in a data breach. AJSRP is in no way affiliated with this service and we only provide this as information for you to potentially use under your own consideration.

**AJSRP is in no way affiliated with this service and we only provide this as information for you to potentially use under your own consideration.

Useful Resources

National Cyber Security Centre
ttps://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/suspicious-email-actions?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIvoqSjNaX6gIVAuDtCh3cpArNEAAYASAAEgIhcfD_BwE

Action Fraud
https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

COPE article on predatory publishing
https://publicationethics.org/resources/discussion-documents/predatory-publishing

COVID-related scams

At this time, AJSRP is operating with a distributed workforce and is continuing to offer full services to its authors and users.  With many industries reporting an increase in COVID-related scams, AJSRP urges its authors and users to report any unusual activity to info@ajsrp.com and consult the latest official guidance on COVID-related scams.

Using the AJSRP and Phenom name and logo

Please note that AJSRP protects its trademarks, the “AJSRP ” names and logos. The AJSRP name and logos should not be used without AJSRP’s permission. If you plan to use any of AJSRP’s intellectual property, such as the AJSRP name or logos or AJSRP’s website design, or if you see any examples when these elements are being used outside of the AJSRP website, please contact info@ajsrp.com.

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