On Academia.edu, apparently. Then again not. This past weekend Academia.edu was the victim of several phishing scams. Some of you might have received emails that were pretty convincing looking and suggested that Academia.edu had partnered with your university for some project. Then yesterday I, and others I suspect, received the email below, notifying us that Barack Obama, or his campaign at least, was following us. Again, the page was very convincing looking…until you go to the link which was to “academia.notlong.com.”
And that is the lesson folks. Check the URL of any link, whether in email or on a website. If the link appears to say one thing and when you hover over it with your cursor (in most email apps today) it reveals a completely different URL beware. But that is what this scam did so well. The link was exactly what it said it was “academia.notlong.com.” I have to admit, it took me a minute to realize that the “notlong.com” part was not likely to be from our trusted Academia.edu.
Now to give great credit to Richard Price and his folks at Academia.edu they immediately responded to the email scam, sending us all notifications at 3:45am EST yesterday. And this morning Richard told me that they are already working on ways to keep folks like “Barack” from doing mass follows and hooking us in via the site. It should also be noted that in a perverse way this is a coming of age for Academia.edu. If they scammers are interested, they must have a big enough presence to warrant it.
All the more reason to come to the Blogger and Online Publication session this November at SBL! Come hear from Richard in person!