Warning: Pirate Sites Are Now Kidnapping Doctors Booking Hotels At Medical Meetings

Pirates are attacking interventional cardiology meetings.

Interventional cardiologists planning to attend the upcoming TCT meeting should be aware that at least one pirate web site is out to dupe them. (The annual TCT meeting, which runs this year in San Diego from September 21-25, is the première meeting for interventional cardiologists.)

The pirates are trying to fool people seeking to register for the meeting or book a hotel. Here is what a simple Google search for “TCT meeting” or “TCT San Diego” turns up at the very top:

The top result is an ad, but the site is designed to fool anyone not paying close attention. The site looks like an official meeting page:

The bottom of the page includes a disclaimer. though it will certainly be missed by many:

Anyone who bothers to read the text (and is a native English speaker) will realize that something is seriously wrong. Here is just one, inadvertently hilarious example:

All of this would be funny except for the undeniable fact that these trolls wouldn’t be doing this if they weren’t making money from these schemes. It is also worth noting, especially at this time, that Google certainly profits by accepting and placing these ads.

Physicians are increasingly becoming aware of fake journals and fake meetings. Now it appears they will need to also be concerned about pirate sites seeking to hijack traffic from legitimate sites. This is yet another sad step in the degeneration of the utopian promise of the internet by trolls and pirates.

Longtime readers of CardioBrief may be aware that I have often been critical of the interventional cardiology community, in general, and TCT (and its parent, the Cardiovascular Research Foundation) more particularly. But in this case I am entirely sympathetic to TCT.



  1. dearieme says

    “This is yet another sad step in the degeneration of the utopian promise of the internet by trolls and pirates.”

    In figurative terms it’s the Second Law of Thermodynamics at work; stuff degrades.

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