The worst thing about being a writer is encountering all the fellow writers who have had their dreams destroyed by scammers and frauds. While these vultures exist in every field of human endevour – after all, if people can dream of something then others will find a way to rip off those dreams – the writing field is especially prone to con artists. Perhaps this is because most freelance writers lead extremely solitary lives and crave validation, making it easier for others to prey on them.
To fight back, SFWA hosts the wonderful Writer Beware site, which gifts these literary vampires with the revealing sunlight of day. The site is the brainchild of Ann Crispin and Victoria Strauss and I can't thank them enough for all they do. If I ever have a question on whether an agent or editor is trying to scam someone, their site if the first place I turn to.
However, the scammers don't like this so they are constantly harassing Ann and Victoria and anyone else who exposes their misdeeds. For more on this, check out the Writer Beware blog and the John Scalzi's great post on this subject. I hope other writers will read up on this issue and rally to the defense of Ann, Victoria, and Writer Beware.