Carla J Curtis talks about dealing with scammers in the world of writing. See her entry at Beware of the Snakes and False Prophets.
Unfortunately, I’ve had a bad experience with a magazine. Actually two magazines. The experience taught me to NEVER ever again invest as much time and energy with a project that isn’t my own. Some people will mislead you and give you sob stories and if you’re not aware of the TOTAL picture, you’ll believe what comes out of their mouth.
I hate being misled. I will help almost anybody, but if I feel that you’re trying to get over–game’s over. Writers work hard and if we agree to write for you for a certain pay scale, then by all means, it needs to be honored. Now if we agree that in lieu of payment, we’ll write for a byline, then honor it. We’re not difficult creatures to work with. We’re human. We just want to be treated fairly.