Beware of fake online Scala courses

Friday 1 March 2024

Anatolii Kmetiuk, Scala Center

Lately, there has been an increased amount of fraud in the Scala community related to online courses. In this post, we mention some recent events that have been brought to our attention, and remind the community of trustworthy sources and ways to identify scams.

Recent events

We are aware of at least the following incidents involving fraud:

  • Some bad actor was running a website under the domain scala dash language dot org, which was an exact copy of the official Scala’s website, The scammers posed as an online recruiting firm and asked candidates applying for their “jobs” to complete Scala courses there, for a fee.
  • Another instance involved a Scala course hosted at graphy dot com (a platform where anyone can publish a course, not itself responsible for its users’ actions and content). The course was not in any way impersonating the Scala Center or EPFL - in fact, their authors were completely anonymous, not even the certificate featured any identifying signs of an issuing person or organisation. However, despite being titled as a Data Science with Scala course, the course contained only very basic Scala content (think control structures and basic collections), and was priced at 200$ equivalent.

Both instances are scam and, as of the date of this blog, are taken down. We’ve also forwarded the scala dash language dot org case to the legal department of EPFL, which will be taking appropriate legal action.

Trustworthy sources

The Scala Center would like to use this opportunity to remind you of the only places on the Internet where you can find our official online courses are documented on the official website. All of them offer a high-quality learning experience, and most are free to audit (i.e. without the final certificate or human involvement in grading).

We would also like to remind the Scala community of the complete list of domains where the Scala organization publishes information:

Naturally, there are trustworthy Scala materials available online from a variety of sources, not only from the Scala organization itself! We maintain a (necessarily incomplete) list of significant third-party resources on our Community page.

Identifying scams

Here are some ways of how to identify a potential scam:

  • URL: check the URL of the website you are at. Often, scammers register websites with domains that are very close to the original one, with one slight difference. E.g. one can use a capital letter “i” instead of a lowercase “L” in the “” to get “”.
  • Authors: check who authored the course and who is issuing the certificate. If there is no such information available and you don’t have an idea who created the course, it may be a scam.
  • Source: where did you get the link to a course or a website from? Can you trust the source? E.g. if a resource was sent to you in a private correspondence with someone you’ve just met online (even if they are posing as a recruiter offering you a job), it may be a scam.
  • Payment Requests: Be wary of any course or resource that demands payment information upfront, especially if they’re offering it for free initially. Scammers often use free offers to gather payment details for fraudulent purposes.
  • Quality of the Content: Sometimes, the quality of the website or the promotional material can be a giveaway. Look for typos, grammatical errors, and low-quality images, which might suggest that the site is not legitimate.
  • Reviews and Testimonials: Look for reviews or feedback on the course or resource from users outside of the platform offering it. Genuine courses often have reviews available on independent forums, social media, or educational platforms.
  • Too Good to Be True: If the offer seems too good to be true, such as promising extremely high returns on investment, guaranteed job placement, or certification from prestigious institutions without proper accreditation, it’s likely a scam.
  • Social Media Presence: Check the course provider’s social media presence. Scammers often either have no social media presence or very new accounts with little to no interaction.
  • Domain Age: Use online tools to check the age of the domain. Many scam websites are newly created. While a new domain doesn’t automatically mean it’s a scam, it’s worth considering alongside other red flags.


If you became aware of a Scala-related website that might be a scam, consider writing the Scala Center at [email protected], or on our Twitter, Mastodon or LinkedIn profiles. If in doubt, you can always write to any of the above official channels to confirm if a resource is legitimate.

Please stay safe and vigilant and if something doesn’t look right, don’t hesitate to bring it up!