Certain words and phrases are like little genetic markers for scammers. Here’s a non-exhaustive list, non-exhaustively explained:
(Other TNH essays on fraud & scam: vanity publishing; the seven forms of fraud; on Vanity TV; a blog-link scam; telling a real book agent from a scam book agent; on The Writers' Collective--sounds good but it too is just another self-publisher; )
Update: Making Light has another entry on frauds and scams in self-publishing. The comments are as valuable as TNH's scorn:
What does he want? Nothing out of the ordinary. For nine years he’s been living in an apartment with his three children, and he’d like to be able to give them a house to live in. That’s a Jimmy Stewart/Normal Rockwell kind of aspiration. And what has he gotten? A letter from AuthorHouse, formerly 1stbooks, offering to publish his book for only $700. You know the man hasn’t got it to spare.
The AuthorHouse letter is a small masterpiece of mendacity. Yes, they can physically turn his manuscript into a professional-grade trade paperback. No, they won’t turn it into a professional-grade book.