As I'm sure most established writers are aware, there are a lot of shifty bastards out there who take great delight in ripping authors off. But what about the newby writers? For every good agent or publishing house out there, there seems to be 2 or 3 bad ones. The same applies for writing markets and contests.
This is the reason why such wonderful sites as Writer Beware and Preditors and Editors exist. These sites are run by people who wish to help writers avoid the scum, and become the best writers they can.
The owners and staff of these sites work diligently to warn writers of useless agents, shifty competitions, idiotic publishers and all the other companies out there who take great pleasure in shafting naive authors.
Those links again:
Preditors and Editors
Thank you for your time. ;-)