Any publisher that is approaches you instead of you approaching them is 99.99% certainty a scam. (The other .01% is ignorance.) They don't know you, and they don't want to - they want your money.
And welcome to Absolute Write. It's a good learning place.
If it were up to me, I owuld add a name or two,
but I don't really know how extensive some of these faults would be (just me or ALL writers)
Just saw this note, and I wanted to mention something: There are a few times in the nonfiction world where a publisher might approach an author. This would generally be if they needed a book on a particular topic, and don't already have contact with an expert on that topic. In this case, an editor might go searching for an expert to write a book they need in their lineup. Such a thing is pretty much unheard-of in fiction, although I suppose best-selling authors may sometimes have this happen to them.
What is a legitimate royalty payment a publisher should offer a (new) writer for their work?
If a publishing house only means of distribution is the internet, is that good?
Another way to verify your publisher is to log on to Better Business Bureau or bbb.org