I wanted to alert all of you to a possible scam that could have made a victim of one of our authors.
A man who claimed to be in Japan contacted the author directly, saying he wanted to purchase 100 copies of her book. He was using a free email account and didn’t provide a company name. She pointed him to the wholesale order form on the Booklocker.com website.
The first weird part of his response was that he called her “Mate.” Perhaps he was trying to win her over with an endearing term? Then, he said he needed the books in “the shortest possible time.” This is a common ploy used by scammers – saying they need something urgently, thus not giving the victim time to assess the questionable deal. (He also continued the urgency tone by signing his email “Waiting to hear from you”.)
He then claimed he needed them for a book fair in Japan to be held on December 21st. He sent the email on December 9th. Everyone knows the chances of books getting from the U.S. to Japan in 12 days via regular shipping are nil. He added he “couldn’t stand the stress of ordering through the bookshops” and that’s why he contacted her directly. More red flags!
Here’s the most disturbing part. He said, “My shipper will come and pick them up from your location.”
Obviously, if someone is ordering something directly from an author, they would assume they’d be picking up the books from the author’s home. The author was justified in seeing all these red flags and contacting me. Reading this part made me sick. I suspected the author may have been the target of something possibly more sinister than a simple book-buying scam.
Please don’t ever, ever, EVER invite someone you don’t know to your home, even if they are promising to buy 100 copies of your book! To see why, just look at the news headlines!
And, please don’t send numerous copies of your book to anyone until payment has been received and the check has cleared. If they’re paying by credit card, you should be particularly wary of overseas transactions. It will take weeks for your merchant service to discover the charge was fraudulent. Your books will be long gone and you will have lost a lot of money.
This type of risk is one reason authors choose to let their publisher process these types of orders. Publishers often have automatic fraud detection in place to protect themselves and their authors from these all-too-common questionable transactions.
Watch out for the bad people, my friends! They’re everywhere!!