While we’d all like to think we’re immune to online scams, sometimes our excitement about a large book order can cloud our common sense.
Last week, an author sent me an email asking if I could provide him with a quote to ship a few hundred copies of his book overseas. He said he’d received an email from a potential buyer. I immediately knew it was a scam because he had almost no information about the alleged “buyer.” He wasn’t too happy when I asked him a few questions about the email, and then revealed he’d almost been scammed.
A few days later, I got a similar email. I’ve received several emails like this one in the past and I always delete them
Subject: Order to Australia
Date: Sun, 28 Jun 00:29:06 -0400
From: Joe Malley (email@example.com)
I am interested in purchasing some of your products, I will like to know if you can ship directly to Australia, I also want you to know my mode of payment for this order is via Credit Card.
Get back to me if you can ship to that destination and also if you accept the payment type I indicated. Kindly return this email with your Website.
I await your quick response.
92/674 Musgrave Road
Coopers Plains 4108
Tel :- +61 7 3276 1626
Fax:- 61 7 9253 6910
How can I tell this is a scam?
1. It came from a free email account. Any real company that plans to distribute our books would have a real email address, sent from their own company’s domain.
2. Praying I don’t offend anyone here but…all the Australians I’ve met speak and write excellent English. Obviously, English isn’t this guy’s native language. This tells me the email wasn’t really sent from Australia.
3. Again, his English is very poor…yet his name is Joe Malley?
4. He doesn’t name any of our “products.”
5. If he really looked at our website, he’d know that we do ship internationally and that we accept credit cards.
6. He asks me for my website. That means he’s never been to my website and he has no idea what I sell. So, why does he want to order something from me?
I googled one line from his email (“I am interested in purchasing some of your products, I will like to know if you can ship”) and found numerous posts from people who have received emails with the exact same wording. However, the sender often uses a different email address, different name, different address, phone, etc.
Basically, this is how the scam works:
The scammer convinces the victim to sell him a large quantity of a certain product. He offers to pre-pay for shipping, but he wants to use his own shipper. He then tells the victim to send him a money order for the difference in shipping. Of course, a few days/weeks after the products have shipped and the money order has been sent, the victim hears from their merchant account service that the credit card transaction was fraudulent. So, the author has been scammed out of cash, a large quantity of their books, and the very expensive foreign shipping charges associated with books they sent to Australia (or whatever country was involved).
You can Google this phrase to see how many others have been targeted by this type of scam:
“I am interested in purchasing some of your products, I will like to know if you can ship”
- If a Stranger Offers to Buy Your Book(s) Outright, You’re Probably About to Get Scammed
- What?! New Authors Are Being Solicited by “Free” Publishers? How to Avoid This Common Scam…
- A New Scam Targeting Authors – “Will you swap ebooks with me?”
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises.
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
ANGELA ON TWITTER https://twitter.com/AngelaHoy
BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!
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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE
7.625 STRATEGIES IN EVERY BEST-SELLER - Revised and Expanded Edition
At this moment, thousands of would-be authors are slaving away on their keyboards, dreaming of literary success. But their efforts won’t count for much. Of all those manuscripts, trade book editors will sign up only a slim fraction.
And of those titles--ones that that editors paid thousands of dollars to contract, print and publicize--an unhealthy percentage never sell enough copies to earn back their advances. Two years later, most will be out of print!
Acquisition Editor Tam Mossman shares seven essentials every book needs to stay in print, and sell!
Read more here: