Writer’s Beware: Scammers From The Philippines

Also on ‘Writer’s Beware’ I found the latest blog post about scamming emails from the Philippines. Victoria Strauss worked hard to provide us with an entire list of senders we should be aware of. Thank you very much, Victoria!


Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware®

I’ve been expending a lot of words and time lately warning about the latest scam phenomenon to hit the writing world: fake publishing and marketing companies that, through outrageous prices and worthless services, extract enormous amounts of money from unwary writers.

Based in the Philippines (despite their apparent US addresses, phone numbers, and telemarketer names) and focusing primarily on small press and self-published authors (particularly authors who’ve published with one of the Author Solutions imprints), these companies recruit writers with relentless–and highly deceptive–phone and email solicitations. Some do provide the services authors pay for, albeit at seriously inflated prices and often of poor quality. Others just take the money and run. I’m hearing from a growing number of writers who’ve paid five figures in fees to one–or, in some cases, more than one–of these scams, with next to nothing to show for it.

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Authors beware, watch out for this scam

Jean M. Cogdell warns us about new scammers. Thank you so much Jean.

Jean's Writing

Tis the season for scamming everyone with a pulse.

More scammers appear every day, like ants at an all they can eat picnic. These varmints call,  text, email and show up on Facebook and Twitter.

Y’all need to watch out for this scam. A company preying on writers want to sell books and reach readers. Apparently, this particular scam has been around for a few years but I  heard about them until…

Today they tried to hook me. 

Now let me tell you, getting through on my home phone is no easy feat. A few months ago we bought a landline phone with Smart Call Blocker. This phone screens out all robo calls unless I’ve added a number (like a docs office) to the directory.

So, anywho—when the phone rings I expect someone I know and have approved to be on the line.

But today I picked up the phone and…

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Amazon Steps Up Its Antifraud Efforts

Nicholas Rossis has been busy and informs us about Amazon stepping up its antifraud efforts. Thank you very much Nicholas. This is quite interesting!

Nicholas C. Rossis

Fake review - Pinnochio | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Image: frostmediasolutions.com

Since 2015, Amazon has been actively trying to stomp out scammers exploiting authors. As I first reported in 2015, foremost among these were fake reviews, but a couple of months ago it upped the ante by filing arbitration complaints against five individuals who it says offered services to KDP author and publishers aimed at helping them manipulate the reading platform for financial gain. Amazon is demanding a combination of injunctive relief, account termination and, in some cases, triple damages.

As Publishers Weekly reports, Amazon alleges that five people used a number of prohibited strategies to manipulate customers reviews and worked to inflate sales and royalties. Amazon essentially charges that a handful of individuals worked to create fake reviews for their books and others’ in addition to attempts to manipulate Amazon systems that count book sales and the royalties paid to authors via its subscription reading service.

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Scammers (and how to avoid them)

Author Megan Morgan published an article about how to avoid Scammers. I think she did a great job with this post and I’d like to re-blog it for informative reasons. Thank you, Megan.

Megan Morgan

Today I’m going to talk about a rather sensitive topic, but one that needs to be talked about often and shared widely. The more I try to navigate the tricky waters of publishing, the more I read, learn, and educate myself on, I sadly find there’s a dark truth everybody needs to be aware of: there are predators out there in the publishing world, they will jump on you given the chance, and so you have to learn how to avoid them.

I think every faction of the entertainment industry has wolves in sheep’s clothing who try to lure you in, who want to prey on your desperate need to validate your art and latch onto that as an opportunity to suck money out of you. With the upsurge in self-publishing, these scammers and con artists have found new niches to dwell in and new techniques to get you to…

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