It may be a new year but the same old book review scams are still with us.

I wrote about Black Sun and the foul-mouthed Ann from that company some time ago now. Now both Anne R Allen and Victoria Strauss are both aware of Black Sun’s activities. You can read about what they say here on Ann’es blog and here on Victoria’s Writer Beware blog.

Both of those sites are an excellent resource for scam alerts as is the Alli’s ‘Self-Publishing Advice’ site who display a list of suspect services as well as recommended services through its Watchdog feature for indie authors.

Book review scams are just as prevalent as scammy vanity publishers. Usually the book review scam is sent to an author by way of unsolicited email as was the case with the email I received from Black Sun.

By offering a paid review service, any such offer must come in the knowledge it contravenes Amazon’s ToS. Steer clear!

A new development in the way these scammers approach authors was revealed to me over last weekend. The approach was made by messaging my author Facebook page after first ‘liking’ the page.

First, note the dodgy grammar. It’s often a giveaway or a ‘tell.’ Second, ‘Works at Amazon.com.’ Of course you do!

 

Below, you will see I was unable to resist the numbered points I made to her 🙂

I started to get a bit fed up with her so asked her where View Point Park was located, having checked on Google maps seeing she stated on her Facebook profile that she lived in Mirpur, Bangladesh.

Caroline (and I doubt that is her real name or even that she’s a woman) sent me a location map of somewhere in the United States – laughable.

I asked her what time it was in her location and she said almost 12 noon. That didn’t tally with the information I saw on her Facebook profile but did tally with Nigeria. Yes, another variation of a Nigerian scam.

I then went to her Facebook profile page:

Quite pretty and innocent looking, huh? Note that she has a ‘mutual friend.’ That’s probably why she approached me but not through my personal Facebook account but through my author page.

I checked her list of friends. They were all authors. I warned the ‘mutual friend’ who thanked me and immediately blocked her.

These scammers are a serious problem. Though I didn’t fall into the trap, many might. I believe the scam is to grab money from you for reviews. You will never see a review or the scammer again.

I ask you to share this alert as far wide as possible. Thank you!

 

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