martes, 3 de julio de 2018

An old book review scam shows up at Goodreads

I'm mexican, deal with it.

I grew up in a country where cops are the real life epitome of all of the jokes from The Simpsons.

Oh, so you were the victim of some serious crime? Let me write it down on my invisible typewriter. Hahahaha

Come on, you haven't grown up in Mexico if you don't get the Sor Juanita joke, courtesy of a cop that pulls your car tries to pull for some reason (sometimes bogus, sometimes they stopped you because you did a minor driving infraction like go out with an odd number on even number license plates driving day in Mexico City and lack a special permit). If you don't get the joke, the image below should be enough to illuminate you.

I don't own a car and have never been the culprit of that kind of minor traffic offense, but I have been a passenger when cops have stopped for various reasons. Usually they will be legit and give you a fine, but I have heard the "Give me a Sor Juana and we'll just forget about this" sort of shady deal.

Ergo, I guess as an author, I am highly suspicious when I get random unsolicited emails that will offer me a gazillion reviews for my books if I pay them 400 USD. I usually just ignore them, the emails are sent to the spam folder anyways and get deleted automatically eventually.

However! Just a while ago, a persistent Goodreads scammer of some sort that goes by varying usernames pulled a doozie on me. He/she/it/zer/whatever posted a "book question" asking for a free ARC copy. Innocent enough.

But I am a mexican and knew from the start it was bunk.

And since I have little patience for this kind of nonsense, I'm pasting a screencap for posterity to laugh and hopefully deter other turds from pulling this lame scam on me:

The "question" doesn't even bother to mention the name of my book or the reasons why the scammer would feel entitled to read a Young Adult fantasy starring a mortal elf with a human name and lots of issues with authority figures.

A quick google search of the dubious email will direct you to plenty of discussions on Goodreads and even Facebook about people flagging this email. If you're going to pull a blatant book scam, at least try to be creative and rotate the emails a little bit, will ya?

Some users have pointed out this stranger has connections to a mysterious website: with no street cred of any kind.

What happens to gullible well-meaning and/or desperate authors that do send a book to this email? Their book will probably appear as a bootleg making some Nigerian Prince slightly rich at your expense.

If the person had paid any real attention, my book is sold for only 1 usd on the legit channels and I have been known to offer ARC review copies for the first novel of my series every now and then. I no longer offer the sequels for free these days, mainly because I'm planning on changing the book covers and I have been busy writing the final sequels of the series to pretty much wrap things up (much to the annoyance of my scant die-hard fans that never seem to get enough of my works).

As to any potential scammer, as you can see, I take spammy fake review requests sort of seriously and tend to immortalize fruitless attempts for posterity. I hope it will serve as a deterrent and if I start to see a surge in spammy emails on my account, I will probably write another blog post.

Maybe you could take a nap, just like our model cop Wiggum, what do ya say?

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