Better Business Bureau Warning Consumers About eBook Scams

eBook Scams

Via: BBB

One day you'll sit little Timmy down, pull out a Norton Antivirus box, and say, "Son, it's time to talk to you about using protection."

Yes, in the future we'll need to have "the talk" with our kids twice. But if that's too weirdsies, you can always pass the buck to a site like the Better Business Bureau.  Recently, they've been offering an education on the dangers of eReaders... y'know, those things that more and more people keep buying in lieu of beautiful, disease-free paper.

Here are some of the common scams that are currently giving your Kindle the clap:

-eBooks filled with useless and often badly written information sold for a couple of dollars. Malware is sometimes attached in order to obtain your credit card information.

-A single book is given different editorial spins and then sold under different titles or authors' names.

-Material is plagiarized from websites and blogs, then packaged into an e-book and sold.  

-Writing competitions that offer to publish winners' work digitally. Although the contests include entry fees, the cost to publish digitally is minimal.

-eReaders spammed with ad-laden works and hotlinks to both commercial and malware sites that load viruses onto your machine.

-eBook purchases and sales used to build up credentials for bogus sellers and buyers on auction sites.

So how do we avoid these?  Here are some recommendations per Jim Judge over at the BBB:

-Take a good look at the website that offers the item. Does it have a BBB logo? If it does, click on it to see if it's legitimate (a BBB dynamic seal will take you to the company's BBB Business Review).

-Make sure that the site is secure when you place the order: Look for https:// at the beginning of the site's URL (website address) on the page where you enter payment information

-Stick with authors you already know or those who have an established reputation.

-If you decide to buy from an unfamiliar author, see if you can download a free sample first to test the quality. Some sites allow you to preview a book before you buy it.

-Don't be taken in by great reviews that accompany cheap eBooks. They may be genuine or writers may have been paid to produce them.

-Do a search on the book name or author to see what other people say or how many other books the author claims to have written.

-Don't click on links inside an eBook unless it's by an established, reputable author and sold through a legitimate website. Even then, it's advisable to visit the author's website using your Internet browser rather than using the link.

As more and more people get eReaders, this is especially important to remember as you'll be susceptible to these kinds of scams during your book shopping.  Don't be like my grandma and click on anything that looks interesting.  I know a lot of straight-to-Kindle authors are probably going to agonize over this article simply because it's going to make people cautious of their work, but better safe than sorry.

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