As if you didn’t need another reason to consider buying your eReader or tablet computer from a reputable source, the Better Business Bureau posted an article today with regard to eBook scams… and yet another way to steal our personal information!
[easyazon-image-link asin="B0051VVOB2" alt="Kindle Fire, Full Color 7" Multi-touch Display, Wi-Fi" src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Xx9W8gdRL.jpg" align="left" width="400" height="400"]Expect this scam to grow as fast as the popularity of e-readers and e-books grows, so keep this in mind when you are selecting your next eBook:
• Scammers often publish eBooks with useless, poorly written content, and sell it to you for a couple of dollars, or even give it away for free. The catch is that the eBook has malware attached to steal your credit card information.
• Scammers often publish and republish the same book over and over using content spinners, and then putting each version under different titles, authors names, and on different venues.
• Scammers blatantly plagarize information from other sources, convert it into an ebook, and sell it in different eBook stores as original content.
• Scammers hold “Writing Competitions” and charge fees to entrants. The “winner” has his/her book published digitally, and sold online. The truth is, you can actually publish and sell your own book online for a few dollars.
• Look for an increase in spam directed towards eReaders and eBooks, with lots of advertising and links to both commercial and malware sites that will load viruses onto your eReader.
How can you avoid the coming wave of eReader scams?
• When buying eBooks, choose reputable online retailers to purchase your eBooks. There are dozens of websites popping up every day selling eBooks. Make sure your retailer has been online for a while. If it’s an unfamiliar site, do a search to make sure that there are no complaints against the website.
Regardless of where you buy the eBook, try to stick with authors who have an established reputation, or that you already know. If you do decide to buy from an unfamiliar author, see if you can download a free sample. (Amazon lets you do this for free!)
• Remember that a great review doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the book is good or safe to purchase. It’s very easy to write your own reviews, post them under different names, and influence sales dishonestly. When in doubt, do a little research on the author, the name of the book, etc., to see what may be online elsewhere about the book and the author.
• Never click on links inside eBooks. Even if it’s an established, reputable author, the eBook could have been hacked, and the links put in after the author released the book for publication. Visit the websites via your internet browser, instead of using the link.
• If you believe you’ve been scammed, seek a refund, or protest the charges with your credit card vendor. Then, register your complaint with the seller’s customer service department to make sure the vendor who sold the book is aware of the problem. And, finally, write an honest review of the book and post it for others who may be tempted to buy the eBook.
As unbelievable as these new scams may seem, the fact that someone has already figured out how to exploit tablet computers and eReaders should be an even better argument for you to purchase your eReader or tablet computer from a reputable vendor with it’s own eBook store, and then stick with your vendor’s store. Personally, I would never consider buying from any retailer other than Amazon.com.
Plus, with the release of the Amazon Library for Amazon Prime members, I won’t have to BUY every single eBook I want to read…I’ll simply borrow it from their library, read it, and return. What could be better, easier, or cheaper???