So if you happen to google your book titles and come across a site like this one offering to give your ebooks away for free to folks who subscribe to a modestly paid “membership,” a) don’t panic, and b) DON’T sign up by way of getting a closer look at what the bastards are doing.
What they’re NOT doing is scraping your books from online retailers and giving them away for free. They’re not giving anything away, because they don’t have anything. It’s all fake. The whole idea of these sites is to get you to “subscribe” so they can capture credit card data, which they then use to empty your pockets.
On their pages, you’ll see Amazon’s details copied and pasted, word for word along with the cover image you uploaded, to which spurious “download” figures have been added. Often these figures change every time you refresh the page — and the number of alleged downloads can drop as well as rise. Evidently they use random number generators to come up with these silly figures.
We’re told there are a number of similar sites, some of which pretend to steal video and audio content as well as those that pretend to steal e-books. The one my friends and I found yesterday is based in Hong Kong (though registered with GoDaddy). We think they’re probably all over the world.
I’m not going to rehearse the whole adventure here, because I described it at Funny about Money this morning. So go there to read all about it!
Meanwhile, I’ve been working since 6:45 this morning, it’s ten after 11 p.m. now. And so, in the immortal words of Mr. Pepys, to bed.