The Latest Online Book Piracy Scams: Catfishing, Profile Theft and False Endorsements
In my previous article for IP Watchdog, “An Awareness Crusade Against the Online Piracy of Books,” I delved into the growing problem of book piracy. I knew the harmful effects of this illegal activity all too well. My award-winning book, Profit and Prosper with Public Relations®: Insider Secrets to Make You a Success, for which I have a U.S. trademark registration for the title and a registered copyright, was being offered as a free download without my knowledge or permission. In countless other situations, these unscrupulous sites don’t actually give away copies of people’s books at all, but instead, offer malware to unsuspecting participants, damaging an author’s name, reputation or brand. With this in mind, it is even more concerning that a new and disturbing trend is now emerging. I recently came upon a fake website that was advertising “free” copies of my book. It featured reader photos and comments indicating that they were endorsing my work. The people profiled appeared to be personally asking for these free copies.