Over the past few days, a number of booksellers have contacted ABA to say that they have received fraudulent orders from overseas -- via either their retail Web sites or e-mail -- for large numbers of hardcover books, often Bibles or medical texts.
Here's a reminder of important e-commerce advice that BookSense.com sent to participating stores earlier in the year.
These fraudulent orders most often originate overseas -- BookSense.com has seen orders originate in Nigeria, Ghana, Singapore, Egypt, and other many nations -- and are usually in excess of $150. The books being ordered are most often Bibles, other religious titles, medical texts, or other reference books.
Most of the orders are being purchased with stolen credit card numbers. This makes identifying a bogus order difficult because the credit will appear to be valid when you charge it. Once you've shipped the books, the owner of the stolen credit card is likely to tell his/her credit card company to stop payment, and you will be liable for the entire amount. In other words, you'll be out the merchandise, the cash, and the shipping.
If you see any order for over $150 from an unknown customer -- and particularly if it originates overseas -- BookSense.com strongly urges you not to fill the order without first securing payment in the form of a certified check or money order in U.S. funds, drawn on a U.S. bank. In most cases, when you request this kind of payment, the person(s) ordering the book will not respond to your request and the matter will be closed.
If you have any questions, contact Len Vlahos, director of BookSense.com, at firstname.lastname@example.org.