Scam Threads Its Way Across the Country

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A fraudulent order scheme, which first came to the attention of the American Booksellers Association in October through a discussion on BookWeb's Idea Exchange, continues to plague booksellers from coast-to-coast, with reports coming in from booksellers spanning from the Southeast to the Pacific Northwest. The scam involves a person posing as a teacher of sewing classes who asks the bookstore to order several sewing titles for a class to be held in the area. The "teacher" then promises to tell students to buy the book at the store in question.

The books are ordered from the publisher and delivered to the bookstore, but the class and students never materialize. Neither the "teacher" nor the publisher (Alpel Publishing in Quebec, Canada) has returned booksellers' phone calls.

ABA has undertaken an investigation of the matter and is advising all booksellers to be cautious of similar requests and to always be vigilant in filling any order received by phone, fax, e-mail, or website.

Questions or comments about the scam may be addressed to ABA Director of Special Projects David Walker at davidw@bookweb.org.