Booksellers posting to BookWeb's Idea Exchange have reported a fraudulent order scheme that appears to have been replicated in several different cities. 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 is investigating the matter, but in the short term, all booksellers are advised to be cautious of similar requests and to always be vigilant in filling any order received by phone, fax, e-mail, or website. BookSense.com Director Len Vlahos noted, "If it feels like a fraudulent order, it probably is."