While I wasn’t a ‘victim’ of this scam, I still wanted to share my experience:
When my parents (who don’t even live in the same town) returned home from a vacation, they had a message on their answering machine – for me. It was a book company who wanted to talk to me about Murder of Crows. My parents took down the information and sent it to me.
I try to research every company who contacts me to see if it’s legitimate and worth my time. I happened to be away from my computer when this happened & only had my phone for research – I couldn’t find anything. Curiosity got the best of me and the number they left had an extension, so I figured they had to be a fairly big company.
I called them.
A woman with broken English had to spell the name of their company since I couldn’t understand what she was saying, and it was Bookwhirl – a marketing company for independent and self-published books. I listened and tried to understand what she had to say. When it was my turn to talk, I asked them how they got my PARENTS contact information since we haven’t lived in the same house for years and I’ve never lived at their current address. She told me their ‘research team’ found me.
I’m not sure what they pay their research team – but anything is too much since almost any mention of my name or my books (they didn’t even know about Kobi’s book) will bring you straight to my website – and a ‘contact me’ tab.
When I started asking questions, she couldn’t get me off the phone fast enough. After I got home, I searched on their name and the first Google result was “Bookwhirl Scam”.
Real research pays off!