Amazon has approached the California Federal Court on Tuesday, 31st October 2023, to file a case against scammers in Pakistan and the US. They had been targeting authors on the pretext of promoting their books on Amazon and the Kindle Direct publishing platform.
The group of scammers consists of around 20 individuals and a few entities posing as affiliated members of Amazon. They rope unsuspecting authors to their websites that are a close knockoff of the original Amazon websites.
One of the authors has reported that she paid $4,000 to avail of publication and editorial services and was never provided those services. She also mentioned that they offered documents containing Amazon’s logo, and she wholeheartedly believed them to be the company’s representatives.
“Defendants use the Amazon Marks in their domain names and on their websites to divert victims from Amazon’s genuine websites to Defendants’ websites that purport to offer services to help authors create, edit, and publish their works through [Amazon Publishing or Kindle Direct Publishing],” the suit states, adding that, “to further the ruse of affiliation with Amazon” the websites often have chat boxes or advertise phone numbers to call that provide “false and misleading representations of affiliation with Amazon.”
Amazon has always taken necessary steps to safeguard the interests of its customers. They have included the authors’ details in their suit to claim damages for them. They aim to shut down the scammers’ websites and cease their actions.
David Naggar, vice president of Books and Kindle Content at Amazon said that:
“We have a consistent track record of working to stop bad actors from taking advantage of our customers, and this lawsuit against publishing scammers continues that work on behalf of authors to protect authors from fraudsters who attempt to take advantage of them” and ensure “no authors or publishers are further harmed by their actions.”