From today’s edition of the Shelf Awareness newsletter:
Scam alert: Rhoda Wolff, general manager at Schuler Books & Music, Lansing, Mich., reported that an order she received via e-mail had the earmarks of a potential scam. The letter, to the attention of store owner/store manager from Paul Jackson, begins, “WE ARE PAUL JACKSON INSTITUTE WE DO WANT TO PLACE AN ORDER FOR 50 COPIES OF EACH OF THE TWO BOOKS LISTED BELOW.” The two books were Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope.
According to Wolff, “When I attempted to get a phone number, address, or any further information, the e-mail said he was in meetings all day and would only communicate via e-mail. When I googled Paul Jackson Institute, there were no exact matches. This closely resembles another scam we dealt with a few years ago in which our stores were contacted by phone through an operator that was speaking on behalf of someone who was hearing impaired. I just thought it would be great if you could let other bookstores know that we suspect that this is some sort of scam, and to be aware.”
This also reminds me of the infamous Author Identity ordering scam that targeted booksellers in 2007.