Mysterious phishing scam is targeting novelists for their first drafts

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It’s time travelling space aliens.

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Its’s immortal cyborgs working for The Company, Dr. Zeus.


Hmm, just how much did studios pay for book rights in the last few years? Some claim they do more reboots because they’ve run out of ideas. Maybe they’re getting desperate… :female_detective:


Slow AIs cornering the market on novelty.


I no sooner want to read an early draft of someone elses novel than I want to visit any given part of the poultry supply chain.


time travelling space aliens on a mission to go to the future and collect all our future sci fi except their time drive broke down so now they are doing the next best thing and tricking authors out of drafts.

oh doh that was part of my draft sneaky buggers,


This theory might be colored by years of reading BoingBoing, but could it possibly be a copyright troll? Get a first draft, maybe get a content farm to stitch pieces together, and publish it. When the real authors work gets published, say that it was plagiarized and sue for copyright infringement.


I actually fell for this scam.

Luckily I’d only got as far as “It was a dark and stormy night…”


That was my thought initially as well- wait until the author actually publishes it, then come out of the woods and sue for royalties or whatnot.

(file under “great minds think alike”, at least for this comment. :smiley: )


Ditto, here.

Either that, or:

  • A knock off scam: Harriet Carpenter, anyone?
  • A translation scam? There are a lot of Russian translations that enter the market ridiculously close to the original first publication date. I could see the same happening in Chinese, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Bantu, etc.

MagicFox, who’s Harriet Carpenter?

Marketing stunt. The answer will be revealed to buyers of an upcoming mystery novel with a cover photo of Fabio in a publishing house suite.


The plan goes like this:

  1. Steal early manuscript
  2. ???
  3. Profit!

DH and I have been getting calls at oh-dark-thirty from someone claiming to want to ‘represent’ him and publish his books. Trouble is, the author they are talking about is a distant relative who died 20 years ago; DH only shares a name. Last time they called, DH put on the ‘grumpy old coot’ persona and informed them that if they couldn’t be troubled to call during office hours, let alone before the chickens got up, that didn’t bode well for any professional relationship and they could talk to our lawyer. They aren’t bright enough to call from a different number, so now the scammers have their very own digital answering box that redirects them to said lawyer’s phone number.


A plucky young girl who was accepted to her local Magiks Magnet School. (My quick and uninspired Harry Potter riff. :wink:)


Manuscript collectors?

I recall that actually happened to an author several years back (2009-2013, or thereabouts). One day she notices that one of her books had been de-listed off of Amazon (I can’t recall if it was self-pub or traditionally published). So she looks into it and finds there’s a copyright claim on her book, and the evidence in the copyright claim is a blog post from several years back.

There were some various twists and turns, including a “helpful reader” who was probably the one behind the claim in the first place, but what likely happened is that someone had taken the few sample chapters of her work in progress from when she first started on the book and used them to create enough text to make a copyright claim. The intention seemed to be extortion of the “we can settle this between us, no need to get lawyers involved” kind.

I wish I could remember more of the details but I can’t turn up anything from my usual haunts back then.




You know, there still are some old-school pranksters out there…whenever something is done for seemingly no reason and no foreseeable endgame, I figure it’s someone who just thought they’d have fun doing some social engineering.

Personally I wouldn’t see the fun in doing this prank as it creeps out and worries those who send their manuscripts, but many don’t mind crossing the “harmless prank” line even if they don’t have explicitly bad intentions.