New scam to launder money uses Amazon ebooks

A Krebs reader pointed out that this is an excellent scam because Amazon allows you to cash out directly to a bank account, bypassing all of the rigmarole associated with crypto exchanges. In short, it’s stolen credit cards in, in money out.

Brian Krebs and a group of security researchers have recently  found a new method for laundering money through expensive eBooks.

The scam was discovered when  author Patrick Reames received an Amazon tax form saying he’d made $24,000 selling his books through Amazon’s CreateSpace. However his books didn’t sell nearly that many copies. When investigations were carried out, it was found that a $555 book full of gibberish was being sold under his name.

So this is how the scam works: fraudsters use stolen credit cards to buy their own fake eBooks for inflated prices and pocket the 60% commission. Amazon and CreateSpace also get their cut. If this is done a few times, people can actually make quite a bit of money.

The book Reamers found written under his name was full of gibberish like one would  fins in a spam email. He says in an interview with KrebsOnSecurity, “Based on what I could see from the ‘sneak peak’ function, the book was nothing more than a computer generated ‘story’ with no structure, chapters or paragraphs — only lines of text with a carriage return after each sentence.”

Amazon, says it is ready to help its customers who have been affected by the scam. It writes on its general help page: Anyone who believes they’ve received an incorrect 1099 form or a 1099 form in error can contact us1099@amazon.com and we will investigate.
 

 

 

 

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