Today on this hot and muggy Tuesday morning I get this nastygram in my email from this blog’s contact form. This before coffee and breakfast. This is exactly from the horse’s mouth as I received it.
As Secretary of Office of Attorney General Chris Carr, I’m contacting you about Case raised against this website and persons Ann Crispin, Michael Capobianco, Richard White and Victoria Strauss regarding a criminal act against Accrispin.blogspot.com and named persons websites. Under investigation of breaking rules of good practice and monopoly in Publishing, we found this post on your website violate some rules. The URL is http://newbieauthorsguide.com/2017/06/16/litfire-publishing-a-chip-off-the-ole-author-solutions-block/ We are expecting soonest action from your side or the website and persons behind this will be subject of prosecution according to laws in the USA. If you have additional questions please call us at (404) 656-3300 or Fax: (404) 657-8733
firstname.lastname@example.org (I don’t recommend emailing this address)
What a way to start the day.
However, the initial start I just got began to wane as I began to think about this logically and what I know about what spammers do to scare people into emailing or clicking things in the event they feel they are really in trouble with a government agency. I am immediately thinking this is a scam–or something fishy.
I Google the GA Attorney General’s website which is https://law.georgia.gov/ which was also provided on the contact form. The phone and fax numbers were the same ones found here. So basically any idiot who wants to put together a scam could rip these off if they know where to look. Further because of GDPR and other anti spam and ICANN and yadda-yadda, my contact information about where I live can be found, so they could easily look up a government agency website in my home state and cook this up.
Well, if anything calling the Attorney General’s office to inform them about this incident would be the right thing to do even through I pretty much know this is a scam and that the GA Attorney General would not send an email nor would they issue it through a contact form on a blog.
I talk to a couple people at the GA Attorney General’s office and they verify that it wasn’t from them, and they even encouraged me to send it to the FTC spam reporting. I briefly explain the situation and that I had already contacted the GA Attorney General’s office. We’ll just have to see what happens.
So the the supposed hook to in this case has to be that email address. While Chris Carr is the GA Attorney General, I doubt that “Ms. Ava Liam” is his secretary, and she visited my backwater blog about a blog post I wrote a year ago, which by the way was a real story about a personal experience with a company and research with proper credit given to the findings and why people may want to consider not doing business with them.
Now the message, the blog post in question, and the mentioning of contributors at Writer’s Beware kind of makes me take a second gander. While this may be a scam, it somewhat seems a bit not-so-random to me. But then again it could be. I have a hunch but no concrete evidence, so I will leave it at that.
Three days after the date a I write the post in question I get this nastygram. Writer’s Beware is one of the sources I refer back to in this post who had written more extensively about the company in question, LitFire Publishing, which so happens to supposedly be located in Dunwoody GA.
Well, first of all, “Ms. Liam” didn’t include a case #–not even a made-up one. Second, she fails to state what “rules” in regards to US Antitrust Laws (the reference to the monopoly as stated above) that I and the contributors at Writer Beware to have supposedly broken. No sort of legal terminology, legal jargon, or legalese word vomit that unscrupulous lawyers usually spew out to intimidate people are used here (I have been on the receiving end of legalized extortion several times). Of course, I have no idea how I and the contributors at Writer’s Beware are breaking rules in Good Publishing Practices when we are writing blog articles about a company’s predatory publishing business practices and why writers should consider staying clear. At the end of the day the decisions are in the writers’ hands with whom and how they want to publish their books. I and Writer’s Beware never put a gun to anyone’s head or threatened to sue them for publishing the books themselves or with Publisher XYZ.
If anyone is getting closer to violating US Antitrust Laws or Good Publishing Practices it would be someone like Amazon with some of their latest antics, but I digress. The assumption that some blog articles with real life experiences and the gathering of well researched information by several people for people to make informed publishing choices being a violation of US Antitrust Laws is outrageous. I am not interested in monopolizing the publishing industry and neither are Victoria Strauss et al.
This message also suffers the blight of most standard issued spam emails: grammar errors. This one didn’t have any misspelled words. They did manage to spell the AG’s name correctly. Probably since they were probably looking at the website while they cranked this thing out.
My “soonest action” has been contacting the FTC, the GA AG’s office and bringing you this blog post. I seriously the doubt the FBI is going to be beating my and Victoria’s doors down and being “subject of prosecution”.
What they were probably hoping was that I would have taken this seriously and have taken the post down or became scared enough to reply back to that spoofed email. I didn’t. Now I am sharing it publicly for public record.
Whoever did it, I hope they get exposed.