Scammers on Facebook and Instagram have targeted authors. They are creating profiles with author names and pictures and then solicit money from fans.
This special snowflake even attempted to join the official fan group to troll for victims.
How to spot a scammer
Most successful authors do not friend fans first.
This is a tactic sometimes used by self-published authors who are just starting out and are desperate to build up their fan base, but most established authors do not look for fans. We set up our pages and let fans find us and follow.
Legitimate authors never ask fans for personal information.
That is just not a thing. We don’t need your logins, dates of birth, and so on.
Legitimate authors never ask you for money.
We don’t ask you for money when we run promotions. We do not charge for giveaways and contests. Charging a fee of any sort for your promotion turns the giveaway into a lottery, which is extremely closely regulated by federal government. We can’t even ask you to pay for your own shipping if you win something in a giveaway.
How to determine if the contest/author are legitimate
Look at the profile that’s messaging you about that awesome book you won and now they just need you to pay $15 shipping. How many people follow the profile? Legitimate established authors will have follower count in thousands.
If you are still in doubt, google the author and go to their website. Almost every author will have links to their social profiles on their site. Click on the social media site where you saw the contest. Does it match the profile that’s messaging you?
If you are still unsure, use the website to email the author and ask them if the contest is legitimate.
Please do your due diligence. 🙂 And remember, if you are asked for money by “author” because you won something, it’s a scammer.