FBI Arrests Suspect Scamming Authors for Unpublished Manuscripts

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From The Authors Guild:

As we reported a few months ago to members, authors have fallen prey to several scams, including one in which a person claimed to work with an author’s publishing house to gain access to that author’s unpublished manuscript.

The New York Times today reported that, after five long years, an arrest has been made on allegations of wire fraud and identity theft. Picked up when he arrived at New York’s JFK airport, the FBI arrested Filippo Bernardini, an Italian citizen, whose social media profile claims he works for Simon & Schuster UK’s rights division.

As we previously reported, the accused would send out emails “impersonating real people working in the publishing industry — a specific editor, for example — by using fake email addresses.” He would employ slightly tweaked domain names like penguinrandornhouse.com instead of penguinrandomhouse.com, — putting an “rn” in place of an “m.” According to the indictment, Bernardini had registered more than 160 fraudulent internet domains impersonating publishing professionals and companies.

Link to the rest at The Authors Guild

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