Amazon reported to the IRS that Patrick Reames had made $24,000 selling books on its Createspace self-publishing platform, but Patrick Reames never got a dime of that money; it appears that a money-launderer who had Reames's Social Security Number used a fake book to cash out money from stolen credit cards by buying the garbage book repeatedly and pocketing the 70% from each sale.
Amazon told Reames that they won't correct their report to the IRS, because they can't be sure he's not a scammer trying to get out of paying his taxes; but they also won't tell Reames which account they deposited the $24K into so he can figure out who's been impersonating him. They will, however, give him a letter saying he's disputed that he ever received the money.
It looks like there's a lot of this going on.
"I have reviewed numerous Createspace titles and its clear to me that there may be hundreds if not thousands of similar fraudulent books on their site," Reames said. "These books contain no real content, only dozens of pages of gibberish or computer generated text."
For example, searching Amazon for the name Vyacheslav Grzhibovskiy turns up dozens of Kindle "books" that appear to be similar gibberish works — most of which have the words "quadrillion," "trillion" or a similar word in their titles. Some retail for just one or two dollars, while others are inexplicably priced between $220 and $320.
Money Laundering Via Author Impersonation on Amazon? [Brian Krebs/Krebs on Security]
(via Naked Capitalism)