The Better Business Bureau has often warned about not responding to suspicious e-mails that come to you unsolicited, especially when they are supposedly notifying you of free money. Scammers seem to have an infinite number of ways to trick their victims using genuine-appearing e-mail notifications.
But if you recently received an e-mail saying a credit has been applied to your Amazon or Barnes and Noble account because of an antitrust settlement, it is probably the real thing. A class action lawsuit against the five biggest book publishers – Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Penguin – has recently been settled.
While Amazon was not sued, if you bought a Kindle book from any of those publishers between April 1, 2010, and May 21, 2012, credit was automatically given to your Amazon account.
The issue in the lawsuit was artificially inflated e-book prices through price-fixing. The total cost of the settlement is $155 million and affects 23 million consumers.
The amount you receive will, of course, depend on how many Kindle books from those five publishers were bought by you. Check your account to see whether credit due you has been applied.
Reminders about scams
Because we all know how devious e-mail scammers are, this is a good time to remind yourself of some of the basic precautions consumers should always take. Keep these tips in mind:
Scammers trying to “phish” for your personal information or otherwise extract money from you will almost certainly soon start sending out their messages across the country. They will try to confuse victims into believing their e-mails relate to the above mentioned e-book settlements.
Familiarizing yourself with their methods and being watchful can prevent any financial harm to you.