Smashwords has revealed that stolen credit cards were apparently used for a “large batch” of fraudulent purchases. The company says that in some cases, large numbers of a single book were purchased, apparently as part of an attempt to determine the credit limits of the cards.
Affected authors will see reversed sales in their reports. The incident is clearly nothing to do with Smashwords per se, but rather part of the ongoing problem of stolen cards being used online. Clearly no-one steals a credit card in order to buy almost 1,000 copies of the same ebook, so there must have been some other motive.
The news comes just a couple of months after Smashwords announced it had detected an affiliate scam in which around $1,300 worth of sales were made using stolen cards, with the perpetrators believed to have been trying to make a profit from affiliate fees. In that case, too, the scam was caught and affected sales were reversed.