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Has your book been stolen?

While people do get their books pirated (like it isn't already hard enough being an Indie author, thanks jerkfaces) most of the time sites use MENTION of our titles for phishing. They say they have your book, people go to get it, they're asked to enter a credit card (just to join, ha ha), if they're dumb enough on top of trying to steal our books they do, and then the evil people toddle off with their credit card number. (if you're willing to use a credit card, why wouldn't you just buy the book??)

If you setup Google Alerts for your titles and your name (which you should). You'll get things like this all the time (I get half a dozen a week)

First thing you'll notice is that second one is a .ru site (Russia). That should really be a tip off for anyone trying to use it, but just because you're looking to steal someone's book it doesn't mean you're clever. That one was interesting because the bad guys had setup a whole fake chatroom where people pretend to want my book (I'm sure it's the bad guy playing every part here), he then shares a link under another name, the first name wonders if it is legit, the second guy assures him it is, and then a THIRD player says oh yeah, I did it and it was great. *eyeroll" And the oscar goes to...

Anyhoo, the moral of the story is these people put a lot of time and effort into creating these fake worlds in the hopes of tricking people.

What do I do?

I go here:

and report the link to Google. In the comments I say "pretending to have my copyrighted book for phishing" and submit. Google can't take down these sites, but they can remove the links to them from the search engine, which is as close to not existing as a link can get. I've never had the same exact link reported twice to me, so I think this works as well as anything and it takes very little of my time (though ANY time is still too much.) I keep this "report phishing" link saved in my browser for easy access.

So don't panic - take a sec and get it removed from Google!