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    Adventures of a rare book dealer (and former small bookshop owner).

Impersonating an Author

Written on May 2, 2008

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Hoaxes Hit Bookstores:

The call came from someone who said he was the Los Angeles blogger and first novelist Mark Sarvas, who was reading at the store in a few days and seemed to be in a pinch. His car had been impounded, he needed money to get it back and he needed it right away.

“I thought, ‘Why isn’t he calling his wife?’ ” recalled Slattery. “But maybe he can’t reach anybody, maybe he had an extra drink. . . . It never occurred to me that it wasn’t him.

“So even though I think it’s a little weird that he’s asking me to help him get his car out of impound, I’m also thinking, ‘Well, it’s Saturday night, maybe he couldn’t reach anybody, and you know, I’m going to see him on Tuesday. . . .’ And he didn’t say anything about money for a really long time.”

It was only when she was about to wire the money via Western Union, and having to give a password one too many times, that she began to have second thoughts. “I realized, ‘Oh, my God, I almost sent $200. . . .’ The guy was good.”

They also impersonated Nick Hornby.

[Via GalleyCat]

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