If there’s one thing I absolutely despise, its a thief. Grifters fall into this category for me as well and that extends well into products being offered that don’t quite measure up. I’ve been pretty silent about it up until now but something needs to be said really more for the good of the greater community than myself. Having been ripped off a time or two, there’s few things that piss me off faster than giving my hard earned money to something that’s no what it purports to be. Especially when it comes to books.
I published The Guerrilla’s Guide to the Baofeng back in early December and wasn’t prepared for the level of success it garnered. That was wholly due to this community and one that I appreciate very, very much. It became a launching pad for a number of exciting projects we’ve got underway, but that’s another story for another day. The book, as put by a close friend of mine, created a niche that didn’t previously exist and filled a gap. And little did I know the inner workings of Amazon would make it easy to create ripoff products. This is about those.
Within a couple months similar titles began appearing; same cover designs, same keywords in search, packed with phony reviews and sponsored ads. Fictitious authors with no other books, no social media presence, no blogs, nothing. Sure, I use a pen name, but I think everyone knows I’m a real and quite visible person. Hey – its a free country and I’m a Capitalist, but at least create something worth reading. There’s plenty of books out there about radio, and plenty more to be written. But most of all, its important that they’re written by actual people and their intellectual property is their own.
I purchased each of the titles in question.
Baofeng Radio 3 in 1 by “Rowan Griffin” claiming to be a retired Colonel. Sure you are, maybe in some third world shithole army. 700 reviews in 5 days. Bull shit. I’ve been a #1 bestseller since December and have 414. These reviews are phony and although Amazon has been notified, they seem disinterested in doing anything about it.
“The Survivor’s Field Guide to the Baofeng Radio: A Guerrilla’s Handbook on How To Program Amateur Radios For Beginners“. This is one of the original offenders and was removed by Amazon based on an IP complaint only to be republished. They kindly let me know they were not going to take this new version down despite the fact it still has lifted entire sections of text from my book. No images, however.
My favorite one: “The Frequencies Of Survival: Prepare For War With The Baofeng Radio. (The Guerrilla’s Handbook And Guide)” by “JB Iron Fist!” who claims to be a former Marine but nothing can be found about this guy. The book instantly had 400+ reviews despite the sales not matching the review numbers.
Curiously, each of these books have a few things in common. For starters, there’s no images. None. A diagram here or there is a requirement for a manual. But they all also lean heavily on data sourced exclusively from wikipedia – frequency lists being the big tell. What that tells me and should be obvious to anyone with a functional brain is that AI wrote each of these.
If you buy these books, you’re buying into the fraud scheme. I have pdfs of each of them and part of me wants to simply post them for public review to show the world. But I’m not going to do that, at least at this time. Because you can take my word for it, they’re not worth anyone’s time. They are however aimed solely at ripping two people off – me and you. And I feel pretty strongly about letting the world know it.
Here’s a link to the Brushbeater Store, where you’ll get genuine products directly from me and enroll in training courses: