Bogus agents are ba-a-ack. Once upon a time, in the long-ago era when I was querying, fee-charging agencies and in-house editorial services were the problem. Their scams usually involved charging a “reading fee” (a no-no for legit agents) or referring writers to editorial services and vanity presses they themselves owned.
They also added to their coffers by charging “mailing and copying” fees. This was the pre-Internet age when we had to send manuscripts in hard copy. Those manuscripts needed Xeroxing and postage for expensive snails. Bogus agents overcharged writers for those fees.
These old-school bogus agents targeted unpublished authors who didn’t know how the process worked. In one of my very first blogposts, 13 years ago, I warned writers about these bogus agents., who had scammed a number of my friends. Much of the advice is still true.
But the new bogus agents are more brazen. And they mostly target published authors who have self-published or published with small presses without much financial success.