The Better Business Bureau is notifying consumers to be aware of a scam in the U.S. which includes an unknown sender shipping boxes of unordered merchandise from online retailers, including Amazon.
What We Know:
- This horrendous scam, also called “brushing,” includes unknown senders shipping boxes of different, unordered merchandise from Amazon and other vendors. Usually, the packages have no return address and the receiver often does not know who requested the articles or products.
- The Better Business Bureau (BBB) stated the companies are generally foreign, third-party sellers that send the items using the address they find on the website. These companies will then go and post a false, useful review to upgrade their own products’ rankings to boost up their sales. Their objective is to make it seem as though the receiver wrote an excellent online review of the product and that they are a confirmed purchaser.
- The Better Business Bureau defined the serious indicators the brushing scams have for the consumers. The fact that the companies are able or can send such products may indicate that they hold or have access to personal information of the consumer, such as name, address, and possibly phone number. If all this personal data is on the internet, it could be used for several false or criminal motives.
- Furthermore, there are occasions where “porch thieves” use other people’s accounts and mailing addresses, observe for the shipment of the package, and steal it from the door before the homeowner takes it.
- Finally, the BBB also states that, according to the Federal Trade Commission, victims of such brushing scams have the right to keep their unordered merchandise.
For victims of brushing scams, the BBB recommends directly notifying retailers, such as Amazon, who have stern policies against brushing and fake reviews. Changing account passwords for online retailers and credit cards could further help prevent brushing scams.