Have you recently received unwanted packages on your doorstep from Amazon that you don’t remember ordering? If you have, it may be a part of a new scam called brushing where everyday people like you and me receive unsolicited items in the mail, usually from a seller in China who then posts fake customer reviews using your name to boost their sales.
Usually these items are pretty light and include flashlights, Christmas lights, phone cases, bluetooth speakers, protective masks and even seeds! The US Department of Agriculture has reported that a majority of the seeds are for familiar plants like lavender and mint and recommends that you do not try and plant them. Either way, Federal inspectors believe that brushing scams are part of a much bigger problem for online shoppers. If you’re getting unsolicited packages on your doorstep, it means that your personal information is out there and crooks may be using it to post fake reviews for products you never actually bought.
The BBB recommends you do the following 3 things:
1. Change your passwords for all of the e-commerce sites you use, including Amazon and eBay
2. Contact Amazon Customer Service if the package came from Amazon. That way they can stop the scammer
3. Be careful when participating in sweepstakes or when ordering products that have been advertised as “free,” “trial” or “unusually low-priced.”
The good news is that according to the Federal Trade Commission, you have a legal right to keep what you received in the mail as a free gift. However, you and I both know that your identity is worth more than a pack of seeds right?
Stay safe out there