Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. Warning: New “Brushing” Parcel Scam

Warning Of New ‘Brushing’ Scam: Packages From Amazon, Other Retailers Being Sent To People Who Didn’t Order

The Better Business Bureau and others are warning of free boxloads of merchandise from Amazon or other companies leave right on your doorstep!

What could possibly be bad about getting lots of free stuff all year long?

Plenty! This warning is for consumers that there is a  downside to this recent scam. You are not the one who hit the jackpot. A scam company is the real winner.

Have you encountered box loads of merchandise from Amazon on your porch that you didn’t order? Better not to touch them: A scam popping up in the U.S. could mean trouble for victims.

This scam also called “brushing” involves unknown senders shipping boxes of various, unordered merchandise from Amazon and other retailers. The boxes usually have no return address and the receiver typically has no idea who ordered the items.

Brushing has been popping up all over the country. Suddenly, boxes of unordered (by the recipient) merchandise from Amazon begin arriving. There is no return address, or sometimes it just appears to come from Amazon or another retailer, and the receiver has no idea who ordered the items.

The items are varied and can be anything from an appliance to clothing to almost anything. Often, the items received are lightweight and inexpensive to ship, such as ping pong balls, or more recently, face masks or seeds from China.

Why Would Such Merchandise Be Sent To You If You Didn’t Request It?

The companies, usually foreign, third-party sellers that are sending the items are simply using your address. Usually, they find your address through social media – yes many people make it available, or it can be found through the many “people search” websites. Their intention is to make it appear as though you wrote a glowing online review of their merchandise, and that you are a verified buyer of that merchandise. They then post a fake, positive review to improve their products’ ratings, which means more sales for them. The payoff is highly profitable from their perspective. Reviews are worth their weight in gold to a reseller, especially a scam reseller!

Why It’s A Real Problem For You

The fact that someone was able to have the items sent to you as if you purchased them indicates that they probably have some of your personal information such as your name, address, and possibly, your phone number. Once the information is out there on the internet, it could be used for numerous crooked enterprises.

The fake online review angle is only one way they benefit. By using the brushing scam, they also are increasing their sales numbers. After all, they aren’t really purchasing the items, since the payment goes right back to them. Increased sales numbers, even though padded with fake purchases, look good for the company and help lead to more sales.

Then there is the “porch pirate” angle. There are instances where thieves use other people’s mailing addresses and accounts, then watch for the delivery of the package so they can steal it from the door before the resident gets it.

What Should You Do?

First, Notify Amazon or The Retailer.

Brushing and fake reviews are against Amazon’s policies, so contact Amazon Customer Service if this happens to you and the product appears to come from Amazon. They will investigate and take action against the bad actor. Go directly to Amazon’s website to get their contact information. The company also takes security seriously and encourages customers to report fraudulent purchases or other security issues. If the preference is to contact them by phone; be cautious of searching for support phone numbers – contact Amazon, not the seller if it comes from Amazon.

Second, Check Your Accounts

Change your account passwords. This may be a sign that personal information has been compromised and to improve account security, keep a close eye on credit reports and credit card bills.
You are allowed to keep the merchandise. The Federal Trade Commission says you have a legal right to keep unordered merchandise.

Third, Contact your Local Police

Talk to the FraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. Unit at your local police and let them know you are receiving what might be stolen items.

There Is Another Possibility, And That Is You Are Being Used As A “Parcel MuleMule A money mule sometimes called a "smurfer," is a person who transfers money acquired illegally (e.g., stolen) in person, through a courier service, or electronically, on behalf of others (usually criminals that they are knowingly or unknowingly affiliated). Typically, the mule is paid for services with a small part of the money transferred - but not always. Mules may or may not be aware that they are performing these actions. Money mules are often dupes recruited online for what the