The United States Postal Service is warning of a scam that is making its rounds again, and it involves a package at your front door. If you find a package at your front door that you didn't purchase, don't open it. 

It's called a Brushing Scam. A brushing scam is an e-commerce fraud involving a seller or a third party creating fake accounts and making fake purchases of their products. 

How does it work?

 An individual receives unsolicited packages or parcels containing assorted items that the recipient neither ordered nor requested. These packages may be labeled with the recipient's name but lack a return address, or the return address may belong to a retailer. Typically, the sender of these items is an international third-party seller who has located the recipient's address online.

Photo by Dan Dennis on Unsplash
Photo by Dan Dennis on Unsplash

Why do they do this?

The aim is to create the illusion that the recipient is a verified purchaser who has authored favorable online reviews for the products, essentially involving the creation of fake reviews in the recipient's name. These counterfeit reviews serve the deceptive purpose of artificially elevating product ratings and sales figures, with the ultimate goal of driving an actual increase in sales over time. Given that the products are typically inexpensive and have low shipping costs, the scammers view this as a lucrative payoff.

Why is this bad for you? You got a free product, right?

Although it might seem like a victimless act since you receive free items, the truth is that your personal information could be at risk. Frequently, scammers acquire personal information through unethical methods and malicious intent, subsequently using it for various scams and unlawful activities. You're encouraged to change your online passwords immediately if this happens to you. 

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Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

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