Have you received an unsolicited Temu or Amazon package? This may be a brushing scam.

Have you received a package in the mail that you did not order? You could be the victim of a brushing scam

A woman from Minnesota received a box full of baby reveal balloons from Amazon. A family in Illinois had dozens of boxes of Temu delivered to their door, including military hats and cameras. And like many others in the United States who received a surprise delivery of seemingly random goods, neither had ordered the items.

Consumer protection experts say an unwanted e-commerce order may indicate a so-called brushing scam – a technique used by some unscrupulous online retailers to generate fake reviews of their products. The offender is usually a third-party seller on a major e-commerce platform seeking verified merchant status, which allows them to write product reviews on behalf of someone else.

The scams often involve a foreign company obtaining the address of a person found online and then delivering products to their home, according to the Better Business Bureau. BBB spokesperson Josh Planos advises consumers who receive unsolicited products to document the incidents and contact retailers directly to stop shipments.

“They intend to make it appear that you have written a glowing online review of their merchandise and that you are a verified buyer of that merchandise,” the BBB said in an alert. “They then post a fake positive review to boost their product ratings, which means more sales. From their perspective, the reward is very profitable.”

If you received an unsolicited package from Amazon, Temu, or any other retailer, here are the steps the BBB recommends to protect your personal information.

  • Inform the retailer and ask them to investigate any fraudulent purchases
  • Try contacting the sender and asking them to remove any fake reviews written in your name.
  • Check your online e-commerce accounts for recent orders
  • Consider having future packages sent to another location
  • Change your online account passwords
  • Monitor your credit reports and credit card statements

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