What is a brushing scam Amazon? What is this Amazon about?

What is a brushing scam Amazon? Did you receive a mysterious Amazon package that you didn’t order? It could be part of a brushing scam. Brushing scams aim to generate fake positive reviews. You get an unordered package from Amazon, usually with no return address. The scammers then write a fake review using your information to make it appear like you’re a verified buyer and boost their sales.

If all this still seems like nothing to be concerned about, consider all the repercussions of a stranger having your personal information. Protecting your identity is crucial, and using the best identity theft protection can be worth it.

Keep reading to learn how Amazon brushing scams work and what you can do to prevent them.

What is a brushing scam Amazon?

Brushing scams happen when unethical businesses find your name and address online and use the information to send you their product. The unordered package arrives right at your door and probably doesn’t have a return address included — brushing scam packages are often sent from China. Wherever it’s from, you won’t know who sent it or why.

These packages can be anything from flower seeds to Bluetooth speakers. It seems like a ton of effort and cost on the part of the business, but the aim is to get you to leave an online review that boosts the company’s sales and profits. Some unethical companies even post a phony review of their product and make it look like you wrote it.

By using brushing scams, unscrupulous businesses can fraudulently increase their revenue. More “sales” can also push the retailer’s product listing to the top of the marketplace search results.

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Even though the company posts fake reviews, most shoppers can’t tell the difference. And when potential customers see a product with glowing reviews and plenty of sales, it may convince them to purchase the item.

brushing scam Amazon

Why are brushing scams dangerous?

If getting free stuff seems like a harmless surprise, you may want to think about how a random company got your name and mailing address.

Sometimes this happens when businesses get your personal data from marketing companies, online databases like Whitepages.com and LexisNexis, or even social media.

They could also get your info from a data breach, and that could include other sensitive information like your bank account info, account passwords, or Social Security number. Sensitive data and account information like this can also be for sale on the dark web, where bad actors can buy it and use it for anything from brushing schemes to credit card fraud.

What seems like a simple gift could cost you a lot of headaches if you don’t have identity theft protection. If you need peace of mind, you can opt for one of the following identity theft protection programs:

  • LifeLock: By offering up to $3 million in identity theft insurance, LifeLock can help prevent someone from stealing your identity and lend a helping hand if it ever does happen to you. Beyond standard identity monitoring and credit services, it also offers unique features like home title monitoring, credit file detection for children, bank account takeover alerts, and more.
  • Bitdefender: We recommend pairing antivirus protection with identity protection, and Bitdefender has you covered with both. Bitdefender’s identity theft protection service provides dark web monitoring and alerts about suspicious activity.
  • Identity Guard: Identity Guard is for the tech-savvy, as it uses the power of AI for identity theft detection. It’s also an affordable choice, offering three different tiers of protection for individuals and for families, so you can find suitable coverage for you.
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Scammers can drain your bank accounts, sell your data to other unscrupulous businesses, and run up charges on your credit cards. Some scammers use your info to create false identities so they can take out a loan or open a fake account. Untangling all the damage can take lots of time and cause tons of frustration on your end.

Found your address, phone number, or other info online? Check out our guide on how to remove your data from the internet.

Can you keep items sent to you in a brushing scam?

The only good news in this scenario is that you can keep the items sent to you — and you don’t have to pay a dime.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the law prohibits people from sending packages you didn’t order and then charging you for them. That means if you’re the target of a brushing scam, you can keep the goods whether they’re cheap or expensive. You also don’t need to track down a return address and pay to send the package back.

Some people think if they open it, they must then pay for the item, but federal laws are in place to protect you from being charged. You should never pay for anything you didn’t order.

brushing scam Amazon

Negative impacts of brushing scams

While it might not seem so bad to get an Amazon gift from an unknown sender, brushing scams can have real negative consequences, including putting you at a higher risk of identity theft.

Here are a few of the consequences of a brushing scam:

  • Your personal and financial information could be exposed. While your name and address might not be enough for a scammer to steal your identity, it does mean that your personally identifiable information is available for people to find or purchase. Sometimes, scammers come across it legally by using a people search site or buying names from a marketing research company. However, many of these scammers aren’t above buying data from people on the dark web who obtained your information from a data breach or hacking.
  • Keep a close eye on your bank accounts and credit card statements in weeks and months following a brushing scam to look for any suspicious charges.
  • Your name is being used without your knowledge or permission. Having your name used for products you don’t use, especially if they could be potentially sensitive in nature, is a real concern. Brushing lets scammers attach your name to items you don’t want to be associated with.
  • If the scammer succeeds with a brushing scam, they’re more likely to do it again. That puts everyone’s information at risk as these scams grow over time. It also means that the next time you get online to buy something, you could see great reviews for cheap products that won’t meet your needs. So even if you do everything to avoid having your name used in a brushing scam, it could mean that you’re still being impacted by these schemes.
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brushing scam Amazon

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