COLORADO SPRINGS — If you received a package in the mail addressed to you, but didn’t order it, you might be the victim of an increasingly common scam. News5 explains what consumer experts are calling “Brushing Scams”.
The reason consumer protection experts call this a “Brushing Scam” is that the people behind the scheme are hoping to have a brush encounter with us (legitimate consumers) in order to post reviews in our name to try to add legitimacy to their brand or company.
“You basically open up this package that has something that you didn't order and it's nothing that you remember or need or have any desire to have,” said Britta Clark, who has been tracking these scams for the Better Business Bureau.
So how did you become a target for this? The experts say it’s often because fraudsters and scammers were able to find your name and address online, sometimes through a retail site.
Then, the fraudsters send their products to your home leaving themselves a positive review on various sites, posing as you (the consumer) who got the package.
While you might get to keep what was sent to you, U.S. Postal Inspection investigators say this should be a red flag to take seriously.
“You can keep it, but I would say don't just keep it and go oh great that's my birthday today, but actually let that be a red flag. That oh, somebody's paying attention to my name and address why?” said Jared Bingham a U.S. Postal Inspection Service Team Leader.
To protect yourself from Brushing Scammers, the BBB recommends never sharing your address or email on public social media accounts and keeping your credit card and login information safe from retail sites.
If you do get one of these unexpected packages, the experts suggest that you notify the retailer immediately, change your account passwords, and update your security preferences.
If you get an unexpected package and think you’ve been targeted in one of these “Brushing Scams” let us know about it by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch KOAA News5 on your time, anytime with our free streaming app available for your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV. Just search KOAA News5, download and start watching.