Brushing is an e-commerce scam where the target receives an item they didn’t order or pay for.  These scams have been associated with Amazon, and other sites, and is a ploy used by fraudsters to write fake reviews and boost online ratings.

How do they do this?

  • A scammer sets up an account in their target’s name and then sends products to this unassuming person.
  • The items are normally quite lightweight to post, random and inexpensive. The target may receive more than one parcel.
  • This account is then used to write fake ‘verified reviews’ as a way to increase their seller rating on the site.
  • The goods are paid for using gift vouchers or a small payment may be made to people to place small orders.
  • It is possible that your data has been leaked and your privacy has been compromised. You can check if your email has been breached by visiting the ‘have i been pwned’ website.

What to do if you think you’ve been part of a brushing scam?

  • Contact the relevant shopping site to make them aware. You can find details of how to do this here.
  • Change your password on these accounts.
  • Refuse to accept any unexpected deliveries that arrive which you didn’t order.
  • Cancel any payment card that is linked to this account. This can be done by contacting your bank. You can find details of who to contact here.