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.
Rosie is part of the investigations team, with Coco. She listens to the chatter, sniffs out dishonest sellers and passes the info onto the team. She loves baths, but mostly for the splashing and chaos.