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.