(Photo by Rosebox on Unsplash)

B.C. fraud alert: Amazon ‘brushing’ scam

BPCP Act says you have a legal right to keep unordered merchandise sent to you

Free merchandise from Amazon delivered right to your doorstep might sound like a big win.

However, Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning consumers that there is a scary downside to this recent scam, where phony companies benefit from your delivery jackpot.

How the scam works

The scam is called ‘brushing’, and BBB has started to receive reports across North America about it.

Boxes of unordered merchandise from Amazon will suddenly start arriving at your doorstep. You have no idea who ordered the items for you.

There is no return address except that of Amazon.

As for the items being delivered, they are also quite varied. In one case reported to BBB Scam Tracker, a humidifier, hand warmer, flashlight, bluetooth speaker and a computer vacuum cleaner arrived.

Why would such

merchandise be sent to you?

The companies sending the items are usually foreign, third-party sellers that are using your address and Amazon information.

They want to create the impression that you are a verified purchaser of their products and have written a glowing online review about them. They then use your account information to post a fake, positive review to improve their product ratings, which means more sales for them.

The payoff is highly profitable from their perspective.

Why is this bad news for you?

The fact that someone was able to have the items sent to you as if you purchased them suggests that they have some of your Amazon account information.

Certainly, they have your name and address, and possibly, your phone number and a password.

Once the information is out there, it could be used for numerous crooked enterprises. If your credit card is linked to your Amazon account, they could use it to purchase the products that are delivered to you.

In the end, they get the money for the purchase, increased sales numbers, and seemingly all positive reviews.

Then there is the ‘porch pirate’ angle.

There are instances where thieves use other people’s mailing addresses and accounts, then watch for the delivery of the package so they can steal it from your door before you get it.

What can you do?

Notify Amazon. Brushing and fake reviews are against Amazon’s policies, so contact Customer Service if this happens to you.

They will investigate and take action on the bad actor.

Go directly to Amazon’s website to get their contact information.

Be cautious while searching for support phone numbers.

Change your account passwords.

This may be a sign that your personal information has been compromised. You may want to consider a password manager service to improve account security. Keep a close eye on your credit report and credit card bills.

Note, however, that you are allowed to keep the merchandise.

In British Columbia, the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act says you have a legal right to keep unordered merchandise sent to you.

If you have spotted a scam, even if you have not lost any money, report it to BBB.org/ScamTracker.

Your report can prevent others from being victimized.

Scams

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Kootenay Boundary Physician Association is sponsoring a pumpkin carving contest at KBRH. Photo: Submitted
‘Carve your hearts out’ for Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

Pumpkin carvings by KBRH staff will be on display Thursday and Friday in the hospital lobby

First responders at a crash scene near Rossland on Thursday, Oct. 22. Photo: Trail RCMP
First snow in West Kootenay causes vehicle collisions

The Trail and Greater District RCMP’s weekly brief contains details on collisions

Photo: Trail Times
Dementia helpline offered in West Kootenay

First Link provides dementia support and information weekdays until 8 p.m.

File photo
Two arrested near Creston after allegedly fleeing U.S. border agents

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Photo: Rose Karges
Blue about snow?

If you have a recent photo to share email it large or actual-size editor@trailtimes.ca

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A racoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Racoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers, staff by parents must stop: Chilliwack soccer club

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

FILE – The Queen of Alberni ferry leaves the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Delta bound for Vancouver Island, Sunday, July 29, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam) CANADA
Mechanical failure leaves nearly 200 passengers stranded on BC Ferries ship for hours

A tug arrived after dark to safely nudge the vessel into a berth so travellers could finally disembark

Ridge Meadows RCMP (Black Press)
Maple Ridge X-ray tech convicted of sexual assault dating back 30 years

Allen James Brooks is expected to be sentenced in January 2021

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson leaves the stage after announcing he is stepping down as party leader, during a news conference in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Too rural, not enough diversity, soul searching needed, say BC Liberals

Elections BC says there are about 600,000 mail-in and absentee ballots across the province still to count

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his way to provide an update on the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Canada has reached a grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing 10,000 novel coronavirus deaths. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Alberta COVID deaths pushes Canada past milestone of 10,000 deaths

Canada crossed the threshold of 5,000 deaths on May 12, a little over two months after the first was reported

Most Read