The Amazon Brushing Scam

This is a strange scam as it starts with unexpected packages being delivered to you, typically from Amazon but could be from other suppliers.

The fraud starts with a the scammer creating an account on Amazon using a real stranger’s name and address. Then the scammer orders products and they are delivered to the stranger’s home address, which is a surprise for the recipient.

Q. Why would anyone do this?

It’s all about getting good reviews. The scammers use the account they’ve set up to post fake ‘verified reviews’ on Amazon (or another service) that are positive about the products the scammers want to push or may be negative about competitor’s products. The scammers may be the sellers of the products or may be paid to specifically create these fake reviews, or to damage a sellers reputation.

Investigators believe it is largely third-party sellers on Amazon that are buying their own products in order to leave a  five-star review, and using stranger’s  names and addresses to appear as independent customers.

The recipients of the products may be very surprised at goods turning up on their doorstep but they are not charged for the items in questions, so it is theft as such.

Where the problems arise for the recipients is that they may not be able to turn off the deliveries and getting the account cancelled will be difficult as only the scammers know the passwords etc.

There is also a bigger worry – how did the scammers get their details in order to create the account?

If the scammers have that information about you then they may use it to carry out more damaging forms of identity theft.

If you receive packages from businesses such as Amazon that you did not order, then do contact the supplier and change any relevant logins and passwords.

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