Riverhead woman says she is victim of online 'brushing' scam

<p>A Riverhead woman knew something was wrong when she began to frequently receive packages from Amazon that she never ordered.&nbsp;</p>

News 12 Staff

Feb 16, 2018, 5:07 PM

Updated 2,341 days ago

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A Riverhead woman says she's being swamped by deliveries from Amazon that she didn't order, and it's all part of a scam called brushing.
Brushing works like this: A buyer purchases inexpensive items on Amazon and ships them as a gift without a receipt to a random customer. Then the buyer posts a glowing five-star review under a false name. That can boost the credibility of the item, resulting in more sales.
Every day for more than a week, Rachel Goodale has been getting a package or two from Amazon.
"One was an ankle compression sock," says Goodale. "I've gotten a cellphone case. We got a balance bike in a million pieces in a box."
Tech expert Lance Ulanoff says brushing is more annoying than illegal but that there's concern about personal security.
"What is more bothersome or more worrisome is really that their address is out there," says Ulanoff.
Goodale isn't sure how her name, address and even cellphone number ended up on the packages or was discovered by the mystery buyers. However, she's now keeping a very close eye on her financial information. She's seen nothing suspicious so far.
A statement from Amazon said, "We are investigating inquiries from consumers who have received unsolicited packages as this would violate our policies."
Goodale says she just wants the packages to stop.
"Who knows what's gonna come next," she says.


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