Unwanted Masks in Mailbox Part of Latest ‘Brushing’ Scam
Remember last year when people were getting random seeds in the mail from China? Well, it turned out to be part of a scam called "brushing", in which unscrupulous sellers use your information to send you a product you didn't order so that they can write a positive review for themselves on your behalf.
According to the Better Business Bureau, the scammers benefit by fooling shoppers with high ratings and positive reviews that are absolutely fake, but look as if they came from you.
I never received a package of seeds, but last summer I did receive two plastic pouches covered in Chinese characters that contained cheap jewelry that no one in my house ordered. I'm pretty sure there's a fake Aaron on Wish who left the seller a glowing review.
Well, the scam must be working, because the weasels are still at it.
This time there have been reports of people receiving masks they didn't order.
KGO-TV reports that folks on the West Coast have received brown mailing envelopes labeled "Amazon" and "China". When they open the mysterious mail, there are masks inside.
You know that it's just a matter of time before the scam makes its way here, assuming it hasn't already.
Personally, I wouldn't trust or use masks I didn't order that just appeared on my doorstep. However, I can see the scammer logic in choosing to send masks. (I never really got the seed thing. Maybe it was just a cheap product for them to sacrifice?) Anyway, obviously people are looking for quality masks as the pandemic continues, so if you can boost your storefront's reviews and ratings then you're more likely to make sales.
So hey, maybe the masks are safe, but would you risk it? I sure as heck wouldn't.
What can you do if you receive the mystery masks?
Well, you can throw them away and ignore the situation, but if you want to go further, report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission.
If the package contains seller information, contact that seller and make it clear that you know it was a fraudulent purchase. Companies like Amazon will penalize or even ban sellers if they catch them doing this.
Finally, perform an audit of your personal information online. Security Today recommends reviewing your passwords and changing them if necessary, checking your credit report for signs of identity theft, and taking a look at your social media accounts to see if anything looks fishy or there are fake accounts in your name.
CHECK IT OUT: See the 100 most popular brands in America