Hundreds of unexpected and unwanted packages from Amazon were sent to a New York home as part of what could potentially be a scam, officials said.
Dozens of boxes arrived daily from Amazon, UPS and FedEx were delivered to upstate New York resident Jillian Canaan recently, despite her and her family not ordering any packages.
According to WIVB-TV, Canaan, who runs a studio in the Buffalo area, initially believed that the packages could be for the family’s studio, but upon closer inspection, she found that while it was her home address listed on the boxes, it wasn’t in her name.
Inside the boxes were thousands of silicone brackets for inside facemasks.
Cannan reached out to Amazon to find the rightful owner, at which point she was told that the person did not have an Amazon account, and tracking information didn’t provide any additional leads, the WIVB report said.
According to Amazon, a customer receiving a package they didn’t order could be the victim of a scheme called “brushing.”
“Brushing scams occur when bad actors send packages to publically available names and addresses,” the company says.
Canaan reportedly said that she is hopeful of connecting with the rightful owner and is open to donating the mask brackets if nobody comes forward to claim them.
Officials from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) said the intention behind the scam could be to make it look as if the recipient of the packages is a verified consumer who wrote positive reviews of the senders’ products.
“They then post a fake, positive review to improve their products’ ratings, which means more sales for them,” the BBB said. “The payoff is highly profitable from their perspective.”
According to the BBB, “the fact that someone was able to have the items sent to you as if you purchased them indicates that they probably have some of your personal information such as your name, address, and possibly, your phone number.
“Once the information is out there on the internet, it could be used for numerous crooked enterprises.
“The fake online review angle is only one way they benefit,” they noted. “By using the brushing scam, they also are increasing their sales numbers. After all, they aren’t really purchasing the items, since the payment goes right back to them.
“Increased sales numbers, even though padded with fake purchases, look good for the company and help lead to more sales.”
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