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What constitutes the “brush” of the new form of fraud in the United States

What constitutes the “brush” of the new form of fraud in the United States

Analysts insist on monitoring activities in e-commerce accounts to prevent fraud. (Reuters/Amit Dave)

A woman in Minnesota received a box full of baby reveal balloons from Amazon. A family in Illinois found dozens of boxes of Timo on their doorstep, including military hats and cameras. Like many other cases across the United States, none of them requested these items. Josh Planos, a spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau (BBB), warned CBS News that this could be a sign of a scam known as “brushing.”

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Consumer protection experts explained to the American network that an unsolicited e-commerce order may be part of this tactic. Some sellers on e-commerce platforms resort to these practices to generate fake reviews and thus improve the reputation of their products.

These criminals are usually third-party sellers seeking verified merchant status, which allows them to write reviews on behalf of other users.

The scams often involve foreign companies obtaining people’s online addresses and shipping products to their homes, the BBB noted. “They intend to show that you have written a positive review of their products and that you are a verified buyer,” the BBB explained. “They then post a fake positive review to boost their product ratings, which leads to more sales,” he added.

For those who receive unwanted packages from Amazon, Temu or other retailers, the BBB provided CBS News with several tips to follow to protect your personal information.

They also recommended notifying the retailer and investigating possible fraudulent purchases, contacting the shipper to remove fake reviews, reviewing e-commerce accounts, and changing passwords. Additionally, he suggested monitoring credit reports and credit card statements, and consider receiving future packages at another address.

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Finally, Josh Planos also emphasized that documenting these incidents and contacting retailers directly to stop deliveries is productive for both parties. He stressed that “the reward is very profitable from their point of view.”

Not only do these types of scams cause inconvenience to consumers, but they can also have more serious implications. Experts insist that careful monitoring of activities on e-commerce accounts is crucial to preventing potential fraud. Additionally, they warn that these deceptive tactics can damage trust in e-commerce platforms and complicate shopping experiences for legitimate users.

Services like Amazon and Temu are widely used today due to their ability to offer a wide range of products at competitive prices from the comfort of home. Both platforms integrate advanced technology that streamlines the shopping experience, such as personalized recommendations and secure payment options.

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