ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque man who keeps getting unusual gifts in the mail that he never orders or pays for fears he’s a victim of a scam.
It’s a possible brushing scam that some vendors use as a tactic to help boost sales. They even post online reviews in the person’s name.
“At first it was kind of funny, just because of the variety of products we got here,” Robert Mendoza of Albuquerque said. “But, when we saw the reviews it was a bit concerning just because, obviously, someone has our information: our address, our phone number, everything.”
Last weekend, Mendoza received a weighted jump rope; a case for an iPhone 12, a phone he doesn’t have; and a finger skateboard; he did not order any of it.
The next surprise happened this week when Amazon alerted him it received a review he says he never made for the mini skateboard, which is still in the packaging.
“We asked around, no one sent us any of this stuff. And it showed up and just a few days later, I started getting emails from Amazon confirming the reviews we did on the products, which, my fiance and I have never done the reviews, grammar was awful, the products weren’t even things we wanted, let alone would’ve left reviews on,” Mendoza added.
The Better Business Bureau said it hasn’t received any recent reports of brushing scams in the Albuquerque area, but they’ve been common around the country the past few months. The most recent was the mystery packages of seeds people were getting from China.
Officials said some vendors with access to someone’s information will order something in that person’s name, ship it, then leave a glowing online review.
“That does two things: gives them really positive reviews and boosts their sales, so then they’re more likely to end up with people going to their pages and ending up buying stuff or becoming victims,” BBB Marketing Coordinator Victoria Carreon explained.
The BBB said victims don’t have to worry about having to pay for these goods and they can even keep the usually low-cost items.
Mendoza says he was notified that Amazon is delivering at least three more packages with random items he never ordered. He plans to donate his lot to Goodwill.
Victims can file reports with the BBB’s Scam Tracker and are encouraged to change their online passwords to help protect their information.
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