SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A new scam is hitting parts of KELOLAND, and it could be coming to your front door. It’s called “brushing” and it involves someone sending you a package you did not order.
A package arrives on your doorstep, always a pleasant surprise. You open it up, only to find a plain t-shirt that’s not even your size. You realize, even though it is addressed to you, this isn’t something you ordered. Chances are you are the victim of a brushing scam.
Basically its a way for 3rd party sellers to increase their reputation on Amazon. They use the order number they created for you to get a review request from Amazon. They fill it out and give themselves a glowing review.
The only problem for you, is they must have gotten your account information.
DSU professor Ashley Podhrasky is one of South Dakota’s leading experts in cyber security.
“To me, I would be concerned because I don’t know what the item is and I don’t know where it came from, but beyond that the fact that they have your information to send this to you and they have you information initiate the transaction or leave that review is troubling,” Podhrasky said.
“You should definitely take the time to go back and change your password, its frustrating, but now sometimes our apps they will suggest a password for us and they keep track of that. So there are tools out there to help of manage passwords better to help eliminate this sort of thing,” Schmidt said.
Often times the items sent to you are inexpensive and light weight, it’s not unheard of for people to get ping pong balls delivered to their door step. Schmidt says if you think you’ve been the victim of a brushing scam, report it to Amazon, because it is in everyone’s interest to head off bogus reviews.
Schmidt says you can’t always depend on Amazon reviews. She says if you see a pattern in the type of reviews or the language of reviews it may mean they were created in a Brushing scam.