According to Which?, random Amazon shoppers are being targeted by vendors in a “brushing” scam.
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The consumer group claimed that “shady” stores were distributing scarves bearing the “Suzhichou” trademark in an effort to increase sales and generate bogus online evaluations.
Their products then appear higher in search results thanks to the “sales”.
Amazon claimed that the issue of “brushing” affects all online marketplaces and that it had “robust processes” in place to address it.
Which? advised people to report the undesired package to Amazon while still being alarmed that there was no need to panic.
One scarf was given to Brooke North last month, and she felt it was strange because she hadn’t ordered it. It was covered in horses, so I was about to throw it in the trash, but I handed it to my niece instead because she rides horses. “Suzhichou” was printed on the box, and it was simply mailed via the letterbox, so I chose not to contact Amazon.
Ms. North, an owner of a dance studio in London and a resident in Greys, Essex, reported that she had not yet received any additional unsolicited packages through the mail.
On her social media, several users replied that they had also received similar scarves. “I ordered bedding… and I got a scarf, and my friend did,” Jill McIntosh claimed. Martina Cerna claimed that she had also gotten one.
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How are ‘brushing’ scams carried out?
According to Which? if a dishonest seller places a false order, the company will ship a cheap, low-quality item, like one of these scarves, to a random address.
Once the order has been received, the fraudster can submit a bogus five-star rating on the marketplace, which helps the scammer’s numbers.
Because they believe they are highly rated, more individuals view and purchase low-quality products as a result, according to Which?
How did the con artist get my information?
According to the consumer group, identity thieves can obtain names and addresses from “any one of a number of places”.
According to the article, some customers said they ordered something else from a Chinese-based Facebook marketplace store before receiving the scarves.
According to Which?, information may have also been obtained from a publicly accessible source, compromised in a data breach, or accessed via an insecure website.
The targeted individuals should report the package and change their password, it was said.
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Can I have it?
Citizens’ Advice previously advised the BBC that you can keep an item addressed to you if it shows up unexpectedly and if you haven’t had any prior dealings with the sender.
Amazon said in a statement: “We are tenacious in our efforts to identify and stop abuse from harming customer experiences.
It is against the law for sellers to send unwanted packages to customers. We will keep raising the bar for abuse prevention in our store and taking the necessary steps, such as suspending or withdrawing sellers’ rights.
According to 2021 Which? report, “brushing” may have affected more than a million UK households.
1,839 persons were polled, and it was discovered that 4% of them indicated they or a member of their family had received a mysterious Amazon shipment.
Google and Amazon are presently the subject of an investigation by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority into fraudulent and deceptive reviews.
Source: Cosmo Politian