Got Free, Unexpected Amazon Packages You Didn’t Order? Beware of the Brushing Scam.

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It’s every Amazon shopper’s dream… open your door and find a plethora of promising packages on your stoop that you never ordered, and with no return address, packing receipt, or order number.

While it might seem exciting at first, unfortunately, chances are you’re a victim of the latest Amazon scam called brushing.

So what’s brushing?

In this international e-commerce home delivery scheme, overseas sellers purchase their own items through fake buyer accounts and have the merchandise sent to real U.S. homes. The seller then gives themselves a glowing “verified” review of the product in order to rank higher in Amazon search engine ratings.

It seems harmless, right? Plus, there could be something REALLY cool in those packages. Or not, if you’re like this Boston couple who’ve received dozens of suspect, unwanted packages and who feel helpless to make it stop.

amazon packages beware brushing scam – chair filled with amazon packages

Should I be worried if I’m brushed?

Yes. Phantom sellers could be shipping anything to your home, from harmless trinkets to adult novelty items (ahem ahem) to contraband. This also means someone has access to your name, address, and possibly other personal information. Worse yet, when a company scams Amazon, everyone pays in the end.

What should I do if I’m brushed?

If you start receiving packages you never ordered to your name and address, the Identity Theft Resource Center recommends you:

  1. Contact the retailer immediately.
  2. Change your passwords to your online accounts, just in case the scammer found your address from hacking into your account.
  3. If you start receiving a lot of shipments, contact the post office for help with holding packages until you can pick them up or figure out what’s going on.
  4. Research before you buy. Use a free software like Fakespot to ensure the products you’re purchasing aren’t rated highly due to brushing.

Have you received unordered packages to your home?

Join The Discussion

Comments 126

  1. K Lauron

    Currently happening to me right now. In the past 4 weeks I’ve received a TV antenna, bluetooth speaker, wrist straps for smart watch, a shoe rack, a bracelet, wooden coasters, and a keyboard. Thanks for posting this, I’m taking care of this right now.

  2. Chris Acosta

    same thing is happening at our house.. first was an Apple watch screen protector, then a indoor tv antenna, a explosion (!!) proof glass phone screen protector, battery heated socks and a collapsible water bottle.. Amazon says keep the things if I wasn’t being charged for them, it’s too much trouble for them to figure out where they go unless I was charged for the items.

  3. Nikki

    This is happening to me too. It started 3 weeks ago. It is just strange that someone is sending you things that you don’t know who they are. The customer service rep said they would open a case, but who knows how that will pan out. I don’t know how contacting the post office will help, when the packages are being delivered by Amazon’s delivery service.

  4. Nichele

    Where do I sign up? LOL …… I’ll take the free stuff. I can always donate or use for stocking stuffers.

  5. Hope Bass

    Not only did I receive packages I didn’t order, my credit card was charged. One of the items was a cheap paperback book not even worth $10.00 but I was charged $330.00.

    • Penny

      The same thing happened to me — I also received a worthless paperback book and was charged for it (almost $300) on my Visa card. My bank suspended the charge for a couple of months while it was “being investigated” but Amazon said I had “received a benefit” because the book was delivered to my address. I have spent countless hours on the phone with Amazon to no avail. The book is not in my order history with Amazon nor can they provide proof of who ordered it, but I’m stuck with the bill nonetheless.

      • candace S duval

        I have been trying for weeks to contact Amazon. Packages are piling up. Little black plastic straps….for what?? Amazon should be protecting the consumer and out information.

        • Candice Bond

          This is happening to me as well – and they charging my credit card – Amazon has an order number on someones account but not mine – has anyone had any luck figuring out the person behind it? Did Amazon give you account associated with the person sending to you – I am getting no where with Amazon – I have had a package a week charged on my credit card and shipped to my office with random gadgets inside.

          • R.P.

            Did you get this resolved? Same thing happening to me. $800 product shipped to me that I didn’t order but charged to my credit card. Amazon won’t tell me where to return it so that my card gets reimbursed.

        • Pat

          How do you get in touch with Amazon to stop this?

        • Robert Mahon

          I came to these comments because I was trying to find out what’s going on as well I received a package in my mailbox from Amazon I knew I did not order I haven’t used my Amazon account in months and I can’t even remember how to log into it it has my name and address so I gave Amazon the tracking number and they brought up an account and get this they said it has an American Express card with my name on it I said well I don’t have an American Express card so I called American Express and they said you have no account with us I said I know that but Amazon says that there’s an account with Amex in my name she said your name and address is not in our entire database and then I gave her my social security number and I make said your security number is not in our account either I called Amazon three times and I even speak spoke to a supervisor I gave him the tracking numbers I googled the places where these packages originated they are both from fulfillment centers one on trade Street Lexington Kentucky and the other one somewhere in Georgia you can call trade Street you cannot call the one in Georgia it’s ambiguous of what that place even is there’s no phone number but when you call trade Street they say please enter your phone number and of course I don’t because I don’t have any account with them and then I press 0 for operator and they say for security purposes isn’t that a kick in the pants for security purposes your call is being terminated so you’ll get nowhere Amazon can’t figure it out either they just tell you to keep the packages but keep in mind they’re not from Amazon Amazon just ships this out most people think it’s somebody sending packages so they could give a fake review on it but the thing is how did they get my name and address why is there an American Express that has my name on it and I guess so because it’s coming from them Amazon didn’t sell it cuz I first thought how could you send something you didn’t get paid for so yeah I think it’s coming from the fulfillment centers but in my case the total so far they told me is $147 the first thing was something called hair catches look like something you put in your bathtub when you take a shower I never even heard of them before so that tells me that it is a new item maybe that they’re trying to promote and then the other box I have yet to open but the woman at Amazon told me yesterday it’s a duvet some sort of bed lining and I don’t know what the third item is and then she told me they’re being held pending authorization but meanwhile 12 hours later the duvet was at my front door scoop I don’t know what’s going on but at this juncture I don’t think I have anything to worry about I think that nobody is hacked my security number or my credit cards it’s just the fulfillment center doing some craziness but now other people have commented that they’ve been charged that means they were able to not only get their name and address but their credit card numbers that’s a problem well that’s my two cents good luck

  6. Linda Conlon

    so far i’ve received a set of geekee bluetooth earbuds (awesome sound) and a bamboo bread slicer?? checked all my credit cards and info, nothing appears amiss…. woohoo….free stuff!!

    • lola

      they are charging your credit card and the account on amazon is in your name and address with another email and phone number. dealing with this right now

  7. Joe Langley

    So far we have received an APPLE charging cable and a ladies wig. Now we are waiting for something good.

  8. Linda Conlon

    so far received a pair of GeeKee bluetooth earbuds (awesome sound!!), a bamboo bread slicer?? and a set of LED headlights!! what’s next???

  9. Tommy Tornello

    same here as well. received a bark stop collar, unfortunately I do not own a dog nor believe in animal cruelty. Why Amazon can not tell me who sent it , or why no gift slip was enclosed I still do not understand. Anyway back to Amazon it goes, no reason to keep it.

  10. S butt

    So strange,the exact Same thing for me ,so far I’ve received a phone case ,some hemp oil ,and a corset ?!? I love the fact that amazon won’t tell me who sent it saying it’s data security but seem fine for my data to be abused.creepy as

    • Sheri

      Amazon is more worried about protecting their information.

    • Katherine E Jue

      Same here. I have received countless number of things, but Amazon refuses to tell us who it is from.

  11. M Silva

    I just received 4 popcorn corns from Popcornopolis By Amazon that I did not order

  12. Amanda

    I have never ordered anything from amazon so I dont know how I just started receiving random amazon packages most delivered by UPS.. Has anyone previously order from dress lily or rosegal? Besides grove collaborative and Bath and body those are the only two other places Ive ordered from and the stuff came from China. And the items ive been receiving (a dress, bicycle gloves, wax strips, lunch box, usb converter, a wifi enhancer, and an external hard drive) are not the best quality items (more like wish items)

    • Anna S.

      Dress Lily and Rosegal are known scammer sites from China. Don’t buy from them.

  13. Sherri

    Amazon will NOT help. I’ve been receiving packages for a year and a half. Amazon Corporate headquarters is even worse than customer service. They literally refuse to assist and they told me they don’t handle these types of situations. They also told me since their customer service could not stop this that I’ve run out of options and hung up in my face. To make the situation even worse is you can’t understand the customer service representatives that Amazon hires!! They are located in another county as well and we have to trust them with our information!!! Unbelievable!!!! I’ve been reporting every tracking number to my local police department.

  14. cookiewise

    I’m getting unordered stuff from Amazon too. It started a few months ago with an Aukey keyboard, then some Aukey bluetooth earbuds, then last week a shock absorbing dog lead and yesterday some really nice wireless bluetooth Taotronics earbuds. No sign of a charge to my card, no order trail on my Amazon account and no idea what’s going on. Should I be worried?

  15. Stacy

    This is exactly what’s happening! I’ve got a silicone hotpad, a set of girls’ earrings in a purse, a butterfly necklace, and today? A toaster, a hideous man’s watch, and a child’s mask and snorkel arrived. It’s not charged to me, not on my account, not on my order history, no clue. I just talked to Amazon and they’re forwarding it to another team. I’ll be changing my password right now. They said it was paid for by another credit card in my name. THAT freaks me out.

  16. Samantha

    If you aren’t being charged, I see no reason to be freaked out by receiving free merchandise! I would gladly allow my address to be used for this purpose. I’m assuming only rich people are complaining. I would resell online and pay down some bills … would only feel fortunate if this happened to me.

    • Anna S.

      Obviously, you either didn’t read or don’t understand the implications. If you’re getting “free” stuff, your personal information has been breached. If someone else has a credit card in your name, it could impact your credit rating. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Someone pays. In the case of your privacy being compromised, sooner or later, it will be you.

    • Donna

      We don’t use our 911 address any place else but for Amazon. The package we received had 12 phone screen protectors. What would you do with those? They don’t even fit our phones. But the address also had our 911 address included so it had to have come from someone hacking into my Amazon account. will be changing my password but also deleting any saved address or credit card info!!!

  17. Annie

    I got items an animal thermometer a bluetooth headset gaming version ca lets covers eyelashes a creepy neclase that says you may be gone from my sight but never gone from my heart Amazon said no way to return to keep them then the next item I got a day later a neclase they were willing for me to return it for store credit I declined cause I wouldn’t be home when the ups comes around won’t tell me who from and they have my name n apartment number no one I know has my apartment number I think they’re on my account so when the scammers card declines they can use mine this is bullshit I better not have a stalker

  18. Jennifer Gates

    At least you people are receiving actual items. Yesterday I received a random packet of what looks like a teaspoon full of dirt in a tiny packet shipped through Phillippines customs marked “gift” “garden accessory” on the outside of the small envelope…….

  19. T. Nguyen

    It just started happening to me…4 packages within this month. Each one a sleeping mask/sleeping mask kit.

  20. BeagleMom

    i’ve received stuff too, the most AWESOME bluetooth headset by GEEKEE…. just recently was on amazon and saw something called amazon give away…..and it appears to be exactly this….so i’m wondering if that’s what is going on??? it’s meant to build up confidence in sellers….. jus’ sayin’

  21. Bill Thawley

    I recently had a package coming to my home via UPS. As it was not something I ordered, I used the UPS My Choice program to have the package go to a nearby UPS store. There it will sit for 7 days, then be automatically returned.

  22. Jay

    Just got home from a long vacation and the package was waiting in my chair for who knows how long; probably too late to return it. Got a phone case that’s too big for my phone, some flamingo banners and an adapter for my car so I can play music from my phone while I drive. At least one thing is useful, guess I’ll sell whatever else I get I can’t use on LetGo or have a yard sale. I’d love free stuff if it’s gonna pay the rent lol

  23. Brooks Sills

    Currently happening to me. What concerns me the most is receiving these packages when I am out of town. These packages can accumulate on my front porch signalling burglars that no one is home. I get no notice of these packages being delivered, so I have no idea of when they are delivered. I am always mindful of not ordering anything that will be delivered while I am out of town. I can stop my newspaper, mail, etc, but not unwanted packages from Amazon. This is outrageous.

    Amazon tells me to keep, donate or discard items. That is so wasteful and horrible for the environment when you think about how many people this is happening to everyday. I can’t refuse shipments since I am usually not at home when they arrive, plus if I am home they do not ring my doorbell or knock when delivering. Packages are delivered by Amazon’s delivery service, so there is no where I can take unopened packages marked refused to be sent back to Amazon. Obviously Amazon does not want to incur the cost of return shipping on refused items. 

    I have asked Amazon not ship anything to me that was not ordered directly from my account. Their response is that they are unable to do this. This should be illegal. I cannot believe there is not some type of consumer protection for this issue.

  24. Susan

    Did your stuff come with a gift receipt? We have received anonymous gifts but they have non returnable gift receipts

    • Ed

      I caved and the filed an unwanted packages investigation and it stopped. Then about 6 months it started again. 2 packAges last week came with returnable gift receipts. (For the first time) I made 100 in amazon gift cards. I think I have Had about 65 different packages in lease than a year.

  25. Renee Nicole Reeves

    I got a Glade air freshener last week. (August 2020). I hope it is the last thing I get this way.

  26. Cheryl Allen

    Tuesday, August 25, 2020, I received my mail and there was a large white envelope from Amazon with one tube of L’oreal after shave for men. I was perplexed because I did not order it and there was no packing slip…I went and checked my amazon account to see if I had lost my mind and perhaps ordered it..Thankfully there was no order for that item..So later that evening around 7 my dogs alerted me to the fact that someone was I went out in time to see a large truck pulling away, but the driver had left a large package in my yard..So my husband carried it inside and it contained Neutrogena Face scrub for men, and Neutrogena hydroboost gel cream for women, Neutrogena alcohol free skin toner; a bottle with a pump of make-up remover, a case of soda pop 8 cans, Pepperidge farms milk chocolate soft cookies, Pepperidge farms oatmeal raisen soft cookies, Archway molasses soft cookies; Kellogg’s club crackers, four cans of Albacore tune, a package of Columbia 100 % arabica ground medium roast coffee; a jar of Justine’s peanut butter. I believe the package of after shave cream I received earlier in the day was supposed to be included in that box. Anyway it was heavy, and no packing slip and I never ordered it..Let me tell you I was a bit leery of receiving all of that..but my husband sure liked the cookies..and the facial scrub and after shave. Well that’s my story and I’ m sticking to it.

  27. BeagleMom

    wow!! secret santa!!!

    • Cheryl Allen

      Secret Santa indeed! LOL Yesterday I found out who sent the at was from my sister!!!!! No note with the package so I had no idea she sent it..but I love what she sent..I am going to tell her how much I appreciate all of it but please put a note or card inside the box next time..

  28. Donna

    I don’t think everyone else’s problems with this are from an errant sister trying to surprise them. Very different issue.

  29. Armymom

    So weird, so my son called from the army base where he is staioned to say he has some weird pruchases on his Amazon account for some pens and such but it is not his credit card number used. The package showed up to our house in a completely other state with the pens. He didn’ t order them and doesn’t know the credit card number that was used. I told him to change his password right away. What should he do now?

  30. Doug

    In todays mail I received two packages that I did not order, a bottle of Listerine and a one gallon pump-up sprayer.
    I checked my Amazon account, I have not ordered anything in the last 3 months and do not show any charges to my account. My packages show they were shipped from 172 Trade Street, Lexington, KY. I did a search online for that address and found a website that listed “Amazon Fulfillment Services”.
    This website
    The banner across the top of that screen shows a mainland China phone number 86 15546883080
    and a Hong Kong phone number 852 6554 1700.
    Looks like some kind of a scam to me.

  31. Alyssa

    Has anyone had this happen recently?
    I got a sweater, a vegetable grater and a tank top and in another box I got a case of tea cans. No invoice inside and not on my Amazon orders.

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