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

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Free STUFF!

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 110

  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.

  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!!

  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.

  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

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