LUBBOCK, Texas — Some Lubbock locals have had free Amazon packages showing up on their doorstep. These packages are normally small but were not ordered by the receiver. For Mack Owen, he was surprised when a mysterious package from Amazon showed up at his door.
“At first, I thought it was something my wife bought for my grandchildren,” said Owen.
But then the packages did not stop showing up.
“Then we got another one a week later and then another one a few days later,” said Owen.
In total, Owen said he received four Amazon packages he did not order. According to the Better Business Bureau, this is most likely a brushing scam. Companies will use an address found online and send you something, so they can write a fake positive review on their website, listing you as a verified buyer.
“Customer reviews are just a currency on the internet when you’re selling products, and these companies want reviews on places like Amazon,” said President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of the South Plains, Greg Linder.
The items they choose are often lightweight and inexpensive to ship but could mean someone is using personal information found on your account.
For Owen, he was glad the packages did not turn out to be something worse.
“When you get random packages that you didn’t order, it’s a strange feeling a little bit like you have been violated. It’s like, why would someone send something to me? Is there something more going on that I don’t know about that was our concern? I was like, ‘OK, does someone have our credit card number? Does someone know something about our house? Are they going to steal them?’ But yeah, it’s a strange feeling,” said Owen.
But according to Linder, brushing scams do not normally harm the consumer.
“It’s not always a bad thing for the consumers that get them, it doesn’t mean your identity has been stolen necessarily, or anything like that, it just means that someone is trying to get something over on Amazon and you just happen to be the one they send something to,” said Linder.
And while these packages might be harmless, Owen said it is important to stay vigilant.
“These days you just have to be careful and watch what’s coming cause you never know what it might be,” said Owen.
The BBB said the best thing to do if you get one of these packages is to change your Amazon account passwords and double-check to make sure nothing was charged to your card without your knowledge.