More and more people a receiving mystery packages in the mail from China these days. You may have heard about strange bags of seeds arriving on some doorsteps— others are finding someone sent them a single face mask.
Angela Osborne opened her mailbox the other day and found a single face.
"I noticed this odd package with Chinese writing, and noticed the sender, and said I didn't order anything from China!"
But someone had sent her a single pandemic face mask.
"So, I brought it in the house and peeled it back away and realized it was a face mask. And I said ‘that's' a little creepy!’" Osborne said.
Just think of the effort involved in shipping one face mask from China aboard a ship to your local post office. Osborne figured it wasn't just someone being nice.
"There's no note. Nothing,” Osborne said, “I got is a faded tracking address and some tracking numbers."
The Federal Trade Commission calls this the "Brushing" scam.
Chinese sellers get your name and address, and sometimes your Amazon profile. They then ship you cheap items to boost their ratings on either Amazon or Alibaba, the giant Chinese retailer.
"[They’re] giving themselves 5-star glowing reviews, not just of the product but the company themselves," Michael Gallivan said.
Last year, he received dozens of unexpected items from Christmas lights to phone cases. The senders then posted 5-star reviews in his name.
Here’s some tips from FTC if it happens to you:
- Change your password at all e-commerce sites you use, including Amazon and eBay
- If it came in an amazon box, contact amazon customer service
Osborne said she's not using the free mask.
With this scam, the good news is you are not being scammed, but your good name is being used to boost a business.
So, change those passwords, so you don’t waste your money.
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