Today I went to my mailbox and had an interesting package in it, it was a package from Amazon, but I didn't order it.  The package had my address on it, but the person it was addressed to was not me or my husband.  Inside the package was a package of ketchup and mustard with an Amazon gift receipt that said "enjoy your gift from mhaiha jPHSn"  cue my confusion.



Here's the other weird thing, just yesterday two of my friends posted the same thing. They each had received packages from Amazon they didn't order, and both package were food related. My friend Hilary received a jar of Grey Poupon (pictured below), and my friend Alese was sent a package of candy eyes that you would use in baking.  All 3 of us have not ordered these items, and Hilary has had other people come to her saying they also had Amazon packages show up that they didn't order.

Photo by Hilary Clark

So I did some digging, and it seems like this is a brushing scam. According to the Better Business Bureau a brushing scam is when third party sellers use your address to write good reviews on their products so their products are boosted in search results.  If you do receive a product in the mail that you didn't order, the good news is you're legally allowed to keep it.  However the bad news is your personal info may be compromised, and the scammers may have your name, address, and possibly even your phone number.

If you do receive one of these packages it is recommended that you let Amazon know.  Here's what the Better Business Bureau recommends you do if you receive one of these packages:

  • Notify the retailerBrushing and fake reviews are against Amazon’s policies, so contact Amazon Customer Service if this happens to you and the product appears to come from Amazon. They will investigate and take action on the bad actor. Go directly to Amazon’s website to get their contact information. The company also takes security seriously and encourages customers to report fraudulent purchases or other security issues. If the preference is to contact them by phone; be cautious of searching for support phone numbers.
  • Change your account passwords. This may be a sign that personal information has been compromised and to improve account security, keep a close eye on credit reports and credit card bills.
  • You are allowed to keep the merchandise. The Federal Trade Commission says you have a legal right to keep unordered merchandise.
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