Free Packages at Your Door in Minnesota Could Be a Scam
If free merchandise you didn't order delivered to your house sounds like it's too good to be true, it is-- and it's probably a scam.
That's the word from the Better Business Bureau, who earlier this week put out a warning about a scam that's currently happening around the country, including here in Minnesota. It starts when you come home and notice a package or two, usually from Amazon, sitting on your porch-- and they contain items you didn't order.
Now, we're not talking big items like a new TV here; the BBB says this scam usually involves smaller, lightweight items, like some new Bluetooth headphones or speakers, or maybe a cellphone case. But whatever they are, you didn't order them.
It's called 'brushing,' and it's the same scam behind those mystery seed packets that were showing up on people's doorsteps here in Minnesota (which, by the way, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture finally identified-- click HERE to see what they were.). The BBB explains it like this:
The companies, usually foreign, third-party sellers, are sending the items using your address they discovered online. Their intention is to make it appear as though you wrote a glowing online review of their merchandise, and that you are a verified buyer of that merchandise. They then post a fake, positive review to improve their products’ ratings, which means more sales for them.
And that's bad news for you because it means someone, somewhere has some of your personal information-- like your name, address and phone number. And while this brushing scam isn't necessarily as bad as some, it could mean your information is readily available, making you potentially vulnerable to other scams, as well.
The BBB says if you've received a package you didn't order, first contact the sender. Then, change your passwords. If you have questions, contact the BBB here or report suspicious activities to the BBB Scam Tracker.
And, oh yeah, if it's any consolation-- you CAN keep whatever's in the package!