December 3, 2023

Several Corvallis residents have posted on Facebook or Nextdoor, hoping to find the real recipient of the package that they think got mistakenly shipped to them. While this is a thoughtful gesture, the attempt is oftentimes futile – the package was most likely delivered to exactly where it was supposed to go. If you’ve received something in the mail that you definitely didn’t order, it might not just be a harmless mistake, but a scam.  

Third-party sellers on Amazon, EBay, and other online marketplaces are buying their own products and sending them to real addresses. Why? Because this allows them to write a “verified” review in your name for the purpose of boosting their sales – which is illegal in the U.S. 

This is called a “brushing scam”, and it seems to be popping up everywhere – including Corvallis. 

Compromised Information 

Being involved in a brushing scam means that your information may have been compromised, and the scammer could have access to your name and address, and potentially other information. Scammers might obtain this information by hacking a website where you have made a legitimate purchase, or possibly even hacking your personal account. 

The shipments might contain the actual item to be reviewed, but can also have random items like sunglasses, power cords, or an otherwise cheap and lightweight item in place of the actual item. They just need a trackable package so it looks like a legitimate…

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