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The original item was published from 2/8/2021 3:16:42 PM to 7/3/2021 12:00:06 AM.

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Posted on: February 9, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Face masks showing up in mail are part of latest scam

face masks

Face masks are showing up in mailboxes even though the recipients are saying they didn't order them.

According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), consumers have reported receiving box loads of merchandise on their doorsteps allegedly labeled from Amazon and other retailers. 

The scam is called "brushing," and while it involves an array of different items, the scammer’s goals are relatively the same. The scheme involves companies, typically third-party over-sea sellers, who send items to addresses found online in hopes of boosting reviews on retail sites like Amazon. 

Once the items are delivered, these sellers post fake reviews to increase their sales numbers. 

“There is no need to panic if you receive a mask you did not order in the mail,” said Commissioner Director Robert M. Damminger. “The Federal Trade Commission has advised that residents can keep any items that are sent to your address if they contain your name and address. We would recommend disposing of the items as you don’t know where it’s been or came from.”

“While this scam isn’t a direct threat to your security, we always recommend to update passwords and usernames often to avoid any security breaches,” said Commissioner Lyman Barnes.

As always, remember key safety tips to keep yourself and family safe from scams including:

  • Check your social media privacy settings
  • Be wary of unsolicited messages
  • Choose strong and different passwords
  • Update your device’s software
  • Be careful when using public Wi-Fi- never use it for shopping or banking

If you ever have a concern or questions concerning a suspicious email, phone call or package, please reach out to the  New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs at 1-800-242-5846 or visit their website.


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