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Amazon 'brushing' fraud hits more than 1 million households in the UK

Amazon 'brushing' fraud hits more than 1 million households in the UK

Over 1 million UK homes may reportedly have fallen victim to a fraud termed as "brushing", where they might receive mysterious Amazon packages without even placing an order. The scam is supposedly designed to promote the rankings of third-party sellers on the e-commerce platform.

According to Which?, a consumer group from the UK, third-party sellers are taking advantage of Amazon's competitive products search ranking system, which prioritizes products with large sales volumes and positive ratings by just randomly shipping their products to unknowing customers and then falsely registering them as a real purchases.

The consumer watchdog, which surveyed over 1,839 adults across the UK between 13 and 17 August, stated that it was worried about the number of households that reported that they received an Amazon delivery at their home which they did not purchase or was not sent to them as a gift by any known person.

It discovered that 4% of respondents; or a projected 1.1 million people if scaled up nationwide; indicated they or somebody in their family had received such a packages. 63% of those who received a surprise package said they kept it, 28% said they tossed it away, and 16% said they gave it away.

UK Residents have reported receiving things like eyelash serum, magnetic eyelashes, toys for children and pets, Bluetooth devices, iPhone covers, medical gloves, Frisbees, and other products that are inexpensive to send in big quantities.

Some sellers go one step further and create a phony Amazon account with the recipient's address in order to "buy" the item and then submit a good false review.

Which? claimed it had heard from people who had been overwhelmed with things ranging from cheap gadgets to cosmetic products but had no idea they were being sent to their house.

Rocio Concha, director of policy and advocacy at Which?, stated that customers should be able to openly have trust that the ranking and reviews of things they buy from the e-commerce site are real and genuine, as such the fact that third-party vendors are appearing to be manipulating Amazon Marketplace with such frauds is concerning.

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Sunil Jha

Sunil Jha has been a part of the content industry for close to two years. Having previously worked as a voice over artist and sportswriter, he now focuses on writing articles for, across a slew of topics, ranging from technology to trade and finance. With a business-oriented educational background, Sunil brings forth the expertise of deep-dive research and a strategic approach in his write ups.