MIDTOWN, Manhattan — The unordered random Amazon items from anonymous senders arrived steadily at Kara Pinato’s Midtown East apartment during the last month.
“A children’s bicycle was one, I don’t have children,” Pinato said. “I received a sex toy, and a small plastic hair clip among other random items.”
Pinato is far from the first person to come across the peculiar practice. Some across the country have been bombarded by hundreds of boxes.
What’s really happening is a scam known as “brushing.” By sending items the anonymous buyer now has a “verified purchase” they can use to create a very positive five star review. The artificially inflated rates might then entice future Amazon shopper to purchase a less than credible item.
Brushing is usually done from overseas with a gift card to make the transaction less traceable.
Amazon spokesmen say the company kicks off sellers who engage in brushing. However, many people who have encountered it, including Pinato, have not found Amazon to be too helpful.
“I called Amazon to get it rectified but no one seemed to have an answer,” Pinato said.
Pinato's main concerns is that her personal information may be out there now, plus after a while unwanted free stuff isn't amusing, it's just junk.