CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Strange packages are being delivered to homes in the Charlotte area and the Better Business Bureau calls it a “brushing scam,” and says it is similar to unsolicited seeds sent from China last summer.
“People are just really like, what’s going on? Why did I get this? I didn’t order anything,” says Tom Bartholomy, President of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Piedmont and Western North Carolina.
Bartholomy says beware of mysterious packages from China delivered to your doorstep or mailbox. He says they typically come in the form of a plain brown envelope with Chinese markings on it. He adds that inside there is no paperwork whatsoever, just a single face mask.
Bartholomy says the Charlotte BBB started getting calls about 10 days ago from folks in the metro area, reporting the strange deliveries.
He added that scams like this appear to be a growing trend, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. He points to the unordered seeds from China that many people across the U.S. received last year.
“We think this is just the next iteration of that.”
Foreign companies send the packages to create fake positive reviews using your name, and to boost product ratings on platforms like Amazon and Alibaba. However, what they’re really doing is a crime.
“It’s not legal but they do it. It’s almost too simple for them to do it,” says Bartholomy.
He showed us a mask delivered to a BBB employee. He says the fact that they have your name and address is cause for alarm.
“What other personal information might they have? And, that’s why we’re encouraging people to take the next step and change their password on Amazon or Alibaba.”
Also, play it safe by throwing the mask away.