Here we go again. There's another new scam out there, one that folks from Dallas, TX, and across The Lone Star State need to be aware of.

This one is called "the Brushing Scam," and it's become such a problem now that The US Postal Service has issued an official warning to Americans about it.

Here's how it usually works: A person (the potential victim) receives a package they did not order. This package will be addressed to the victim, but there will not be a return address on it.

The intent here is to give the impression that the recipient (the victim) is a "verified buyer who has written positive online reviews of the merchandise, meaning: they write a fake review in your name."

The USPS warns that if this happens to you then your identity could potentially be at risk. They've found that although it seems victimless, your personal information may be compromised in these situations.

Five Steps to Help Protect Yourself From the Brushing Scam

  1. Don’t pay for the merchandise: Do not be swindled or talked into paying for it.
  2. Return to sender: If marked with a return address, and it is UNOPENED, you may mark it “RETURN TO SENDER” and USPS will return it at no charge to you.
  3. Throw it away: If you opened it, and do not wish to keep it, you may simply dispose of it in the garbage, as long as it is safe to do so.
  4. Keep it: If you open it and you like it, you may keep it. By law, you may keep unsolicited merchandise and are under no obligation to pay for it.
  5. Change your account passwords: Your personal information may have been compromised. Closely monitor your credit reports and credit card bills.

If you are suspicious of the contents, The US Postal Service warns you to follow the instructions on their SUSPICIOUS MAIL page.

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EDIT: This was originally published May 18, 2024

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