The Amazon Brushing scam hits local residents

Members from the South Bruce Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Detachment are currently investigating a scam that has hit some residents in Kincardine and Huron-Kinloss Township.

Over a dozen individuals have contacted police this week to report they have received unsolicited parcels at their home address from the world’s largest online vendor. In each case the parcels have been addressed to elementary school-aged children in the household. The purchases have ranged from $67 to $85 dollars and they have been charged to a parent’s credit card. The parcels do not contain shipping information or return addresses.

An investigation is currently underway to try to determine the source of the data breach.

This scam is known as the “Amazon Brushing” scam. Scammers, usually foreign third-party sellers, have gained access to your account information including your address and credit card information. The scammers send out these unsolicited items and then make it appear as though you wrote a glowing online review of their merchandise and that you are a verified buyer of that merchandise. These fake ratings and reviews can improve their product ratings which means more sales and higher profits. As well the fraudulent purchases themselves means increased sales for the company.

If you have recently received an unsolicited parcel you may contact South Bruce OPP at 1-888-310-1122 to make a report.

Here are some additional steps victims should take:

  1. Contact your credit card company to report fraudulent charges and to cancel the card.
  2. Notify Amazon’s customer service department to ensure they are aware.
  3. Change account passwords as your personal information may have been compromised
  4. Keep a close eye on your credit report and credit card statements for any future fraudulent purchases.
  5. Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at