Updated: July 31, 2020 05:28 PM
Created: July 31, 2020 05:24 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Following our story Thursday night on packages arriving from China that you did not order, News10NBC received lots of email and social media posts from others who wanted to share their story.
Brittney Amato lives in Irondequoit. She and her husband do order stuff online from time to time.
"He ordered a paddleboard," Amato said, "and it was very expensive, and when this came we were really confused."
What looks like a Nintendo Mini video game console showed up in her mailbox. Immediately she wanted to know why since neither one of them sent away for one.
"It was just addressed to me. It didn't say where it was from," Amato said.
Even more puzzling, the brand new video game came fully loaded and in perfect working condition.
"It was just the box itself. The little Nintendo inside. It came with the controllers and plugs, but inside the box, there was no pamphlet. There wasn't even a manual," Amato said.
Back in November 2018, News10NBC first exposed the story of Shelley Davis from Brighton. She too started to receive unsolicited items in the mail as part of the "Brushing Scam."
Friday morning she talked to us again about her experience which first started with a pair of free Ray-Ban sunglasses. It was followed by various footwear for the next several months.
"Sneakers and ladies high heels, and I probably got 20 in a matter of a year," Davis said.
We asked her what she did with the unsolicited items.
"We gave some away. We, you know, had a garage sale. We sold five pairs, granted they were only $2 each, but you know someone else is enjoying them," Davis said.
Tech Expert Lance Ulanoff says the "Brushing Scam" has been around for many years now. He says some companies use this marketing tactic to create some "buzz" for their products by sending it to unsuspecting people. The company will also write a positive review in the recipient's name which is illegal.
"The real issue for consumers. One, they're getting products they don't want, but two it means that their address is floating out there. That people who shouldn't have it, have it, and are using it," Ulanoff said.
He goes on to say you can do whatever you wish with these unsolicited items since they were already paid for.
Some companies like Amazon might accept these unwanted packages if they were originally sent from their warehouse. Other than that, simply throw it out if you don't want it.
However, if you receive seeds in the mail from China contact your local police department.
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