Which? Scams April 2023

Dodgy sellers – Amazon ‘brushing’ scam

If you’ve received a ‘Suzhichou’ branded scarf in the post, you’ve likely been targeted by a ‘brushing’ scam. Brushing scams involve dodgy online sellers sending unsolicited items to random people. They then post fake positive reviews of their products using the recipients’ details.

If you receive one of these items, a fraudster has obtained your name and address. While this may sound worrying, you don’t need to panic.

It’s important to be vigilant as this scam can happen to anyone. Learn more about brushing scams and what to do if you’ve been targeted.


Sneaky scammers – How fraudsters creep into your text messages

One reader got in touch with us after being contacted by fraudsters claiming to be from their bank. In a series of texts, the reader was notified that a £110 Amazon transaction had been declined and that future payments would be blocked unless he confirmed his details.

This is an example of scammers spoofing SMS short names (such as ‘Lloyds Bank’) to send text messages without revealing the actual sender.

Have you fallen victim to a scam text? Get our expert advice if your bank details or personal data have been compromised.



How to deal with spam text messages

It can be challenging to distinguish between unexpected contact from a legitimate company and an attempted scam.

While spam texts may be annoying and unwanted, they’re typically not designed to deceive or defraud you. Scam texts are created to trick you into revealing sensitive information or sending money to the fraudster.

If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of a text, follow our expert guide on how to deal with unsolicited messages.


Author: Paul Middleton

Paul is a Ward Councillor for St. Andrews & Hornchurch Resident's Association Executive member.

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