Have you received a package in the mail, but didn't order anything? There's a scam that's been making the rounds that folks from Dallas, TX to San Antonio, TX and across The Lone Star State should at the very least be aware of.

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It's called the Brushing Scam and according to the US Postal Service this is how it works: A person (the potential victim) receives a package which they did not order. The package will be addressed to the victim, but there will not be a return address.

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."

In addition to this and a few less nefarious reasons for doing it, the USPS warns that if this happens to you 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 opened 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 are suspicious of the contents, The US Postal Service warns you to follow the instructions on their SUSPICIOUS MAIL page.

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