Illinois, If You Get A Ring In The Mail, Take Action Immediately
A scam is making the rounds and you need to watch your mailbox.
It can be fun to receive unexpected packages in the mail. Maybe it's a gift or something you ordered yourself and forgot about.
Recently, there have been reports of people receiving items in the mail that they didn't order and it doesn't sound like a cute surprise package. I've also seen posts in my own social media feed about it.
Watch For A Ring
Sounds very Lord Of The Rings, I know, but watch your mail for a literal ring. Why? If you didn't order a ring, it could be part of what's known as a brushing scam. Scammers buy these rings off of Amazon or eBay (most of the ones I've seen were moissanite rings, and even some knockoff Cartier) and send it to you to try to pose as a verified buyer (you) so they can post positive reviews of the product for themselves. I saw one case that apparently asked the recipient to register the ring. According to the United States Postal Inspection Service, with these scams there is often not a return address or the return address is a retailer.
If you receive a ring that you didn't order, there's a good chance your personal information has been leaked.
That could include your name, address, or phone number, according to the North Carolina Attorney General's Office. You might not have any immediate harm from a brushing scam but it could lead to more of your personal info being leaked in the future.
What To Do If You Get An Unexpected Ring
USPIS has some suggestions on what to do if you get one of these random rings in your mailbox:
- Don't pay for it
- Return to Sender (If it has a return address, and it's unopened, mark it “RETURN TO SENDER” and USPS will return it at no charge to you)
- Throw it Away
- Keep It (if it's free and cute, might as well)
- Change Your Account Passwords
- Watch Your Credit Card Statements & Credit Reports
- Notify Authorities (especially if instead of a ring, the brushing scam was some kind of food, plants, or a random liquid)
- Be Wary Before Opening
- Notify The Retailer (If unsolicited merchandise arrives from Amazon, eBay, or another third-party seller, go to that company’s website and file a fraud report. Ask the company to remove any fake reviews under your name.)
Be safe and smart with your mail!