Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 19 May 2024 8.36 PM IST

New online fraud known as brushing scam; cash on delivery on unordered items


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Scam gangs who deliver goods not ordered online to doorsteps and extort money are rampant. Customers of leading e-commerce platforms were scammed in the capital. Fraud involves stealing personal information from cyberspaces like the dark web. The victims are those who make regular online purchases.

People who order more than one item will discover that items they didn't order were also delivered on cash-on-delivery-option only when they open the packages. Packages are often received by the person who did not order them. They will pay the price mentioned on the products. Goods are sent through courier services like 'Delhivery'.

Cyber ​​experts say that a fraud method known as the brushing scam is being used. Brushing scams are used to show that the product is a hot seller and increase sales through fake customer reviews. Cheap and substandard cosmetics, jewellery, medicines and old books are sent in this way.

How the scam works:

Name, mail-id, address, age etc. will be leaked from the dark web or social media. These are used to hack existing accounts or create fake accounts on e-commerce platforms. Products will be ordered through this. Once the product is received by the customer, the hacker himself will give a good review about the product through that account. This will increase the credibility of the company and the product. Those who do cash on delivery will end up paying for unwanted goods. There will be no return option. Children abroad and the elderly may be less aware of return options. On platforms like Flipkart, customers can open and check the package at the time of delivery, but smaller platforms may not have this service.

Information leak

Customers' e-commerce accounts will be monitored through information obtained from the dark web. Information about what items each person buys, how often they buy, what items are on the wish list, whether it's online payment or COD etc will be leaked. For those who choose online payment, the hacker will send details including the shipping fee in advance.

Don't believe everything

  • Don't trust every e-commerce platform you see on social media
  • If you receive an item that was not ordered, contact the e-commerce platform by tracking the address of the courier.
  • Account passwords should be changed from time to time. Cyber ​​Helpline: 1930
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