UAE Amazon Customers Warned of Scam
According to regional reports, people in the UAE have been receiving unordered packages from Amazon as part of a new “brushing scam.”
Brushing scams have been seen around the world and begin when a customer receives a package they didn't order.
According to Amazon: "Brushing scams occur when bad actors send packages to publicly available names and addresses."
The aim of the scam is to exploit Amazon’s search ranking system given the Amazon algorithm favours items with high sales volumes and good reviews.
Scammers post low-priced items out to people and then record them as legitimate purchases.
This has the effect of pushing items up search rankings, thereby leading to more genuine purchases.
With technology comes risk
The brushing scam is among many forms of cybercrime the modern consumer has to look out for.
Another scam that exploits modern technology is voice recording software that records unaware individuals when they answer a call from an unknown number.
Using artificial intelligence, the voice recording is then modulated to clone the voice of an unsuspecting victim and used to gain illicit entry into personal and business financial accounts.
In 2020, fraudsters used this method to access US$35 million in one criminal operation in the UAE.
In a statement, HE Hamid Al Zaabi, Director General of the U.A.E. Executive Office of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing, said after the incident: “Even with incidents happening outside the UAE, we will work closely with law enforcement partners around the world to identify and detect those individuals who knowingly engage in deceptive practices such as imposter fraud.
"The UAE will then pursue to the fullest extent of the law these individuals, ensuring they are held accountable and brought to justice quickly.”