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Kansas couple caught up in Amazon review scam

WIBW reports that one Kansas couple has been overwhelmed with Amazon products they didn’t order. The boxes are piling up in the garage of Steve and Joy Olsen’s home.

“We started getting these packages,” says Joy as she looks over a dining room table with everything from toys to tools spread across it.

“We have a backpack, a notebook, a CD player, perfume, a watch here that’s very nice.”

The Olsens didn’t order any of it, and they couldn’t get the shipper to stop sending them.

“We wondered what the scam was. We just kept checking our credit cards,” says Steve.

But there were never any charges.

They contacted the third party shipper who insisted the Olsens provide an e-mail.

“I started getting phone calls…wanting our e-mail address,” says Joy.

The scam is likely something called “brushing.” An online seller purchases their own products using fake accounts. Those packages are shipped to a real address, so the seller can write a positive review.

Positive reviews are like gold to companies. They know consumers are reading them and they have a lot of impact on a consumer’s buying decision. We are seeing online retailers setting up fake profiles and shipping to random people and creating a fake review for that product.

In this case, the third party seller is listed as AMI Ventures.

13 NEWS’ sister-station KWCH tracked the company to a home in Texas. The person who answered the phone couldn’t explain what happened but assured us they were not writing fake reviews.

The Better Business Bureau in Houston has a warning that the company has a history of complaints.

As soon as the Olsens started asking questions, the deliveries stopped.

The BBB says it’s important to check who the order is actually coming from, even on reputable sites like Amazon. Read reviews and do your research.