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KY Officials Warn of Scam Related to PPE Packages
By West Kentucky Star Staff
FRANKFORT - Attorney General Daniel Cameron and U.S. Attorney Rob Duncan today warned Kentuckians of a potential scam related to unsolicited packages from foreign countries.

Kentuckians who receive unsolicited packages containing personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks or face shields, should report the packages to the Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection by calling 1-888-432-9257 or by completing a scam complaint form online at https://ag.ky.gov/scams. Kentuckians should also report the information to the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security’s Intelligence Fusion Center by calling 1-866-EYE-ON-KY (1-866-393-6659).

The Attorney General’s Office has received reports from Kentuckians who received unsolicited packages with return addresses from foreign countries. These packages contain personal protective equipment such as face masks and shields and may be part of what is commonly known as a brushing scam.

These scams are often used by third-party sellers to obtain five-star reviews for their products. Companies who employ this scam send inexpensive items to the homes of U.S. residents and then write a review of their product using the resident’s name and address. It is recommended that Kentuckians do not use unsolicited PPE items, as the quality and origin of such items cannot be verified.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, scammers are evolving to prey on the concerns of Kentuckians by mailing unsolicited PPE,” said Attorney General Cameron.  “We encourage anyone who receives a PPE product that they did not order to report it immediately to our Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-888-432-9257 or by visiting https://ag.ky.gov/scams.”

Brushing scams have been used by scammers in past years to bolster the ratings of their products, but consumer protection agencies are only now starting to see PPE used as part of the scam. Brushing scams may indicate that an individual’s personal information or identity has been compromised. If you believe you may be the target of a brushing scam, we encourage you to take the following steps to protect your identity:

  • Change your password on all e-commerce sites.
  • If an unsolicited package arrives in a box with a company logo or branding, contact customer service for the company and report it.
  • Report the incident to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline by calling 1-888-432-9257 or report the scam online by visiting https://ag.ky.gov/scams. The information should also be reported to the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security’s Intelligence Fusion Center by calling 1-866-EYE-ON-KY (1-866-393-6659).

Published 10:55 AM, Wednesday Aug. 05, 2020
Updated 11:01 AM, Wednesday Aug. 05, 2020

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