Have you ever been duped, hoodwinked or bamboozled? Those are funny words but it's certainly not amusing to be tricked by someone else. According to Iris, scamming dates back as far as 300 BC and, for some, is an easy way to make a buck.

Here's the WARNING! One of the latest scams making it's way around New York State is called the 'Brushing Scam". Here's what to look for and what it's all about.

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The United States Postal Inspection Service wants you to beware of that unexpected package on your front porch or in your mailbox. Your name and address are on the package but you didn't order anything. Initially you might think a friend or relative sent you a gift.

This scam actually begins with a false product review written under your name but you didn't write it. Then a third-party company, usually International, sends you the products you didn't review as a "thank you". For one the fake review could help boost sales of the product. More important is what you do once you receive a package such as this.

Photo by Joel Moysuh on Unsplash
Photo by Joel Moysuh on Unsplash

In a case like this you did indeed receive free stuff and , even if you didn't order it, you can keep the items without paying for them. DO NOT BE TRICKED into paying for these items. That's when your personal information may be compromised.

Here's how to protect yourself;

  • Do Not Pay for the merchandise. Legally you can keep the items but don't be forced to pay.
  • Return to sender
  • Change your account passwords
  • Monitor your credit card bills
  • Notify authorities and retailers

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