There's a package in your mail, you didn't order it, it says it's free. It's a diamond ring. IT'S A SCAM. Here's what people in Wisconsin need to know about it.

Have you ever been on an Amazon shopping run so good that you have packages showing up on your front step for several days in a row?

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On occasion, one shows up several days later and you completely forget that you even ordered it. It feels just like getting a free gift. That rush you get when you get something for free, it's a great feeling. That's how this scam starting to spread around the state of Wisconsin is hooking people.

Here's Your Free Gift!

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It's a diamond ring, or so it appears. That's the free gift some people around Wisconsin are finding in their mailboxes. You'd be thrilled, wouldn't you? That is just the beginning of the much bigger scam called, "Brushing", which is illegal in the U.S. and many other countries.

What is a "Brushing" Scam

From the United States Postal Inspection Service:

A person receives packages or parcels containing various sorts of items which were not ordered or requested by the recipient. While the package may be addressed to the recipient, there is not a return address, or the return address could be that of a retailer. The sender of the item(s) is usually an international, third-party seller who has found the recipient’s address online. The intention is to give the impression that the recipient is a verified buyer who has written positive online reviews of the merchandise.

meaning: they write a fake review in your name.

These fake reviews help to fraudulently boost or inflate the products’ ratings and sales numbers, which they hope results in an increase of actual sales in the long run. Since the merchandise is usually cheap and low-cost to ship, the scammers perceive this as a profitable pay-off.

That 'free gift' you're now holding is something the scammer is hoping will distract you from the fact that your personal information has been compromised.

That means your name, address, phone number, and likely more, are out there for the taking.

More: Six Area Codes You Should ‘Never’ Answer if You Live in Illinois

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Consider your FAKE diamond ring a giant heads-up that your personal information has definitely been leaked and you know it's time to get to work on getting yourself protected before bank accounts get drained.

USPS tips on some things you should do if you get a package in a Brushing scam:

  • Do not pay for the merchandise in the package
  • Return it (If marked with a return address, and it is unopened, you may mark it “Return To Sender” and USPS will return it at no charge to you.
  • Toss it out
  • Keep it if you like it. The law protects you from any kind of obligation to pay for it
  • Change your account passwords
  • Start watching your credit report and credit card bills like it's your job.
  • Notify authorities
  • Notify the retailer (If unsolicited merchandise arrives from Amazon, eBay, or another third-party seller, go to that company’s website and file a fraud report. Ask the company to remove any fake reviews under your name)

Outrageous Burgers & Bloody Marys at This Wisconsin Pub and Grill

If a tasty burger and a giant Bloody Mary sound like a perfect meal, this popular Wisconsin pub and grill is a bit of Heaven on Earth. You better bring friends!

Gallery Credit: Steve Shannon