When a Portishead woman received a random mix of products from Amazon over the course of a few months that she hadn’t ordered she thought they might be a promotion or a free trial.

But when the items kept coming, Anna Beadman asked many of her friends and family if they were sending them as a prank.

After no one took responsibility, she became worried her account had been hacked.

“I’ve had the weirdest mix of items including anti-wrinkle eye-patches, bamboo toothbrushes, a pet stair gate, scar gels, huge ‘pull-on’ pants and six LED lightbulbs,” she said.

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“I contacted Amazon who said they had no record of these items on my account and that no money had been taken for them.

“They said there was no point in returning them as they didn’t know where they’d come from and there was nothing more they could do.”

As more items arrived, Anna decided to search online for others with similar experiences.

It was then she discovered that this was a new scam affecting many online customers, not limited to Amazon.

The scam is known as ‘brushing’.

‘Support pants’ Anna received from Amazon

Amazon allows third-party sellers to operate on their platform for a fee. These third-party sellers manage their own distribution.

Amazon uses a widely respected rating system which helps consumers to choose between products based on a five yellow star rating but it it has been opened for abuse by sellers.

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