Feb. 8 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts couple are asking Amazon to intervene after they received more than two dozen packages they never ordered as part of an apparent reviewing scam.
Mike and Kelly Gallivan of Acton said the first mystery package arrived in October and they have since received about 25 packages containing small, inexpensive items including phone chargers, plastic fans, phone cases and a humidifier gadget for water bottles.
"An outdoor TV cover. We have no outdoor TV," Kelly Gallivan told WBZ-TV.
The couple said their research revealed they were likely receiving the packages as part of a scheme to get fraudulent reviews marked as "verified" on Amazon.
"They begin to review the product and their own company giving them glowing reviews," Michael Gallivan said.
James Thompson, a former Amazon employee, confirmed the existence of such scams.
"The key is to get something delivered somewhere," Thompson told the Boston Globe. He said getting a review marked as from a "verified buyer" is "hugely important in the world of Amazon."
Thompson said verified reviews are highlighted by the site, and products with more verified views have increased visibility.
Amazon said it is looking into the Gallivans' complaint, as well as similar reports.
"We are investigating inquiries from consumers who have received unsolicited packages as this would violate our policies," a company representative said in a statement. "We remove sellers in violation of our policies, withhold payments, and work with law enforcement to take appropriate action."
The Gallivans said they plan to donate the items they received.
"We just don't want anymore," Michael Gallivan said.