Sat, May 18, 2024


A ring appeared in her mailbox. She didn’t order it and it wasn’t from anyone she knew. What would you do?

FRUIT COVE, Fla. — The package in Taylor Felvey’s mailbox looked a lot like a bag from Amazon. And since she orders things from the online retailer “all the time” she didn’t think anything of it

But upon closer inspection of the package, she realized it definitely was not from Amazon and she didn’t order it.

She opened the bag and inside was a red box. In the red box was a diamond ring – or it at least looked like one.

“My first thought was, ‘oh this is interesting,'” she said. “I went ‘Wow’ who would send me this in the mail?'” 

It was her birthday, so she thought maybe her husband sent her the ring. “He’s overseas and that was an awkward conversation because he said it was not him,” she said. 

It turns out, it wasn’t from anyone she knew. 

There was just a dummy return address to nowhere, no business name. Just a card inside saying the gem in the ring was a lab grown diamond, and there was a QR code to scan. 

That’s when the red flags went up for Felvey. 

“So I did my best research, which was to put it on Facebook,” she said. “And in 15 minutes I found out it was a scam.”

Turns out this is a type of scam called brushing. 

In this scam, someone sends out a package with a product and a QR code. The request is that the recipient scans the QR code to fill out a review of the product. 

But when you fill out the review, the scammers are able to get some of your personal information. And then they can continue to fill out their own reviews in the victim’s name. 

The good news in this story, Felvey didn’t fall for it, and did not follow the QR code. 

“Oh my gosh your information on the internet is for eternity,” she said. 

We took the ring to gemologist Sam Catherwood at Gold and Diamonds Direct in Fruit Cove. 

It took him about 5 minutes to determine the ring was fake on all accounts. 

“It’s not a diamond, most likely cubic zirconia, but I’d need to run more tests to confirm that,” he said. “The band isn’t any kind of gold either,” he said. “Unfortunately she didn’t win the lotto,” he joked. “That would have been great. But no.” 

Looking at the bright side, Felvey says she’s happy she didn’t fall for the scam. And she can wear the faux ring around as some bling she doesn’t have to worry about leaving lying around. 

“I mean, it looks good to the naked eye,” she said. “I’ll keep it and wear it every once in a while.”  




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johndweiner@gmail.com

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