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Sacramento woman inundated with packages she never ordered

"The same thing over and over again. I have never ordered a portable heater. I don't need one."

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Sacramento woman has been receiving dozens of packages she didn't order over the last few weeks. After reaching out to postal services and trying to ship the packages back only for them to return again, she reached out to ABC10 for help.

Longtime Sacramento resident Connie Mathews told ABC10 she's received about 100 portable plug-in heaters she did not purchase.

"They started coming Friday, two weeks, before Christmas and every day I would get sometimes two boxes, sometimes more," she said. "Yesterday, there were seven boxes waiting on the porch for us."

The boxes originate from addresses all over the United States, including Iowa, North Carolina and others.

"The same thing over and over again. I have never ordered a portable heater. I don't need one," she said.

They were all shipped to her home where she's lived for around 40 years.

"I'm just getting tired of opening the front door and having a bunch of boxes sitting out there," she said. "I want to know who's doing it. And if the police don't help you, the post office, UPS doesn't help you, where do you go?"

That's when she called ABC10. We helped her dig through the boxes to find out why this was happening. The boxes had no name, but her home address was listed. The packages had return service labels with her address listed as the recipient.

It appears as though her address is being used as the location to send returns for an Amazon seller of these plug-in portable heaters, which left Mathews with a few concerns.

"What happens if somebody comes back on me, saying well we sent them to your house, what did you do with it?" she said.

There was also no indication of the seller's name on the product or packaging. Mathews is left wondering how someone got her information.

Thankfully, she said no money has been taken from her account.

ABC10 reached out to Amazon and the Sacramento Better Business Bureau to see what can be done.

BBB said if you receive an unsolicited package there is a chance something fishy might be going on.

"Actually, a couple of years ago, there was a Better Business Bureau scam that happened where a woman was receiving five to seven packages a day for seven days straight, and the company actually came back and tried to request that she pay for that unsolicited merchandise. But under the FTC, you have a right to keep unordered merchandise, so you have no obligation to pay anybody anything," said Celia Surridge, from the BBB of Sacramento and Northeast California.

BBB recommends contacting Amazon or whatever company you received the package from. They also recommend changing your passwords in case your account was compromised.

BBB recommends checking out their Scam Tracker where you can search the latest scams they've been investigating or report a scam.


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