Here’s one out of left field. This week I received reports from many people receiving seeds in the mail from China that they did not order. Local authorities have been alerted.
From snopes.com, “the seeds are sent in packages usually stating that the contents are jewelry.” This has been widespread across the U.S.
Here’s what to do, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, if you receive unsolicited seeds from another country:
1. Do not plant them and if they are in sealed packaging don’t open the sealed package. They could be invasive, introduce diseases to local plants or be harmful to livestock.
2. This is known as agricultural smuggling. Report it to USDA and maintain the seeds and packaging until USDA instructs you what to do with the packages and seeds (https://tinyurl.com/y5v9894e). They may be needed as evidence.
U.S. News & World Report explained, the “Fake Listing Scam” is something disreputable sellers do on sites such as Amazon.com, as they attempt to build false reputations as reliable vendors in order to facilitate luring victims to their scams. There have been some cases of criminals buying their own products and shipping to a real address. The con artist then writes a fake review, purportedly from the buyer the product was shipped to.
Why does the thief go to the trouble? To make it look like a “verified” review, since the review came from a “buyer” who “bought” the product.
Wow, so at this point it appears true that the mysterious mailings of seeds sent with return addresses in China are real, but the specific motive behind them is, well, … unknown.
Tim Wiederaenders is a former Lake Havasu City resident. He is an editor at the Prescott Daily Courier.