On Monday, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services spokesperson Michael Wallace told the New York Times that the agency has received “over 900 emails and several hundred telephone calls” from people who claimed to have received the seeds. More On: scams. Filing an auto insurance claim? Americans Nationwide Are Receiving Mysterious Bags Of Seeds Sent From China Thousands have opened their mail to find packets of seeds. The vaccine, developed by BioNTech and Pfizer, was transported from a hospital in Leuven to the residential care home on Monday, as Belgium begins its vaccination program starting with the most vulnerable. “If you have received one of these packages in the mail, please use extreme caution by not touching the contents and securing the package in a plastic bag.”, Get all the stories you need-to-know from the most powerful name in news delivered first thing every morning to your inbox. North Carolina’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services also reported the deliveries were “likely the product of an international Internet scam.”. “Although not directly dangerous, we would still prefer that people contact us to properly dispose of the seeds,” the department added. The packages, based on photographs and statements from officials, appeared to have been shipped by China’s state-owned postal company and contained Chinese lettering on the exterior, advertising products ranging from jewelry to toys. Is it a scam? Contributing: Alana Edgin, San Angelo Standard-Times, Follow N'dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg. Osama El-Lissy, with the Plant Protection program of the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. The seeds are sent in packages usually stating that the contents are jewelry. For nearly a week, some 200 employees of the company Polyceo, responsible for garbage collection and cleanliness in the 2nd, 15th and 16th arrondissements of Marseille have been on strike. (Ohio Department of Agriculture). Americans Receive Mystery Seeds in the Mail, Mostly From China ... Mr. Strain said packages sent to Louisiana residents appear to be from China and … Lori Culley, who lives in Tooele, Utah, told Fox 13 she was excited to find two small packages in her mailbox that appeared to contain earrings. The mysterious seeds sent from China. Officials in Florida say they have gotten 160 reports about the seeds. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, Posted at 9:13 PM, Jul 22, 2020 . The packages have garnered the attention of federal investigators -- with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) working alongside the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection and other federal and state agencies. Quotes displayed in real-time or delayed by at least 15 minutes. A strange package has been sent to people in multiple states: random, unidentified seeds from China. More than 600 tons of waste were not collected in these areas, according to the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis. “A brushing scam is an exploit by a vendor used to bolster product ratings and increase visibility online by shipping an inexpensive product to an unwitting receiver and then submitting positive reviews on the receiver’s behalf under the guise of a verified owner. Packages containing seeds that may have originated in China are being mailed to Virginia residents. Laborers work at a construction site in downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Dec. 28, 2020. El-Lissy said other packages contain vegetables  such as cabbage and herbs including mint, sage, rosemary, and lavender.Â. A woman runs along snow covered trees in the Taunus region near Frankfurt, Germany, after snow fall, Dec. 28, 2020. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has identified some of the plant species in bags of unsolicited seeds arriving in mailboxes across the United … Mutual Fund and ETF data provided by Refinitiv Lipper. All 50 states have issued warnings about the packages some of which contain morning glory, hibiscus, roses, cabbage, mustard, mint, sage and rosemary. "This is a just a subset of the samples we've collected so far," he said Wednesday. Have mysterious seed packets recently appeared at your doorstep or in your mailbox? Sid Miller, the Texas agriculture commissioner, warned the packages could contain harmful invasive species or be otherwise unsafe, according to a release. Invasive species are organisms not native to a certain region. The types of seeds in the packages are unknown at this time … A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. It’s not the first time this type of scam has surfaced. "The seeds are sent … Powered and implemented by FactSet Digital Solutions. And in Louisiana, Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain told the New York Times that some of the packages sent to residents there appear to contain seeds for water lily plants. You've successfully subscribed to this newsletter! Officials in several states said there didn’t appear to be a clear pattern to the packages, which have been showing up at homes in the city, suburbs, and in rural areas. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has identified 14 kinds of seeds in the mysterious packages that appear to have been sent unsolicited from China to people around the country. So far, the USDA said some of the packages contain vegetables like cabbage and herbs like mint, sage, rosemary, and lavender. The introduction of invasive species could cause the destruction of native crops, introduce diseases to native plants and could be dangerous to livestock. The Texas Department of Agriculture "has been working closely with USDA to analyze these unknown seeds so we can protect Texas residents.”. Robin Pruisner, state seed control official at the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship in Iowa, told Reuters she's concerned the seeds may have been coated with something, possibly insecticide or fungicide, that could damage crops. Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about. Warning over mystery packets of seed being sent to homes across world from China. A health worker sprays disinfectant inside the Pyongyang Department Store No. Legal Statement. “At this time, we are not sure what the seeds are and therefore are urging everyone to be exceedingly vigilant,” Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black also said in a statement. The seeds are sent in packages usually stating that the contents are jewelry. Avoid these mistakes. Market data provided by Factset. Belgium's Jos Hermans, 96-years-old, gives the thumbs up after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at the Sint Pieter care home in Puurs, Belgium, Dec. 28, 2020. An example of what Americans are being sent by Chinese "brushers." DOVER, Delaware (WPVI) -- Officials in Delaware and across the country are warning residents about unsolicited packages of seeds possibly being shipped from China. © 2020 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC. VIRGINIA, UTAH AMONG STATES RECEIVING UNSOLICITED PACKAGES OF PLANT SEEDS IN THE MAIL. Seeds Are Also Being Sent to People in Britain. ©2020 FOX News Network, LLC. Culley told the outlet she posted about the strange incident on Facebook, and “at least 40 people” reached out to her saying something similar happened to them. ... is unsure what kind of plant it … Wochit. Medical workers collect swab samples from residents to test for the Covid-19 coronavirus, in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Dec. 28, 2020. Residents in Washington, Utah and Virginia have received small packages of seeds … Records on the packages appear to have been falsified, according to checks by China’s postal service, Wenbin said at a … Some of the packages were labeled as jewelry and may have Chinese writing on them, according to agriculture officials. Unsolicited packages sent from China containing mysterious plant seeds have been showing up at homes across America. "USDA is currently collecting seed packages from recipients and will test their contents and determine if they contain anything that could be of concern to U.S. agriculture or the environment.". ... China's foreign ministry said in a news briefing that China has restrictions on mailing seeds of any kind… The U.S. Department of Agriculture has identified 14 kinds of seeds in the mysterious packages that appear to have been sent unsolicited from China to people around the country. Heaven McGeehan More on Forbes: China & America Are Gearing … The number of packages being reported also varied. I haven’t had it in my hands yet, but it sounds an awful lot like a seed treatment,” she told the outlet. Man plants mysterious 'studded earrings' seeds sent from China to US. “An invasive plant species might not sound threatening, but these small invaders could destroy Texas agriculture," Miller said in the release. WSDA. It’s unclear what type of seeds are inside the packages. COUPLE WHO KEPT GETTING MYSTERY PACKAGES FEAR THEY ARE NEXT VICTIMS. Residents reported to the VDACS that they received packets of seeds in the mail with writing on the outside that appears to be Chinese. A spokesperson for the USDA said the department is urging anyone who receives the packages not to plant them and to contact their state plant regulatory official and keep the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until they receive further instruction. Quotes displayed in real-time or delayed by at least 15 minutes. All 50 states have issued warnings about the packages, some of which contain flowering plants like morning glory, hibiscus and roses, according to Osama El-Lissy, with the Plant Protection program of the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. A link has been sent to your friend's email address. However, the deliveries of the plant seeds are more widespread and it's not immediately clear which e-commerce website the fake reviews may be appearing on, if this is the motive behind the packages. The mysterious, unsolicited packages of seeds supposedly being sent from China to homes across America – prompting agriculture departments in at … Legal Statement. A number of confused residents in Washington, Virginia, Utah, Kansas, Arizona and Louisiana were sent small seed packages in the mail, with labels suggesting they were sent from China. Random Seed Packages Sent In Mail To Canadians Could Be Dangerous: Feds ... it’s aware of “suspicious,” unsolicited seed packages that appear to have been shipped across the country from China. The seeds appear to be from China, according to several of the agriculture departments. India's confirmed coronavirus cases have crossed 10 million with new infections dipping to their lowest levels in three months, as the country prepares for a massive COVID-19 vaccination in the new year. The packages were sent by mail and may have Chinese characters written on them. AMAZON REVIEWS SCAM? A woman and her child wearing face masks as a precaution against the coronavirus wait in a queue to update details of their Aadhar, a government identity card in Jammu, India, Dec. 28, 2020. Residents in all 50 states have recently reported getting the bizarre, unsolicited seed packages, apparently being sent from China. 1 prior to opening for business, in Pyongyang on Dec. 28, 2020. In Indiana, for instance, an official with the state attorney general’s office said it had received only a handful of reports, while in Ohio, officials have received roughly 150 calls about the packages over the past month. “We have done some researching and it does appear that these seeds are tied with an online scam called ‘brushing’,” the Whitehouse Police Department in Ohio – one of the states where the packages reportedly have been sent – posted on Facebook. Citizens across the United States have reported receiving random unsolicited seed shipments from China. The U.S. is a seed exporter to Asia but not a seed importer. “Obviously they’re not jewelry,” Lori Culley, a resident from Tooele, Utah, said to Fox13 after receiving one of the packages. The packages typically have Chinese characters on the label and contain a sealed packet of unknown seeds that some state agriculture departments say could be invasive plant species. Officials think mysterious packages from China containing seeds are part of an online scam, Massachusetts couple who kept receiving mystery packages from Amazon, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black. Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/07/31/usda-identifies-some-seeds-appear-sent-china/5555404002/. Today we received reports of people receiving seeds in the mail from China that they did not order. “Do not plant seeds from unknown origins,” the USDA urged in a statement. Kansas, Louisiana, Virginia and Washington are among the states that have issued warnings regarding the unexpected deliveries. Workers load up coal into baskets in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Dec. 28, 2020. WARNINGS are issued in at least 28 states across the US as Americans have received unsolicited packages of mysterious seeds that appear to be arriving from China… Gravitas: Is China sending mystery seeds to countries? USDA officials have been asking anyone who received a suspicious seed package to contact their state plant regulator or their state's APHIS plant health director. Mutual Fund and ETF data provided by Refinitiv Lipper. By CNN. In 2018, a Massachusetts couple who kept receiving mystery packages from Amazon containing items ranging from USB-powered humidifiers to rechargeable dog collars feared they were being targeted. Man plants mysterious seeds from China being sent across the U.S. ... people to watch out for unsolicited packages of seeds shipped from China. Once the package is delivered, the owner of the Amazon account is then listed as a “verified buyer” of the product and can write a positive review of it that gets higher placement on product pages because of their status, James Thomson, a former business consultant for Amazon told the Boston Globe at the time when asked about the couple’s deliveries. "Today we received reports of people receiving seeds in the mail from China that they did not order. ©2020 FOX News Network, LLC. "China Post has contacted USPS, asking it to send those fake packages to China for investigation," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, said during a news briefing on Tuesday. "At this time, we don’t have any evidence indicating this is something other than a 'brushing scam' where people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales," the statement said. “I opened them up and they were seeds,” Culley said. "Today we received reports of people receiving seeds in the mail from China that they did not order," Washington State Department of Agriculture wrote in a Facebook post. Officials in at least 27 states are urging residents to report any unsolicited packages of seeds that appear to have been sent from China, warning that … Don’t plant seeds sent from China and other foreign countries, agriculture boss warns Utahns (Photo courtesy of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food) Residents of … A pedestrian walks past a large pile of garbage in the second district of Marseille, southern France, on December 28, 2020 as the company Polyceo, in charge of trash collection, is on strike since Dec. 17, 2020. How does a mortgage loan modification work? States from coast to coast have been urging residents to report the unexpected deliveries to their local agriculture departments over concerns that the seeds could be invasive or harmful species. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is unsure what kind of plant it is and plans to remove it. The U.S. isn’t the only country receiving mysterious seeds from China. Here’s how the scam works: a seller trying to boost the ratings of their own merchandise sets up a fake email account to create an Amazon profile, then purchases the items with a gift card and ships them to the address of a random person. Officials now think these packages may be part of a fake product review scam. The mysterious, unsolicited packages of seeds supposedly being sent from China to homes across America – prompting agriculture departments in at least 31 states to issue warnings against planting them – may be invasive species and could be tied to a fake product review scam, police and officials are saying. In Kentucky, the state agriculture department was notified that several residents received unsolicited seed packets sent by mail that appeared to have originated in China… “Obviously they’re not jewelry.”. “I’ve had people describe to me that the seeds are coated with something purple. 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