There was no indication of the seeds were from China on Amazon. ... (APHIS), said the experts analyzing some of the seeds from China found very few problems. : Disinfecting wipes shortage could last into 2021 amid coronavirus pandemic, Hand sanitizer recalls: FDA list of hand sanitizers to avoid increases with more identified for methanol risk. "You are not the one who hit the jackpot. Often, the items received are lightweight and inexpensive to ship, such as ping pong balls, or more recently, face masks or seeds from China,” according a BBB news release. The BBB gave a few examples of what some people have found in the usually lightweight packages: flashlights, Bluetooth speakers and computer vacuum cleaners. "Once the information is out there on the internet, it could be used for numerous crooked enterprises. Wochit. They do this in order to create fake customer profiles with real names on e-commerce sites, and then create false positive reviews for their products and/or company,” a BBB news release stated. Amazon.com: china seeds. Amazon, for its part, specifies that the seller is responsible for ensuring seed shipments are compliant with USDA regulations. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Amazon is banning sales of plants and seeds imported from outside the U.S. after people received mysterious packages of seeds from China. It's not just seeds—Americans are receiving all kinds of unsolicited packages from China, containing items ranging from fake Ray-Ban sunglasses to a pair of used socks. ", New Amazon boxes: Amazon introduces boxes that can be recycled into cat condos, forts and other creations, Free seeds from China: USDA identifies some of the mysterious, unsolicited seeds after all 50 states issue warnings, Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko. ", Your next Amazon box might look a little different. Whitmer finally answers whether she would have accepted a Biden VP offer. Postal Inspector, or the Better Business Bureau in your area for help," the FTC said. ", Need Clorox wipes? "Brushing and fake reviews are against Amazon’s policies, so contact Amazon Customer Service if this happens to you and the product appears to come from Amazon. FILE - Mysterious seeds sent to Washington residents in the mail from China that they did not order on July 24, 2020. The U.S. is a seed exporter to Asia but not a seed importer. FILE - Mysterious seeds sent to Washington residents in the mail from China that they did not order on July 24, 2020. © 2020 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC. Selling on Amazon is HUGE in China. Sign up here, Disinfecting wipes shortage could last into 2021 amid coronavirus pandemic, FDA list of hand sanitizers to avoid increases with more identified for methanol risk, Amazon introduces boxes that can be recycled into cat condos, forts and other creations, USDA identifies some of the mysterious, unsolicited seeds after all 50 states issue warnings, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. RELATED: Mysterious seeds being mailed to Virginia residents could be from China. Amazon has barred foreign sales of seeds in the United States, following unsolicited mystery packets being shipped to Americans, mostly postmarked from China. The seed types included flowering plants, herbs and vegetables. A "brushing scam" could be putting your personal info at risk. A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. A link has been sent to your friend's email address. (Washington State Department of Agriculture Facebook). Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about. ©2020 FOX Television Stations. Save better, spend better:  Money tips and advice delivered right to your inbox. In an Amazon seller forum in June, there was a brief discussion of some receiving unordered packages. AMAZON shoppers are being warned that items turning up on doorsteps that have not been ordered could be part of a scam to generate fake reviews. I will not be planting them. If there is a bio security issue DEFRA should act. Heirloom Futures Seed Pack with 55 Varieties of Vegetable Seeds. RELATED: Officials in Florida, other states warn about mysterious seed shipments from China. Amazon could not immediately be reached for comment. Amazon banning sale of foreign seeds after thousands of consumers received unsolicited packets in mailboxes postmarked from China. Did you get mysterious seeds from China or Amazon packages you didn't order? “Plants, plant products, and seeds may not be imported from outside of the United States,” the policy reads. After mysterious seeds were sent to thousands of people, some unsolicited, in the United States from China, Amazon has announced changes to only allow seeds to … “What comes up I have no idea but I’m sure they're not going to be what I ordered,” said Trinity’s Katherine Heintz, who planted the strange seeds. USA TODAY. Over the past week, USA TODAY Consumer Editor Michelle Maltais received three unordered Amazon packages: a bug zapper, an iPhone repair kit and an empty velvet jewelry pouch. Records on the packages appear to have been falsified, according to checks by China’s postal service, Wenbin said at a … Amazon has banned foreign sales of seeds in the U.S. after Americans across the country received suspicious packages of seeds, many originating in China, earlier this summer. Amazon bans foreign plant sales following delivery of mystery seed packages. People in several states have reported finding packages in their mail from China that appear to contain things like jewelry but in fact contain packets of mysterious seeds. They will investigate and take action on the bad actor," the BBB said. But can you keep the freebie? The packages appear to be coming from China, according to the USDA. All "Free" Amazon deliveries are arriving addressed to residents who didn't order them – all part of an ongoing scam. Sign up here. When the parcel arrived I didn’t know what it contained, but I noticed it had been sent from China. "If this doesn’t work, contact your state or local consumer protection office, local U.S. A scam company is the real winner," the BBB said in its news release Monday. Unsolicited Amazon boxes now showing up at homes in the same way packages of seeds, possibly from China, have been. So far, the USDA said some of the packages contain vegetables like cabbage and herbs like mint, sage, rosemary, and lavender. Citizens across the United States have reported receiving random unsolicited seed shipments from China. Mr. Crenshaw said he had ordered blue zinnia seeds from Amazon, but when he got the package about two months ago, it contained the blue zinnia seeds as well as seed … After mysterious seeds were sent to thousands of people, some unsolicited, in the United States from China, Amazon has announced changes to only allow seeds to be sold by sellers in the U.S., according to Amazon’s updated policy. Those mysterious seeds sent from China and Kyrgyzstan that the Minnesota Department of Agriculture warned about this week could be the product of an ... is a way to boost business ratings on Amazon. In this article, we’ll look at the tactics being used by Chinese Amazon sellers in 2019 to manipulate the platform. I have contacted the supplier asking what they are playing at, and informed Amazon that they may be breaking the bio security rules. If you've received unordered packages from Amazon or other retailers, it could be part of a brushing scam. 100% Non GMO Open Pollinated Non-Hybrid Naturally Grown Premium USA Seed Stock for … The USDA confirmed in an Aug. 12 update that it and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, in conjunction with state departments of agriculture, are continuing to investigate why the seeds were sent. The company’s decision comes after thousands of U.S. residents reported receiving unsolicited packets of seed from China, prompting all 50 states to issue safety warnings. "The company also takes security seriously and encourages customers to report fraudulent purchases or other security issues.". Officials in Florida, other states warn about mysterious seed shipments from China, Mysterious seeds being mailed to Virginia residents could be from China, Nashville officers heard audio warning from RV before it exploded, 2 children die in Christmas morning fire on Detroit's east side, Adorable girl gifts everyone a 'box of peace' this Christmas, Wayne County Board of Canvasser Chairwoman, Monica Palmer, speaks out after receiving threats, Michigan AG, Dana Nessel, warns parents to be on ‘high alert’ for sextortion, 18-year-old wanted for killing two sisters near former State Fairgrounds turns self in, Police say 2nd person found dead in home where elderly woman was killed, husband injured, New rule could require servers to share their tips with co-workers, US Department of Labor says, Threats made by a Pres. Officials at the Department of Agriculture identified several of the seeds that were mailed to citizens from China. "The Direct Marketing Association also may be able to help you. Some people are apparently using Amazon to send thousands of seeds to recipients that didn’t order them in the U.S. A fake consumer profile will then be created under the receiver’s name, after which whomever the sender is, will write a false positive review on the product. TRINITY, Fla. - Reports of mystery-seeds being delivered to people’s homes from China are popping up all over. The BBB also suggests changing passwords and keeping an eye on credit reports and credit card statements. Amazon recently updated its policy, only allowing seeds to be sold by U.S. sellers after unsolicited packages containing random seeds were sent to United States residents, according to the USDA. The FTC also advises consumers to contact retailers for help dealing with unordered merchandise. Skip to main content. The deliveries, which are not gifts, are what authorities call a "brushing scam," in which people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales. Consumers in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the EU have all received the unsolicited packages, prompting agriculture departments in several states to issue warnings against planting them. But selling seeds online is also an attractive legitimate business for merchants in Asia who can sell a $1.50 packet of seeds from China for roughly $10 on Amazon, according to the Journal. “Scammers mail lightweight (inexpensive to ship) packages, such as ping pong balls and seeds, to people who did not order the merchandise. It's not exactly clear who is behind the packages or what their intent is, but officials suspect they are part of … Dear Katie, My son recently ordered some bulbs and seeds for my birthday from Amazon.co.uk. According to Amazon's policy web page, the ban extends to plants and plant products. Osama El-Lissy, with the Plant Protection Program of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said in a July 29 statement that 14 different species of the seeds were identified from the “brushing” scams. ", To protect yourself from more unordered merchandise, the FTC says be cautious when participating in sweepstakes or order goods advertised as "free," "trial," or "unusually low-priced. (Photo: Michelle Maltais, USA TODAY), "The fact that someone was able to have the items sent to you as if you purchased them indicates that they probably have some of your personal information such as your name, address, and possibly, your phone number," the BBB said. I have received seeds arrived from China marked as earring studs. “For example, in one case a humidifier, a hand warmer, a flashlight, a Bluetooth speaker and a computer vacuum cleaner arrived unordered. … Mysterious seeds from China are not the only strange unwanted packages arriving on doorsteps. Mysterious seeds from China are not the only strange unwanted packages arriving on doorsteps. Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/08/04/free-amazon-orders-scam-mysterious-seeds-packages-brushing/5580858002/, Money tips and advice delivered right to your inbox. A “brushing” scam is when boxes of unordered packages arrive with a Chinese return address, or sometimes the packages appear to come from Amazon or another retailer, according to the BBB. To report unsolicited seeds, individuals can fill out the form provided by the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, here. Officials in at least 15 states across the country have warned residents not to plant unsolicited packages of seeds delivered through the mail from China. The seeds, which have no label and are wrapped in plastic, are raising concern by officials that they could be invasive species of plants that are harmful to native plants and animals. All summer, people have been receiving unsolicited packages of seeds, mostly from China. E-retailer Amazon has announced that it is banning the sale of foreign seeds in the United States after thousands of residents from across the country complained that they had received mysterious packages containing unidentified seeds from China. The seeds are believed to be part of a global "brushing" scam, according to the Better Business Bureau. According to the BBB, the best course of action if you receive a mystery package is to notify the retailer. Yes; the Federal Trade Commission says you have "a legal right to keep it as a free gift. Amazon.co.uk Today's Deals Warehouse Deals Outlet Subscribe & Save Vouchers Amazon Family Amazon Prime Prime Video Prime Student Mobile Apps Amazon Pickup Locations Amazon Assistant 1-16 of over 3,000 results for "vegetable seeds" Try Prime EN Hello, Sign in Account & Lists Sign in Account & Lists Orders Try Prime Cart. Horticulturalists have issued a warning after 'hundreds' of British gardeners received unsolicited deliveries of seeds thought to have been sent all the way from China. An Arkansas man who received one of the mysterious seed packages sent to thousands of US residents from China planted them on his property — and said the results are wild. She recently ordered some tulips bulbs from Amazon back in late April. How many Chinese Sellers are there in 2020 and what tactics are they using to get ahead? In fact, it is estimated that there are over 200,000 Chinese businesses currently selling on Amazon and this number is only expected to rise.. By Peter Sblendorio. 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