Are you one of the people here in the Sioux Falls area that has received a package of mysterious seeds in the mail recently that you did not order?

It's not the folks from Gurney's sending them out, a number of people from around the area have reported getting packages of unmarked seeds that bear a Chinese return address and are oftentimes labeled as jewelry, small electronics, or some other item.

Dakota News Now is reporting these unmarked seed packages are just showing up in the mailboxes of people here in the Sioux Empire, they've also been reported by people in 27 additional states throughout the country.

Jesse Schmidt, the Better Business Bureau Director here in South Dakota told Dakota News Now, "These packages of seeds could be part of a “brushing scam,” where by sending you a package, a third-party company from China can use your information to boost the reviews on their product or website. Companies, like Amazon, require that reviews can be connected to an actual purchase so if this seller can show that they sent a product to your house, then they’ll also set up a fake account where you’ll fill out a positive review on their product.”

Should you receive one of these mysterious seed packages in the mail, the Department of Agriculture recommends that you keep the packaging and contact the Department of Agriculture in your state.

A brushing scam typically isn't as threatening as a common credit card, or social security scam according to Schmidt, however, it would still be a very good idea to change any old or commonly used online passwords you have, should one of these unmarked seed packages show up in your home's mailbox.

Schmidt told Dakota News Now, “This is pretty innocuous, it doesn’t appear to be that big a deal, but it does tell us that your online information has been compromised somewhere along the way."

Here are the recommended steps you should take in South Dakota should you receive any of these mysterious seeds:

  • Do not plant the seeds
  • Save the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label
  • Contact the SDDA at 605.773.5425 or email agmail@state.sd.us with the following information:
  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Date received
  • Number of packages received

Source: Dakota News Now

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