State officials ask that anyone receiving unsolicited packages of seeds contact the Department of Agriculture.
Odd packages of unknown seeds are turning up across North Carolina and the country, according to the N.C. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The seeds are mailed from China, and state officials suspect they are possibly a pathway for invasive species, according to the NCDA.
Numerous people who have received the seeds, which are likely the product of an international internet scam known as “brushing.”
“According to the Better Business Bureau,foreign, third-party sellers use your address and Amazon information to generate a fake sale and positive review to boost their product ratings,” said Phil Wilson, director of the NCDA Plant Industry Division.
Seeds are just one of the items used in the scam — you could receive other inexpensive items such as rubber bands, plastic toys, or empty bags.
North Carolina residents are not in violation of any regulations if they received these shipments, but they are the key to identifying and stopping future shipments.
This type of international shipment of plant material is unlawful and NCDACS asks anyone who received one of these unsolicited foreign shipments to save the contents along with all shipping labels and contact the Plant Industry Division toll free at 800-206-9333 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Plant Industry staff will contact you to gather information and pick up the package.