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Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,005
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

More Mystery Packages From China Besides Seeds

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.

 

The United States Department of Agriculture believes that the mystery seeds were being sent to the U.S. as part of a brushing scam, which involves sellers sending unsolicited items (which are typically light and easy to ship) and then post fake customer reviews to boost sales.

 

The USDA said in a statement: "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.

 

"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."

 

Now, it appears that Americans are receiving more than seeds. While the origins of these mystery items are unconfirmed, the random packages may be a part of a similar scam of which people across the country are on the receiving end.

 

Georgia resident Kelley Litty told WSB-TV that she received masks from China that she didn't buy: "It says China on the label for masks. 1,000 percent sure I did not order any mask. It's a complete surprise. And it doesn't make sense."

 

Faith Tankersley told WSB-TV that she received a fake Ray-Ban sunglasses: "I don't think people are sending this in goodwill in my opinion. I'm just afraid that there may be something harmful to them."

 

In New York, Dawn Proctor told WBNG that she received a package of socks from China: "No invoice attached. No note attached. The socks looked like they were used. We all kind of laughed about it. Thought it was odd and threw them away."

 

Consumer watchdog Which warned of brushing scams in a 2018 article and reported that Amazon customers were receiving items they had not ordered.

 

One person named Karyn who appears to be from the U.K. commented on the article on July 29, 2020, and said: "I've been getting parcels from China, there are no sender details other than a postal address which when searched doesn't tell me much, I've checked all my online accounts and there is no money being taken, they are items like nail stickers for false nail art, and a wig cap!

 

"Neither are of any use to me and nothing I have ordered. It seems crazy they are sending me stuff free of charge that just goes in the [trash]."

 

Two others also commented and said they had each received multiple packages in July 2020.

 

If someone has received an item as part of a brushing scam, it may mean that their personal information has been leaked, which can be dangerous.

 

Ray Walsh, a data privacy expert at ProPrivacy, told Newsweek: "Anybody who receives an unexpected package needs to be aware that their data is being misused by the seller.

 

"If you receive a brushing parcel it is vital that you hand it in to the police so that they can forward it to the US postal inspector's office for the purpose of tracking where it came from. Items received could be dangerous, which means that they must be disposed of correctly."

 

Walsh explained that there is no evidence of a brushing scam leading to crimes like identity theft and bank fraud.

 

"However, it is theoretically possible that victims' data could be exploited for these kinds of malicious purposes," he said. "For this reason, victims of brushing must carefully monitor their bank accounts and credit or debit cards for any unauthorized activity."

 

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.
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Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,878
Registered: ‎04-19-2010

Re: More Mystery Packages From China Besides Seeds

Good grief.  It just gets weirder and weirder, doesn't it?


-- pro-aging --
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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,951
Registered: ‎05-19-2012

Re: More Mystery Packages From China Besides Seeds

Well, haven't they been busy?

 

Scary.

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Posts: 13,859
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: More Mystery Packages From China Besides Seeds

Thank you for posting this @IG .  I heard about the seeds on our local news but hadn't heard about anything else.  

My little dog, a heartbeat at my feet. —Edith Wharton
Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.--Colette





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Honored Contributor
Posts: 15,789
Registered: ‎06-27-2010

Re: More Mystery Packages From China Besides Seeds

 

Argh!   Another one!   Thanks for the notice, @IG.

 

~“Your story is important, you're part of a bigger story; your life matters; you're not alone in the places you feel stuck.” TWLOHA
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Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,575
Registered: ‎06-17-2015

Re: More Mystery Packages From China Besides Seeds

Used socks??????????  Did they have holes in them???????

I'd be so skeeved out.

 

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""Out beyond the ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field. I will meet you there." -Rumi
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Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,575
Registered: ‎06-17-2015

Re: More Mystery Packages From China Besides Seeds

Thanks for the update.  I just told DH and will ping DS.

""Out beyond the ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field. I will meet you there." -Rumi
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Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,078
Registered: ‎03-29-2019

Re: More Mystery Packages From China Besides Seeds

I feel left out of all of the fun.

 

 

I haven't received any "mysterious packages" .

 

 

Wah!😩😢

 

 

😄😆😅😺

The Sky looks different when you have someone you love up there.
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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,532
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: More Mystery Packages From China Besides Seeds

Daughter did get debit card hacked from her Amazon use. Had to change her bank info and receive new card. She travels on the job and uses Amazon a lot - free shipping. Bank told her this is where the fraud originated and Amazon patrons are being targeted. Told her to use credit card - never debit. Best to use a 'spend' card. Same old story, I fear.  

"I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees." Henry David Thoreau
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Posts: 11,044
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: More Mystery Packages From China Besides Seeds

I some what remember ,a few years ago, people getting sunglasses in the mail,for free, maybe some one else remembers this happening.

When you lose some one you L~O~V~E, that Memory of them, becomes a TREASURE.