©2020 FOX Television Stations. 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. 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.. Citizens across the United States have reported receiving random unsolicited seed shipments from China. Sign up here. She recently ordered some tulips bulbs from Amazon back in late April. "Free" Amazon deliveries are arriving addressed to residents who didn't order them – … ", Need Clorox wipes? “For example, in one case a humidifier, a hand warmer, a flashlight, a Bluetooth speaker and a computer vacuum cleaner arrived unordered. 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" Some people are apparently using Amazon to send thousands of seeds to recipients that didn’t order them in the U.S. Postal Inspector, or the Better Business Bureau in your area for help," the FTC said. 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Dear Katie, My son recently ordered some bulbs and seeds for my birthday from Amazon.co.uk. 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. 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. So far, the USDA said some of the packages contain vegetables like cabbage and herbs like mint, sage, rosemary, and lavender. RELATED: Mysterious seeds being mailed to Virginia residents could be from China. “Plants, plant products, and seeds may not be imported from outside of the United States,” the policy reads. "Free" Amazon deliveries are arriving addressed to residents who didn't order them – all part of an ongoing scam. The U.S. is a seed exporter to Asia but not a seed importer. The FTC also advises consumers to contact retailers for help dealing with unordered merchandise. 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. (Washington State Department of Agriculture Facebook). Amazon, for its part, specifies that the seller is responsible for ensuring seed shipments are compliant with USDA regulations. 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. Mysterious seeds from China are not the only strange unwanted packages arriving on doorsteps. Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about. "The Direct Marketing Association also may be able to help you. The BBB gave a few examples of what some people have found in the usually lightweight packages: flashlights, Bluetooth speakers and computer vacuum cleaners. 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. According to Amazon's policy web page, the ban extends to plants and plant products. In an Amazon seller forum in June, there was a brief discussion of some receiving unordered packages. A link has been sent to your friend's email address. 100% Non GMO Open Pollinated Non-Hybrid Naturally Grown Premium USA Seed Stock for … 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. Amazon banning sale of foreign seeds after thousands of consumers received unsolicited packets in mailboxes postmarked from China. 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. 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. 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. 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. By Peter Sblendorio. The BBB also suggests changing passwords and keeping an eye on credit reports and credit card statements. 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 … FILE - Mysterious seeds sent to Washington residents in the mail from China that they did not order on July 24, 2020. 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. How many Chinese Sellers are there in 2020 and what tactics are they using to get ahead? 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. Selling on Amazon is HUGE in China. 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. But can you keep the freebie? 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