HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT)– Mysterious seeds popping up in people’s mailboxes has grown into a bigger scam. People in the Tri-State say they’ve been receiving peculiar items from China. Briana Drake said her family was caught off guard when receiving a package from Shanghai labeled as a scarf.

“And then when I opened and realized these are masks and not a scarf it added to the eeriness of the situation,” said Henderson mom, Briana Drake. After disinfecting the package she realized it was sent in her name and contained three masks. This was enough for everyone in her family.

“I’ve wondered how they knew, or did they know, I had three people in my house,” Drake said. She was expecting an FM transmitter after ordering it online back in May. That package never came. This made her wonder if the website she ordered from was using her information, targeting healthcare workers during the pandemic.

“It’s an overwhelming feeling, like why me? I’m a nurse,” Drake said. “Why are they targeting me? “

Oana Schneider with the Tri-State Better Business Bureau said they received several similar reports. Intially, just mysterious seeds were being found in the mail.

“We were urging everyone not to plant them because we didn’t know what kind of seeds they were,” said Schneider. “Then people started getting other items in the mail. Such as ping pong balls, jig saw puzzles, somebody received a tiny unicorn, and somebody actually received a fake gold ring instead of an electric scooter they had ordered online.”

The BBB says make no mistake, these items were not gifts from China. Sellers are using fake orders to make product reviews on these people’s behalf. It’s a scam referred to as ‘brushing.’ The scammers are hoping you contact them out of confusion.

“As soon as you contact them, they know this is a good address, somebody lives there and they are going to try to get money for items or try to sell you other products,” Schneider explained.

Only reach out to the seller if there is a problem with an order you actually placed.
Keep in mind, online shoppers are not the only ones receiving unsolicited packages.

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(This story was originally published on Aug. 13, 2020)