September 25, 2020

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Latest Scam Comes in the Mail: Seed Packages

Fla. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried issued a warning previous 7 days: If you get seeds in the mail that you didn’t purchase, really don’t open up them – or plant them.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Additional than 600 Floridians reported seeds showing up in the mail – seeds they did not purchase or know anything at all about. The U.S. Department of Agriculture calls it a “brushing” fraud.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried previous 7 days raised considerations about unsolicited deals of seeds bearing Chinese figures and the title China Post. The Department of Agriculture and Shopper Providers asks Floridians to report the “suspicious seed deals,” which may possibly be labeled as jewelry or some thing else.

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Overall health Inspection Assistance suggests the deals show up to be aspect of a ploy to attract phony consumer testimonials and raise on-line sales. The federal company is also screening the seeds to consider their written content and ascertain if they pose a chance to agriculture or the setting.

The point out Department of Agriculture and Shopper Providers by at least 631 Floridians reported obtaining seeds as of previous Tuesday. The point out company instructed persons not to open up the deals or toss the seeds away. Rather, the deals really should be set in a sealable plastic bag and reported to the state’s Division of Plant Business, Fried’s business reported.

“Plant seeds from unfamiliar resources might introduce perilous pathogens, ailments or invasive species into Florida, placing agriculture and our state’s plant, animal, and human wellbeing at chance,” Fried reported in a media launch.

Comparable deals have been reported in Virginia, Kansas, Washington, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Utah.

Resource: Information Assistance of Florida