Eau Claire woman receives mystery package with seeds

Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 9:27 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - With little to no explanation, mysterious seeds are being mailed to people all across the United States.

These seeds are being speculated as possible “brushing scams.“Anonymous sellers use your address to send small packages, and then can use your information to leave positive reviews on their products. The full reasoning behind the deliveries, though, is still unknown.

Those investigating the seeds ask people who receive them to use caution. When an item you ordered arrives at your doorstep you usually feel excited.

But now, mystery packages are being sent to addresses across the country, causing unease rather than excitement, including for one Eau Claire woman.

"I opened up the mailbox and I saw this little package in there, and I looked at it, and it was really light. And it did say it was from China, and it said there was jewelry in there," said Jill Radtke.

But, Radtke says she didn't order jewelry, and when she opened the package, the label did not match what was inside.

"There was like really, really teeny tiny seeds in there," she continued.

Grace Atherton, Communications Director at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection told WEAU, ”We have been notified in recent days that some Wisconsin residents have received unsolicited packages in the mail that appear the contain seeds or some have contained other small items like jewelry or masks.”

Atherton also says the DATCP has received almost 500 reports of these packages through its online portal, which was just set up Tuesday.

Experts are concerned these seeds may be invasive plant species and if planted can cause harm to the environment.

“Usually seeds that are shipped from the United States from another country have to come with a Fido sanitary certificate, and that certificate says these seeds meet certain import requirements that’s why people should exercise some caution when they get these packages … we don’t want them to germinate or possibly introduce invasive species ,” said Atherton.

Unsure of what to do, Radtke posted to Facebook.

"I said gee, look what I got in the mail today... And everybody said you got to report that!

And that advice is exactly what those handling this investigation are asking people to do. Atherton said,

“Please go onto our website and fill out our online form to report that seed package to us and we will collect that information pass it along to the USDA and either someone from DATCP or USDA will follow up.”

Again, DATCP and the USDA both urge people not to plant or throw these seeds away if they receive them, but rather to report them to help with the investigation. If you have opened the package, seal it back up in a safe bag until you are contacted for more information.

Copyright 2020 WEAU. All rights reserved.

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