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MPD says local residents received unsolicited seeds, which may be part of a scam

MADISON – The Madison Police Department says they have received multiple complaints regarding unsolicited packages of seeds being sent to residents from China. Police officials say that the packages may be part of a scam.

“According to the USDA, the seeds that have been tested do not present any issues regarding health or environmental safety,” said MPD Community Relations Officer Teresa Taylor-Duncan. “However, the Better Business Bureau reports that these packages may be part of a brushing scam.”

According to Officer Taylor-Duncan, these scams involve businesses that use your address and personal information to send out inexpensive, lightweight packages and ultimately use your information to create fake reviews of products, thus boosting their ratings and sales. Some of these packages may contain actual products that were not ordered or requested by you.

“If you are receiving a large number of unsolicited packages of any value, your information may have been compromised and criminals could be using your address as a shipping point for illegally obtained merchandise, having items delivered to your address and then acting as porch pirates and removing them,” Officer Taylor-Duncan added. “Contact the delivery agent if you suspect this may be happening.”

The MPD recommends residents take the following action if they receive an unsolicited package:

1. Contact the seller. If it is Amazon, they may authorize a return.

2. If the package contains agricultural products and originates from outside the U.S., contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture at 1- 844-820-2234.

3. According to the Federal Trade Commission, any package addressed to you, whether solicited or not, may be kept, however, it is always best to return unsolicited items.

For more information, visit https://www.bbb.org/article/news-releases/20509

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