Agency: Strange seeds sent to Delawareans should not be planted

Packages are being sent by mail to some Delawareans that may have Chinese writing on them. All contained some sort of seed packet either alone, with jewelry, or another inexpensive item. (Submitted photo)

DOVER β€” Several Delawareans have reported receiving packages of seeds they did not order, according to the state Department of Agriculture.

The agency said it heard from multiple individuals over the weekend who found packets of seeds, possibly along with jewelry or another inexpensive item, in their mail.

The packages are thought to have been sent from China and may have Chinese characters on them.

β€œIt is believed that these shipments are part of a brushing scam where shippers send out low-cost items at their own expense in order to rank higher on e-commerce sites. Brushing helps the seller create a more legitimate appearance to their profiles,” the agency said.

The seeds have not been identified, but based upon the packages there are multiple kinds of plants being shipped illegally.

No one should ever plant seeds they did not order because the resulting plants could be an invasive species. Anyone who receives a shipment like this should report it to the Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance Program by calling the Smuggling Hotline at 1-800-877-3835.

Recipients should leave everything inside the package to help investigators trace the origin.

SITC will provide instructions on how to handle the seeds. If the recipient has already planted them, SITC can offer advice on that as well.