ROCK SPRINGS — A Rock Springs woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, reported receiving an unsolicited package of seeds from China in the mail on Tuesday.
The woman who received the package did not know anyone else that had received the seeds and is not associated with any kind of agricultural work.
After contacting the USDA-APHIS in Wyoming, she was asked to mail in the seeds with the original packaging which will then be taken for identification and analysis. So far, the USDA believes that the seeds are a scam.
“At this time, we don’t have any evidence indicating this is something other than a “brushing scam” where people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales,” the USDA-APHIS press release said. “USDA is currently collecting seed packages from recipients and will test their contents and determine if they contain anything that could be of concern to U.S. agriculture or the environment.”
As of Wednesday, the USDA-APHIS has received 60 reports of the unsolicited seeds in the state of Wyoming. The Rock Springs Police Department said that they have only received one call regarding the seeds a few weeks ago. Officers have been directed to contact USDA-APHIS if they come across any seeds. As for the Green River Police Department, no reports have been received.
Individuals in Wyoming who receive similar packages are urged to contact Wyoming Plant Regulatory Official, Kent Drake at 307-777-6574 or Wyoming Plant Health Director, Bruce Shambaugh at 307-432-7979 for further directions.
“Please hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until someone from your State department of agriculture or APHIS contacts you with further instructions. Do not plant seeds from unknown origins,” the USDA-APHIS press release said.