China plant seeds mystery solved? – It’s all a SCAM

Police think packages sent to US homes could be tied to scam reviews.

Mysterious, unsolicited packages of seeds being sent from China to homes across America.
Prompting agriculture departments in at least 31 states to issue warnings against planting the seeds may be tied to a fake product review scam, police and officials are saying.

The packages, based on photographs and statements from officials, appear to have been shipped by China’s state owned postal company and contain Chinese lettering on the exterior, advertising products ranging from jewelry to toys.

Here’s how the scam works: a seller trying to boost the ratings of their own merchandise sets up a fake email account to create an Amazon profile, then purchases the items with a gift card and ships them to the address of a random person.

James Thomson, a former business consultant for Amazon said “Once the package is delivered, the owner of the Amazon account is then listed as a “verified buyer” of the product and can write a positive review of it that gets higher placement on product pages because of their status.

13 responses to “China plant seeds mystery solved? – It’s all a SCAM

  1. Maybe we should start clicking our own blog’s stars and writing fake comments to boost our traffic on our own websites. My head’s fatter than yours is, cause I got more fake traffic? Right. I think I’ll go weed the garden and stay off the internet some more. Happy Harvesting. – Oscar

    Like

  2. It used to be hair ties and items less likely to draw attention. I can’t even mail Canadian friends seeds.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I saw so many posts about this hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the update.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting. I was wondering how this worked, if they were sending them to people who specifically had a gardening background, and if so, how they knew (i.e. are they getting sales data from Amazon somehow?). I received two packages of mystery bulbs in packages covered in foreign script months ago.

    I’ve honestly become really skeptical ordering anything from Amazon that is not from a popular seller, and I feel bad about that because I like to support smaller, specialized nurseries. But the algorithm is referring me to so many Chinese scammers now it’s ridiculous. A single five-star review on a plant that clearly does not exist. (Have you ever seen lime green and purple caladiums?) They are clearly doing zero due diligence on whom they allow to market stuff on their site.

    Liked by 3 people

    • It’s a win, win, lose situation.
      Amazon is paid to list a seller on Amazon website. A win for Amazon.
      The seller gets listed on Amazon’s website. A win for the seller.
      A buyer is fooled, tricked in to relying on Amazon to verify the sell is honest. A lose situation for the buyer.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Lots of scams going around these days. I find it disgusting that people (scammers) will be so dishonest and uncaring about whom they hurt.

    Liked by 1 person

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