New seed brushing scam sweeps the country

New seed brushing scam sweeps the country

A new type of brushing scam has made national headlines recently. If you’re unfamiliar with a brushing scam, it’s when overseas scammers send items to your home that you didn’t order. Scammers do this to use you as a verified purchase when it comes to inflating the product’s reviews on large retail platforms like Amazon or Walmart.

In this new brushing scam, people are being sent packages of seeds from places like China, Singapore, and Kyrgyzstan. Reports have come in from Minnesota to Alabama and almost every place in between in the US of residents receiving these seeds in the mail. It’s unknown at this time which retail platform this scam is supposed to be inflating the reviews on.

If you receive a package of seeds unsolicited, whatever you do, do not plant them. While some of the seeds appear to be harmless there is the potential that some could be an invasive species. If you’ve ever had to deal with an invasive species of plants like kudzu or tumbleweeds, you know how catastrophic an invasive species of plant can be. Neither of these plants were native to the United States.

Also if you receive these seeds in the mail, you should not throw them out as this way they could also find their way into our ecosystems. Instead, it is recommended that you check with your state to see where you can send the seeds to be collected.

Outside of the environmental impact, this scam could have, there’s also an economic one. If you’ve been targeted in a brushing scam, that means that one of your online accounts may have been compromised. If you receive anything from a brushing scam, it’s highly recommended that you not only change the passwords to your online accounts but to monitor your credit report as well. Scammers could be potentially be using your accounts to purchase stolen goods.