Friday, August 7, 2020

SUBSCRIPTIONS

Moab, UT

86.3 F
Moab
More

    Seeds of dissension? Mysterious seeds from China possibly a scam

    Utah agriculture officials worry unlabeled packages could contain invasive plant seeds

    Featured Stories

    Survey: Local parents want daily in-person teaching

    “I really don’t think that 40% of all people are not going to send their kid to school.”

    Tales of Trails: Savor spectacular views from thrilling Shafer Trail

    In the 1890s, Moab pioneer brothers Frank M. And John S. Shafer developed the route from what had been a Native American pathway connecting what is now Canyonlands National Park to the river below.

    At 99, Moab man is knighted by France

    “The French people will never forget his courage and devotion to the great cause of freedom,”

    Leaving Guatemala, Part 4: ‘A year in the land of eternal spring’

    Though I planned to return someday, whether as a Peace Corps volunteer or not, this experience proved that even the best-laid plans go awry.

    Leaving Guatemala, Part 3: Sudden departure came with painful goodbyes

    Men donned wooden masks and numerous layers of sweatshirts and ponchos then proceeded to hit each other with whips as they danced around the town square.
    Submitted
    Submitted
    Public submissions to The Times-Independent can range from press releases to obituaries to feature stories and news. All submissions are subject to editorial review and approval.

    The Better Business Bureau for Northern Nevada and Utah and the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is warning people not to plant packets of seeds they received unsolicited in the mail. The bureau suggests receiving the seeds could be an indication that recipients’ personal information online has been compromised, and the state worries the seeds could be invasive and pose a risk.

    a packet of seeds
    Packets of seeds such as this one have been mailed from China to households throughout Utah and the U.S. Courtesy photo

    People around Utah and the country are receiving mysterious seed packets in the mail from China. While the shipping package may be mislabeled as jewelry or other merchandise, the contents are instead unlabeled seeds, according to the BBB.

    According to Jane Rupp, president and CEO of BBB Serving Northern Nevada and Utah, it wouldn’t be the first time a company sent out unsolicited products to random houses.

    In a scam known as “brushing,” businesses will send their merchandise to homes in order to post a fake, positive review on their products. But why go through the trouble of mailing someone merchandise instead of just posting the fake review?

    “Often, retailers require reviewers to have actually bought the product. You can’t review something if you haven’t bought it. So, these shady businesses have to make it look like their fake reviews come from legitimate people,” said Rupp. “Because big retailers like Amazon verify and track addresses and packages through a third party like USPS, scammers can’t send packages to bogus places.”

    Instead, scammers go online, find real addresses of real people, and create fake accounts. They then mail these unsuspecting people an actual product – or something completely unrelated to what they’re selling. After the tracking system confirms delivery, these scammers can then leave a “verified” review in someone else’s name. Not only do they have one more stellar review, they have also falsely inflated their sales to look more successful than they are.

    In any case, receiving one of these packages is bad news for you.

    “The fact that the items were sent indicates scammers have some of your information, and may have also created an account in your name,” said the BBB in an email. “Certainly, they have your name and address, and possibly, your phone number and a password. Once the information is out there, it could be used for numerous crooked enterprises.”

    Meanwhile, officials with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food want Utahns who have received unsolicited seed packages from outside the U.S. to mail those packages to the UDAF’s Plant Industry Division for analysis. They can be sent to:

    Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

    ATTN: State Seed Lab

    PO Box 146500

    Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-6500

    UDAF’s State Seed Lab will continue identifying the seeds to determine whether they are on the federal or state noxious lists. Following the identification, the lab will destroy the material to prevent it from entering Utah’s ecosystem.

    If residents cannot get the material to UDAF, they are asked to kill the seeds by baking them at 200 degrees for 40 minutes. Once the temperature and duration have been met, residents are encouraged to allow the seeds to cool and then throw them away. Do not put them in green waste for recycling.

    Share this!

    - Advertisement -

    Latest News

    USFS proposes campground fee increases

    Members of the public are invited to comment on the proposed fee changes to the developed recreation program.

    Pine Gulch burns north of Grand Junction

    Bureau of Land Management spokesperson Maribeth Pecotte said the fire continued to grow in Sunday’s hot and dry conditions, which are expected to persist through the first half of the week.

    Zion rangers looking for vandals; squares painted on stone

    While most of the paint was removed, the area still has some paint remaining on the sandstone

    BLM lifts fire bans in Tres Rios, Uncompahgre field office areas

    “The BLM areas near the City of Durango are ‘Day Use Only,’ and overnight camping and campfires are prohibited to reduce fire risk."

    BLM proposes updates to oil, gas regs

    Federal royalties generated from onshore oil and gas production on federal lands totaled nearly $4.23 billion in Fiscal Year 2019.