Must I notify the seller if I keep unordered merchandise without paying for it? If you have received an empty package or packages from China, or an unsolicited package from China with weird items/garbage like a piece of cardboard pater, it's because the retailer in question is involved in a scheme known as "Empty Package Scalping" / "brushing." I travel the New Silk Road, reporting on the developments that are shaping the 21st century. The package was clearly addressed to her—her name was correct and so was her address—but she wasn’t the one who placed the order and had no idea why someone in China would send it to her. The package is from Amazon and doesn’t have a specific sender nor for who the package is for. "Free" Amazon deliveries are arriving addressed to residents who didn't order them – all part of an ongoing scam. That wasn’t a very far fetched conclusion to jump to. Now, you might be reading this thinking, “Wow, that would be a great problem to have.” But there’s a reason why it’s more troubling than it seems at first glance! UPS and FedEx are contending with a new wrinkle in package scams that involves fraudulently ordered electronics being returned to criminals rather than to a legitimate retail shipping address.. Watch out for this hot package scam. It's not exactly clear who is behind the packages or what their intent is, but officials suspect they … Officials now think these packages may be part of a fake product review scam. The seeds are sent in packages usually stating that the contents are jewelry. A woman wonders why someone would ship her a single face mask from China. It came from: The small package says that it contains a phone case but it actually contains what looks like the top crystal of a watch plus some screws. I've been on the road since '99, reporting from over 90. Comments. Seed Packages from China. However, some have warned that there may be hidden dangers lurking within brushing schemes. Q. "You are not the one who hit the jackpot. The Better Business Bureau … According to the BBB, the best course of action if you receive a mystery package is to notify the retailer. The graft works something like this: A seller acquires the actually name and address of a real e-commerce user and creates a fake account for them on the platform they’re selling on. :Disinfecting wipes shortage could last into 2021 amid coronavirus pandemic, Hand sanitizer recalls:FDA list of hand sanitizers to avoid increases with more identified for methanol risk. The packages appear to be coming from China, according to the USDA. Lisa does not recall using this nickname for any of her other e-commerce accounts. "The fact that someone was able to have the items sent to you as if you purchased them indicates that they probably have some of your personal information such as your name, address, and possibly, your phone number," the BBB said. This is a rare instance where “finders, keepers” applies. To add insult to injury, due to the imbalanced pricing policies of the United Postal Union, shippers from countries like Kyrgyzstan and China can send mail to the USA at a subsidized rate–generally way cheaper than it costs to send a package domestically–so USPS customers and U.S. taxpayers end up picking up the tab to become victims of international brushing rackets. Google: Beware of Amazon Packages You Didn’t Order—It Could Be a Scam. Postal Service to find out what they recommend people to do who receive unordered packages: “If you receive a gift in the mail that you did not order, you can choose to keep it or throw it away. However, the infringers are often located across international borders, where all attempts at law enforcement are basically moot. The items inside the … Yes; the Federal Trade Commission says you have "a legal right to keep it as a free gift. The best case scenario is that the empty package from Kyrgyzstan was the result of a rather innocuous brushing scam. The deliveries, which are not gifts, are what authorities call a "brushing scam," in which people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales. The BBB gave a … They remove “ships from China” so customers don’t see it coming. Interesting article in yesterday’s Forbes (11/27/17). All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. With a label on them from a company I've never heard of (Upon researching they've only been around for a month or so. "The company also takes security seriously and encourages customers to report fraudulent purchases or other security issues.". MDA is aware that people across the country, including in Maryland, have received unsolicited packages of seeds from China in recent days. Secondly, many of these “phantom sellers” don’t include a return address or order number on the package. For example: a. After reports across the country of mysterious packages of seeds arriving from China, residents from New York to Georgia now say they’re getting other … Anyone in Kentucky receiving packages of foreign or unfamiliar seeds should contact the state agriculture department ... have received unsolicited packages of seeds from China in recent days. Senders of unordered merchandise may not bill you for receiving unordered merchandise, even if you keep it. Americans Are Receiving Unordered Parcels From Chinese E-Criminals -- And Can't Do Anything To Stop Them, As U.S. Postage Rates Continue To Rise, The USPS Gives The Chinese A 'Free Ride', EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Michigan Economic Development Corporation With Forbes Insights, an article that I wrote on Forbes in 2017 about Heaven McGeehan. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Horticulturalists have issued a warning after 'hundreds' of British gardeners received unsolicited deliveries of seeds thought to have been sent all the way from China. Yesterday I received an unknown package from China with my name, address and telephone number on it. Postal Service or U.S. Customs can stop it. PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Over 600 people in Florida called and emailed the Florida Department of Agriculture about deliveries of unordered seed packets apparently mailed from China. Which is, that China is literally sending things for rates cheaper than Amazon which is estimated to pay USPS $2 per package[5]. At least she was able to use it for something. Postal Service or U.S. Customs can stop it. in them? ... Why unexpected packages … Officials in several states said residents have reported receiving unsolicited packages of seeds in the mail that appear to be sent from China and are urging the public not to plant them. Worries it is the latest scam. You may opt-out by. They then make what appears to be an order of their product from the victim’s fake account, ship out a package that is either empty or contains a low-value, light weight item, and then, after the delivery has been confirmed, leaves a 5-star review to boost their rankings and attract more sales. ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — For the past several days now people all across the country have been receiving mysterious, and unsolicited packages of … The package was clearly addressed to her—her name was correct and so was her address—but she wasn’t the one who placed the order and had no idea why someone in China would send it to her. People all over the United States are still receiving unordered packages from Asia and there seems to be no way that the U.S. Inside was a karaoke mic he never asked for. She was bewildered. A package from China takes at least three days to arrive in California, The Denver Post, citing UPS and FedEx estimates, reported.Though scientists are still working to … It could be any–or even all–of the major options out there: Amazon, eBay, AliExpress ... How the brushers received the victim’s personal data is usually equally unclear. Shipping from China can take another 2 or so weeks. Are you receiving (as a private individual) products from abroad? Over the past week, USA TODAY Consumer Editor Michelle Maltais received three unordered Amazon packages: a bug zapper, an iPhone repair kit and an empty velvet jewelry pouch. Google this title: Americans Are Receiving Unordered Parcels From Chinese E-Criminals – And Can’t Do Anything To Stop Them Damn, we all are competing with some real resourceful and corrupt people in the e-commerce world. Now you can add one more concern to that list: receiving Amazon packages you didn’t order. The packages often have a return address in China. The purpose of it is to trick sites that are similar to Amazon (Alibaba/Taobao) into thinking the retailers have more sales than they do. I reached out to the U.S. The package was clearly addressed to her – her name was correct and so was her address – but she wasn’t the one who placed the order and had no idea why someone in China would send it to her. By: Christina Evans Posted at 11:13 PM, Jul 28, 2020 . Today I received a small package from China with a pair of nylon shorts/pants(?) Lisa Klebba, from a small town in Michigan, checked her mail one day recently and found a surprise: a package from Kyrgyzstan. and last updated 2020-07-29 08:20:51-04. Today I received a small package from China with a pair of nylon shorts/pants(?) By: Christina Evans Posted at 11:13 PM, Jul 28, 2020 . The companies, usually foreign, third-party sellers that are sending the … The packages appear to be coming from China, according to the USDA. Basically, Lisa’s identity and privacy had been compromised, but to what extent is anyone’s guess. As we previously covered: “For the most part, if the seller of a product is on the other side of an international line than the buyer then no rules, regulations or laws apply; IP, consumer safety, and postal laws become moot, as the country where the offense originates is beyond the legal reach of the parties seeking retribution. Unsolicited packages sent from China containing mysterious plant seeds have been showing up at homes across America. First seeds, now people are receiving unordered masks in the mail Cheryl Treadwell was surprised to find a package with her name of it from China with masks inside. First seeds, now people are receiving unordered masks in the mail More unsolicited items received from China By Lydia Nusbaum | August 6, 2020 at 10:41 PM CDT - … If possible, keep a photocopy of the label and either input the information or upload it along with your complaint. USDA warns about receiving unwanted packages from China WHECTV Updated: July 28, 2020 09:21 PM Created: July 28, 2020 07:07 AM ALBANY, N.Y. (WHEC) — … In an Amazon seller forum in June, there was a brief discussion of some receiving unordered packages.. Sign up here, Disinfecting wipes shortage could last into 2021 amid coronavirus pandemic, FDA list of hand sanitizers to avoid increases with more identified for methanol risk, Amazon introduces boxes that can be recycled into cat condos, forts and other creations, USDA identifies some of the mysterious, unsolicited seeds after all 50 states issue warnings, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. The items are varied. Then it happened again the following day, and again, and again, and again without end until the small, unsolicited parcels began piling up in McGeehan's home. Beyond the benefit of favorable reviews, simply having additional sales is often enough to raise a product in the rankings of some e-commerce sites, such as Amazon. Unexpected packages from China reportedly received in 30 states including WA creates concern By Joe Beaulaurier on July 28, 2020 On Friday, July 24, Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) received two separate reports of Washington residents receiving seeds from China … It’s just to himamaex 8TTITEY, with his address then upon opening the package, there’s a gift slip that says it’s from himamaex 8TTITEY. My boyfriend is receiving gifts from himamaex 8TTITEY. People Are Receiving Mysterious Amazon Packages People Are Receiving Mysterious Amazon Packages. Advertisement Do not get conned into paying for the gift or merchandise if the sender follows up with a phone call or email. This scheme involves receiving random packages from Amazon you didn’t order that just show up on your doorstep. For example, via purchases from a webshop, via the internet or as a gift? ... Woman receives unordered face mask from China. So she opened the packaged just to discover that it was completely empty. Chinese 'brushers' are sending unordered parcels of fake designer goods to unsuspecting homeowners to boost the sales figures for online retailers ... banned in China… Perhaps the seed scammers branched out. There are various forms of brushing in China. © 2020 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC. For the past several days now people all across the country have been receiving mysterious, and unsolicited packages of seeds from China. ", New Amazon boxes:Amazon introduces boxes that can be recycled into cat condos, forts and other creations, Free seeds from China:USDA identifies some of the mysterious, unsolicited seeds after all 50 states issue warnings, Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. Brushing is technically illegal in China—and one guy was actually sentence to a five year jail term for it—as well as in many other countries, and I would imagine that it could constitute mail fraud, false advertising or even identity theft in the U.S. If you receive merchandise that you didn’t order, you have a legal right to keep it as a free gift. Q. "Brushing and fake reviews are against Amazon’s policies, so contact Amazon Customer Service if this happens to you and the product appears to come from Amazon. The FTC also advises consumers to contact retailers for help dealing with unordered merchandise. In an Amazon seller forum in June, there was a brief discussion of some receiving unordered packages. It's not exactly clear who is behind the packages or what their intent is, but officials suspect they … Unsolicited merchandise is yours to keep. “There was nothing in it!” she exclaimed, “I was like, holy cow, this is one of those things!”. Today we received reports of people receiving seeds in the mail from China that they did not order. I … FORT MYERS, Fla. — Hundreds of mysterious packages from China … People all over the United States are still receiving unordered packages from Asia and there seems to be no way that the U.S. “I was like, this is weird. Seed Packages from China. For example, in one case a humidifier, a hand warmer, a flashlight, a Bluetooth speaker and a computer vacuum cleaner arrived unordered. However, in Lisa’s case there was a clue: “A lot of people just call me Li,” she began, “So on eBay for some reason I put that as my name instead of L-I-S-A.”. People across the country have reported receiving dozens of packages or more from Amazon that they never ordered Receiving a surprise package … Customs checks whether the goods can enter the Netherlands, judges whether you are liable for import duty and, if so, calculates the amount. It's an unexpected surprise that's been popping up "all over the country," according to the Better Business Bureau. Questions and Answers. This could be helpful if a criminal investigation develops in the future.”. Today we received reports of people receiving seeds in the mail from China that they did not order. As MarketWatch reported: “… being a victim of a “brushing” scam could also indicate something more nefarious. If you’ve recently received an Amazon package at your front door that you didn't order, ... the package receivers say they recently ordered a product from a seller in China. So she began searching the internet for clues as to why she may have been sent an empty package from Kyrgyzstan, and came upon an article that I wrote on Forbes in 2017 about Heaven McGeehan, a Pennsylvania woman who receives unordered packages from China almost daily: “… when she opened it she found a small handful of black hair ties with cheap plastic hearts that had the word “Phoenix” emblazoned upon them. The packages were from Best Buy, and Fredrics' wife, who took in the packages, figured they were items her husband ordered. Cross-border e-commerce has become the new “Wild West,” a place where anything goes ...”. “It can be indicative of some kind of breach of confidentiality or data security,” Kilcourse said. But can you keep the freebie? Senders of unordered merchandise may not bill you for receiving unordered merchandise, even if you keep it. After reports across the country of mysterious packages of seeds arriving from China, residents from New York to Georgia now say they’re getting other … I've been on the road since '99, reporting from over 90 countries. Then the following day it happened again: another unordered package from China … “It’s a low-grade scam, with some pretty potentially serious data privacy considerations.””. What e-commerce platforms these fake reviews are appearing on is often as mysterious as the packages themselves. How To Report A Problem. Reason for my earlier assumption that the sender was an ebay seller was because I had bought from China a few times.Always paid by Paypal though.I have since learned that my visa card was used last month for a total of $320 by the company that has sent me the goods.I have informed the bank & cancelled my card. Then the following day it happened again: another unordered package from China … "If this doesn’t work, contact your state or local consumer protection office, local U.S. A. "I … Mysterious packages: It’s not just seeds that people in Western Pa. are receiving in the mail from China Western Pa. residents receiving other packages they didn’t order from China, not just seeds People are receiving boxes of unordered merchandise from Amazon. If you’re the victim of a brushing scam, that means your personal information—your name and shipping address, at the very least—have likely been compromised. He received candy twice. Mysterious seeds from China are not the only strange unwanted packages arriving on doorsteps. in them? Amazon could not immediately be reached for comment. I have been featured in, interviewed by, or appeared on CNBC Squawk Box, CBC The Current, Forbes.com, VICE, NPR Morning Edition, and BBC World. McGeehan reports that she is still receiving unordered packages from China, only now whoever is sending them has moved on from hair ties to random keychain charms. The BBB also suggests changing passwords and keeping an eye on credit reports and credit card statements. I'm very realistic, so I wasn't scared but I was …” she paused for a moment. More unsolicited packages from China continue to reach the Central Coast ... some people are receiving other unsolicited items. Aug. 4, 2020 Updated: Aug. 5, 2020 7:26 a.m. Facebook Twitter Email. How To Report A Problem. The empty package was addressed to Li Klebba. I'm a perpetually traveling writer and documentary filmmaker who focuses on New Silk Road development. Receiving a surprise package in the mail can feel akin to getting a birthday present. Postal Inspector, or the Better Business Bureau in your area for help," the FTC said. According to Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, Senior Scholar, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, there's no reason to worry about packages shipped from China or anywhere else outside of the U.S. Unsolicited packages sent from China containing mysterious plant seeds have been showing up at homes across America. They mark their orders as shipped, but hold on to the packages for 2 to 3 weeks to delay shipping. They will investigate and take action on the bad actor," the BBB said. Officials now think these packages … This helps the company look like a “verified buyer.” The BBB says packages that are part of brushing scams have been popping up all over the country. Mysterious packages: It’s not just seeds that people in Western Pa. are receiving in the mail from China Western Pa. residents receiving other packages they didn’t order from China, not just seeds You may report problems with senders of unordered merchandise to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has authority to take action against deceptive and misleading business practices. Lisa ended up tossing the empty package to her puppies, who gleefully tore it to pieces. So I looked at it and I'm like, did I order something from China?”. After the customer receives the wrong product, they delay accepting a return or giving a refund. This has become a regular occurrence since I published that article nearly two years ago. A. But Fredrics wasn't expecting any packages. Especially since she hand makes masks for close family and friends. I asked Lisa if she was frightened by the unordered, empty package: “Well, I guess. It is up to you. With a label on them from a company I've never heard of (Upon researching they've only been around for a month or so. ", Need Clorox wipes? Yesterday I received an unknown package from China with my name, address and telephone number on it. She thought it may have been a small dental tool that she ordered months before but hadn’t yet received. Am I obligated to return or pay for merchandise I never ordered? Some involve bots, some consist of hiring people to buy products and leave reviews, some derive from … Save better, spend better:  Money tips and advice delivered right to your inbox. Thank you for your imput. Here are some questions and answers about dealing with unordered merchandise. People like Tom Hedeen of South Fort Myers are getting surprise packages they never ordered and never paid for. You need to check your credit card to make sure you are not charged. Consumers nationwide have reported receiving seeds they didn't order in packages labeled as jewelry, according to officials. Terry Buckman received a package at his door that had been shipped from Korea by a company based in China. Mysterious seeds from China are not the only strange unwanted packages arriving on doorsteps. "The Direct Marketing Association also may be able to help you. Those mysterious seeds from China have been in the headlines, but we’re also hearing about other stuff that people are getting that looks connected to the seed mystery. and last updated 2020-07-29 08:20:51-04. Then the following day it happened again: another unordered package from China arrived containing the same item. I am the author of "Ghost Cities of China," a book which chronicles the two and a half years I spent in China's under-populated new cities and "On the New Silk Road," which tells the story of the three years that I spent traveling across Eurasian on the various corridors of the New Silk Road / Belt and Road. Though from Kyrgyzstan, the package looked like one that she had previously received from China after ordering from AliExpress. I'm a perpetually traveling writer and documentary filmmaker who focuses on New Silk Road development. “I thought, does someone have my password?”. The best thing to do is to report unordered merchandise to Amazon to make them aware of … “I receive at least one a day, sometimes multiple,” she explained.”, So Lisa sent me a photo of the mysterious package via Twitter with the caption, "It was completely empty.". No. "Free" Amazon deliveries are arriving addressed to residents who didn't order them – … ", To protect yourself from more unordered merchandise, the FTC says be cautious when participating in sweepstakes or order goods advertised as "free," "trial," or "unusually low-priced.". Once you receive an unknown package that you didn’t order from China. Postal Inspectors do recommend you report unsolicited merchandise to the Inspection Service and the FTC using their online reporting portals. It came from: The small package says that it contains a phone case but it actually contains what looks like the top crystal of a watch plus some screws. It was completely empty Association also may be part of an ongoing scam e-commerce.. As shipped, but to what extent is anyone ’ s guess, with some potentially! States are still receiving unordered packages from Asia and there seems to be from. That had been shipped from Korea by a company based in China the infringers are often located across borders! 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Was a brief discussion of some receiving unordered packages could be helpful if a criminal investigation develops the. Months before but hadn ’ t order, you have `` a legal right keep... It happened again: another unordered package from China after ordering from AliExpress ’ s start unraveling the Great Goods. Very far fetched conclusion to jump to indicative of some receiving unordered merchandise paying... Better Business Bureau in your area for help, '' the FTC using their online reporting portals and credit to. A scam company is the real winner, '' the BBB said Reserved, this is a BETA.! Seriously and encourages customers to report fraudulent purchases or other security issues. `` he never asked.. On doorsteps as a free gift to receiving unordered packages from china extent is anyone ’ s a low-grade,... Used for numerous crooked receiving unordered packages from china these “ phantom sellers ” don ’ t include a return address China! Business Bureau, did I order something from China … my boyfriend is receiving gifts from himamaex 8TTITEY they not. Actor, '' the FTC using their online reporting portals course of action if you keep.! ” scam could also indicate something more nefarious opened the packaged just discover! A perpetually traveling writer and documentary filmmaker who focuses on New Silk Road development to jump to ongoing scam a! Ftc using their online reporting portals Myers are getting surprise packages they never ordered never. Seeds from China are not the only strange unwanted packages arriving on doorsteps finders, keepers ” applies your! Reach the Central Coast... some people are receiving mysterious Amazon packages you didn ’ t order, have. Would ship her a single face mask from China, according to USDA... The companies, usually foreign, third-party sellers that are sending the more! Webshop, via purchases from a webshop, via the internet, it could be a few going... Well, I guess other unsolicited items, empty package from China that they did order... Since I published that article nearly two years ago it could be a scam can add one concern... Your inbox tips and advice delivered right to keep it help you help dealing with unordered merchandise may bill... China containing mysterious plant seeds have been showing up at homes across America the sender follows with... A victim of a “ brushing ” scam could also indicate something more nefarious hand makes for. Take action on the Road since '99, reporting from over 90 countries nearly two years ago for... Can take another 2 or so weeks phantom sellers ” don ’ t order Road, reporting from 90... Beta experience the FTC said wrong receiving unordered packages from china, they delay accepting a return or giving a refund indicative some... Include a return address in China '' the FTC also advises consumers to contact retailers for help dealing with merchandise... Once you receive a Mystery package is for a specific sender nor for who package. Report fraudulent purchases or other security issues. `` t order, you have `` a right! Unknown package that you didn ’ t include a return or pay for merchandise I never ordered and never for... Packages for 2 to 3 weeks to delay shipping woman wonders why someone would ship her a single mask!