Trinity woman orders tulip bulbs from Amazon, receives seed packet from China instead

Reports of mystery-seeds being delivered to people’s homes from China are popping up all over.

“What comes up I have no idea but I’m sure they're not going to be what I ordered,” said Trinity’s Katherine Heintz, who planted the strange seeds.

She recently ordered some tulips bulbs from Amazon back in late April. Nothing arrived until last week when only seeds showed up.

“When they arrived they arrived in that little gray packet like you showed and they were seeds and the package it said jewelry,” she said.

The Florida Department of Agriculture says, so far, there have been more than 160 reports of residents receiving these mystery seeds from China. It’s happening in other states, as well.

The department says they could be dangerous and not to open or plant them.

However, Heintz already did.

“I don’t know what they could be, could be drugs could be something harmful,” she said. 

Brandon Miller and his wife were also sent seeds. They had ordered earrings online and the package from China was labeled that way but there was no jewelry inside.

“We’re in a really different world right now with coronavirus,” Miller said. “It is something where I don’t want to touch these things anymore.”

An alert by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture notes this may be a so-called brushing scam where people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales. 

The post notes the seeds were likely not sent with ill intent but still urges caution. As for Heintz and her seeds?

“I guess I’ll let them just die and burn them,” she said.

If you receive mysterious seeds in the mail, the Florida Department of Agriculture recommends you notify them as well as the USDA.

Report the seed package to the FDACS Division of Plant Industry at 1-888-397-1517 or DPIhelpline@FDACS.gov

Report the seed package to the USDA APHIS Anti-Smuggling Hotline at 1-800-877-3835 or SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov