FORT MYERS, Fla. — Hundreds of mysterious packages from China have been delivered to homes across the United States, including homes here in southwest Florida.
One North Fort Myers man says he received an unsolicited package in the mail last week.
"It came in like a dark plastic sealed envelope. It said 'one mask' on the label on the outside and then on the other side it had Shanghai, China," says Robert Senseman.
His daughter brought the package up to the house from their mailbox.
"I said well don’t open it up, throw it away. Well, then I thought maybe we ought to call the authorities maybe this might be something of concern," said Senseman.
Many more people are across the country are reporting seeing gray or white packages labeled with Chinese lettering arriving to their homes. Inside these packages are small, clear baggies of seeds.
Over 160 people told the Florida Department of Agriculture they were mailed seed packages. The department released a statement telling people not to open, touch, or plant the seeds because they could be harmful to the environment.
USA Today reports that the seed packages could be part of a ‘brushing’ scam. This is when people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then uses your information to post false customer reviews online to help boost sales.
When Robert Senseman received his package in the mail, he did not want to take any chances.
"I called the Sheriff's department and they said there was really no protocol, just basically don’t open it, get rid of it," said Senseman.
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services still does not know what kind of seeds are in the packages. The Department says if you receive a seed package in the mail, contact them directly so they may investigate.