WHITEHOUSE, Ohio — Deputy Chief Allan Baer said his department has received multiple reports of people in the village of Whitehouse, near Toledo, getting seeds in packages addressed from China.

What You Need To Know

  • More than 150 Ohioans have reported receiving a package of seeds

  • Whitehouse deputy police chief Allan Baer said it's a hoax

  • Ohio Department of Agriculture warns not to throw away or plant the seeds because they may contain toxins

“They were concerned about this suspicious package,” said Baer. “It had their correct name and address, but the package said jewelry. And she opens it up and finds these seeds. They are like, ‘We didn’t order any seeds.”’

Dan Kenney is the Plant Health Division chief with the Ohio Department of Agriculture. He said there has been 150 reports throughout the state.

But he warns not to throw them away and don’t plant them.

“There could be contaminates like noxious weeds or evasive plants, or even plant disease like plant viruses—plant bacteria diseases that can be transmitted via seed. It’s not gonna stay put on that particular plant,” Kenney said.

Baer said his department is investigating the issue, but believes it’s all a hoax.

“(The United States Postal Service inspectors) said this is actually a scam called ‘Brushing’ which I never heard of,” Baer said. “(Overseas companies) get your name and address and they mail you; they fill out an account and mail you a product of any kinds, then they go back into an online market place and report themselves as you giving this company a great review.”

Baer said if you receive any seeds, report the incident to the local police department.