Mystery Masks from China Arrive At Florida Addresses — Unsolicited

Some residents in the Tampa Bay area have been receiving unsolicited masks from China at their homes.

One resident, Shan Sharp of Clearwater, Fla., told local NBC news affiliate WLFA that she found  two packages of masks when she opened her mailbox this week.

“I looked at the label and it had Shanghai, China, from a certain district,” she said. “All of this information, including my cell phone number, [was] on there … I was afraid to even open it after I saw it. I didn’t want to keep it in my house,” she added, noting that she quickly threw the masks in the garbage.

Residents in Virginia, Utah, and other states have also been receiving unsolicited seeds in the mail, prompting warnings from state agricultural agencies.

Virginians claim they have received packets of seeds with writing on the outside that appears to be Chinese. “The seeds have yet to be identified, but officials speculate that the seeds may be of an invasive plant species and are advising residents not to use them,” Fox News reported.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services issued a statement about the shipments, which reads in part:

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has been notified that several Virginia residents have received unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have originated from China. The types of seeds in the packages are unknown at this time and may be invasive plant species. The packages were sent by mail and may have Chinese writing on them.

Please do not plant these seeds. VDACS encourages anyone who has received unsolicited seeds in the mail that appears to have Chinese origin to contact the Office of Plant Industry Services (OPIS) at 804.786.3515 or through the [email protected] email.

Invasive species wreak havoc on the environment, displace or destroy native plants and insects and severely damage crops. Taking steps to prevent their introduction is the most effective method of reducing both the risk of invasive species infestations and the cost to control and mitigate those infestations.


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