Did you receive a random packet of seeds apparently from China? Don't plant them

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/07/27/did-you-receive-a-random-packe.html

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image

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Sowing seeds of discontent?

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I got some of these. Weird. Why, I wonder, did they bother putting anything at all in the envelopes?

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Huh. I was expecting gold.

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Ya gotta figure Triffids, right?

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I didn’t get seeds, but we’ve gotten a number of packages from Amazon of super cheap things – chip-bag re-sealers; super cheap earbuds; etc. – had no idea why, but I guess it’s part of the same thing, letting folks post reviews for stuff by delivery goods. Ive never been charged for anything.

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… … what? How does sending people seeds overlap with “submitting positive reviews?”

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I would be so curious to find out what they are! Do you have an indoor windowsill you can grow them on? Send pics.

As I understand it, the company then submits fake reviews from those accounts somehow, and they are validated as being from “verified purchasers” since the product is verified as having been sent to that address. There was a good explainer video on BB a while ago about this oddly confusing scam. I’ll see if I can find it.

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We have a bumper crop of that just now, no need to do any more planting.

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So if one receives a mysterious package similar to this, it’s a tipoff that a scammer has control of one’s Amazon account?

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I am NOT going to plant any, thanks. They are not at all like the picture. Very small. I imagine they are just what ever they can lay their hands on cheaply. The envelope is the same. I’ll see if I can find some for pictures.

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So these recipients have all been hacked before getting anything in the mail?

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If they send “Carmagnola” seeds, I think most people will write positive reviews…
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Free magic beans, and I didn’t even have to trade the family cow for them!!

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In response to you and @stephen_schenck:
I think I was getting a couple things mixed up, but it doesn’t look like your account’s necessarily been hijacked. Although the scammers likely have your name, shipping address and possibly phone number:

I was combining that with my memories of the triangulation scheme posted here last year:

And re:

Totally understood :wink: This spring, one of a batch of pinto beans I was soaking (I’ve been eating dried beans since before they were pandemic-cool) germinated, so on a lark I planted it in a pot on my windowsill. I’ve since gotten a handful of dried beans from it and am thinking of going for a few years to keep planting and replating to see how many I end up with from that one germinated bean. So I’m kind of jazzed right now about planting random seeds (in an indoor environment, so’s not to introduce invasives into the landscape), but I totally get the opposite view. Especially when they come in mysterious packages for no reason…

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No. All the scammer wants is a shipping address. They use their own accounts to ship to semi random addresses, then once the tracking information confirms delivery they can write a review pretending to be a real customer.

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I loved this episode of GI Joe.

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I got a selfie stick and tablet cover several years ago. Not from Amazon, but another online retailer. I called the retailer and said I didn’t want the stuff and to please stop shipping it to me. Never got another thing.

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