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Williamson woman receives unordered package

Williamson Police Department secures package for testing.
Williamson Police Department secures package for testing.(Kim Rafferty)
Published: Aug. 2, 2020 at 12:00 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -

A concerning trend nationwide, reports of packages being sent to homes that were not expecting them.

Irene Jackson out of Williamson in Mingo County was concerned after she received one of those suspicious packages.

Jackson ordered a ring online. She was surprised when two packages came in the mail, she only ordered one.

"You couldn't tell the envelopes apart because they were both white envelopes," said Jackson.

Irene opened both packages, she could not tell the difference at first.

"One said it was from Wish and the other said it was from Shanghai," said Jackson.

Jackson assumed she ordered something she may have forgotten about. When she opened the second package, she pulled out white socks coated in white powder.

“That really scared me because if that powder is something what if a kids got a hold of it or something,” said Jackson.

Concerned, she contacted the Williamson Police Department.

Doug Goolsby is the emergency management director for Mingo County. He said Jackson did the right thing.

Williamson responders secured it for testing and contacted the U.S postal inspectors, the Mingo County Health Department and others.

"If you don't know exactly what it is you want to take every precaution," said Goolsby.

Jackson’s unordered package is one of a few reported out of Mingo County. According to the Mingo County Sheriff’s Office, some residents in the county received unsolicited seeds.

The Mingo County Sheriff’s Office advises anyone that receives unordered packages of seeds to contact the USDA’s office.

WSAZ reported earlier this week of similar unsolicited packages delivered to residents out of Martin County, Kentucky.

The Better Business Bureau reported similar cases across the nation calling the scam ‘brushing’. Better business bureau officials said the scam happens when small unordered packages such as seeds, socks, or face masks are sent from third parties after someone purchases something online.

“What happens is overseas con artists send you merchandise,” Dick Eppstein, president of the Better Business Bureau Northwest and West Central Ohio and Southeast Michigan, told WSAZ Wednesday about the case out of Martin, Kentucky. “Sometimes they order things from Amazon, and it just arrives. You didn’t pay for it. You didn’t order it.”

Eppstein said this scam gives the illusion a business is credible by finding a person’s name and address online, sending the product to them, and writing a review using their name.

The Better Business Bureau advises you to change any personal information associated with the online account if you receive an unordered package.

Jackson said nonetheless having the package removed from her home makes her feel safer.

"Now she's got more comfort and everybody's got more comfort hopefully its nothing," said Goolsby.

Goolsby if something looks suspicious about a package, don’t open it and

Copyright 2020 WSAZ. All rights reserved.

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