At least two people, one in Colman and one in Flandreau, reported receiving suspicious seed packages last week.
The United States Department of Agriculture is aware that people in all 50 states have received unsolicited seed packages that appear to come from China. States have been warning people not to open the packages and to save all mailing material to turn in to agriculture authorities. The USDA is testing seeds to see if they are dangerous.
Sheriff Troy Wellman said his office went and got the package that had not been opened in Colman. “We went out and secured the seed, have them in our office as evidence and plan on destroying them,” he said.
The Flandreau Police Department also has packages of seeds that an individual received in the mail, opening the outer envelope but not the seeds inside, said Chief Zach Weber. The package says it was mailed from China, although it is unclear who sent them.
“I’m just holding it for right now,” Weber said.
The seed packets are not the only scam in the county
Wellman said another scam was reported in the county last week when an elderly lady said she got a call from the Social Security office to go and clean out her bank account and keep the money at her house. The woman did go to a local bank, and the bank call authorities for her, so that she wouldn’t take all her money out of her account.
Wellman said that scam may continue so residents should be aware and not fall for it. “My hunch is that the Social Security call will continue to go around,” he said.
Sioux Valley Energy reported a recent scam after at least one customer had an unmarked vehicle come into their yard and ask for a check, stating that otherwise power would be shut off. The incident happened in Lake County by Lake Madison, but the company wants all customers to be aware that any Sioux Valley employees would be in vehicles marked with the company’s name.
“The man (customer) went inside and called us and found out it was a scam and the people left,” said Carrie Vugteveen, spokesperson with Sioux Valley.