People Are Receiving Unsolicited Face Masks in the Mail From China

InspirationGP/iStock via Getty Images
InspirationGP/iStock via Getty Images

Bewildered residents in several states, including Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, and Florida, have received unsolicited packages from China that contain face masks. While the packages haven’t caused any harm, cover labels that list recipients’ names, addresses, and even phone numbers have left people a little ill at ease.

“All of this information, including my cell phone number, [was] on there,” Shan Sharp of Clearwater, Florida, told WFLA. “I was afraid to even open it after I saw it.”

Sharp opted for the better safe than sorry route and threw her package right in the garbage, but others are holding out for an explanation before they take action.

“I just keep them tied up and sealed,” Michelle Barron of Hickory, Pennsylvania, told KDKA after a police officer advised her to dispose of the masks.

It’s not the first time in recent weeks that reports of unsolicited mail from China have circulated in the news—some people have also gotten packages of seeds. If you’re one of them, definitely don’t plant the seeds, since they could be damaging to the plants and wildlife in your area.

Though the mystery might never be fully solved, the Federal Trade Commission suspects that it could be a “brushing” scam, where retailers mail products to random consumers and then submit positive reviews online in their names. They might create new accounts using your information, or they might hijack your existing accounts. If you’ve received an unordered package, you should closely monitor your shopping accounts and contact customer service if you see a review (or any other activity) that isn’t yours. Changing your passwords is a good idea, too.

As for the products themselves: You have no obligation to try to ship them back or pay for them—but you might want to take the advice of Virginia’s Tazewell County Sheriff’s Department and simply toss them in the trash, even if they seem safe to use.

[h/t WFLA]

10 of the Best Indoor and Outdoor Heaters on Amazon

Mr. Heater/Amazon
Mr. Heater/Amazon

With the colder months just around the corner, you might want to start thinking about investing in an indoor or outdoor heater. Indoor heaters not only provide a boost of heat for drafty spaces, but they can also be a money-saver, allowing you to actively control the heat based on the rooms you’re using. Outdoor heaters, meanwhile, can help you take advantage of cold-weather activities like camping or tailgating without having to call it quits because your extremities have gone numb. Check out this list of some of Amazon’s highest-rated indoor and outdoor heaters so you can spend less time shivering this winter and more time enjoying what the season has to offer.

Indoor Heaters

1. Lasko Ceramic Portable Heater; $20

Lasko/Amazon

This 1500-watt heater from Lasko may only be nine inches tall, but it can heat up to 300 square feet of space. With 11 temperature settings and three quiet settings—for high heat, low heat, and fan only—it’s a dynamic powerhouse that’ll keep you toasty all season long.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Alrocket Oscillating Space Heater; $25

Alrocket/Amazon

Alrocket’s oscillating space heater is an excellent addition to any desk or nightstand. Using energy-saving ceramic technology, this heater is made of fire-resistant material, and its special “tip-over” safety feature forces it to turn off if it falls over (making it a reliable choice for homes with kids or pets). It’s extremely quiet, too—at only 45 dB, it’s just a touch louder than a whisper. According to one reviewer, this an ideal option for a “very quiet but powerful” heater.

Buy it: Amazon

3. De’Longhi Oil-Filled Radiator Space Heather; $79

De’Longhi/Amazon

If you prefer a space heater with a more old-fashioned vibe, this radiator heater from De’Longhi gives you 2020 technology with a vintage feel. De’Longhi’s heater automatically turns itself on when the temperatures drops below 44°F, and it will also automatically turn itself off if it starts to overheat. Another smart safety feature? The oil system is permanently sealed, so you won’t have to worry about accidental spills.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Aikoper Ceramic Tower Heater; $70

Aikoper/Amazon

Whether your room needs a little extra warmth or its own heat source, Aikoper’s incredibly precise space heater has got you covered. With a range of 40-95°F, it adjusts by one-degree intervals, giving you the specific level of heat you want. It also has an option for running on an eight-hour timer, ensuring that it will only run when you need it.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Isiler Space Heater; $37

Isiler/Amazon

For a space heater that adds a fun pop of color to any room, check out this yellow unit from Isiler. Made from fire-resistant ceramic, Isiler’s heater can start warming up a space within seconds. It’s positioned on a triangular stand that creates an optimal angle for hot air to start circulating, rendering it so effective that, as one reviewer put it, “This heater needs to say ‘mighty’ in its description.”

Buy it: Amazon

Outdoor Heaters

6. Mr. Heater Portable Buddy; $104

Mr. Heater/Amazon

Make outdoor activities like camping and grilling last longer with Mr. Heater’s indoor/outdoor portable heater. This heater can connect to a propane tank or to a disposable cylinder, allowing you to keep it in one place or take it on the go. With such a versatile range of uses, this heater will—true to its name—become your best buddy when the temperature starts to drop.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Hiland Pyramid Patio Propane Heater; Various

Hiland/Amazon

The cold’s got nothing on this powerful outdoor heater. Hiland’s patio heater has a whopping 40,000 BTU output, which runs for eight to 10 hours on high heat. Simply open the heater’s bottom door to insert a propane tank, power it on, and sit back to let it warm up your backyard. The bright, contained flame from the propane doubles as an outdoor light.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Solo Stove Bonfire Pit; $345

Solo Stove/Amazon

This one is a slight cheat since it’s a bonfire pit and not a traditional outdoor heater, but the Solo Stove has a 4.7-star rating on Amazon for a reason. Everything about this portable fire pit is meticulously crafted to maximize airflow while it's lit, from its double-wall construction to its bottom air vents. These features all work together to help the logs burn more completely while emitting far less smoke than other pits. It’s the best choice for anyone who wants both warmth and ambiance on their patio.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Dr. Infrared Garage Shop Heater; $119

Dr. Infrared/Amazon

You’ll be able to use your garage or basement workshop all season long with this durable heater from Dr. Infrared. It’s unique in that it includes a built-in fan to keep warm air flowing—something that’s especially handy if you need to work without wearing gloves. The fan is overlaid with heat and finger-protectant grills, keeping you safe while it’s powered on.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Mr. Heater 540 Degree Tank Top; $86

Mr. Heater/Amazon

Mr. Heater’s clever propane tank top automatically connects to its fuel source, saving you from having to bring any extra attachments with you on the road. With three heat settings that can get up to 45,000 BTU, the top can rotate 360 degrees to give you the perfect angle of heat you need to stay cozy. According to a reviewer, for a no-fuss outdoor heater, “This baby is super easy to light, comes fully assembled … and man, does it put out the heat.”

Buy it: Amazon

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Peaches Purchased From Target and ALDI Are Being Recalled For Possible Salmonella Contamination

A.R.T.Paola, Unsplash
A.R.T.Paola, Unsplash

As of this week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed that 68 people across nine states—including Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin—have fallen ill with Salmonella poisoning. The likely culprit is peaches.

CNN reports that the outbreak has been linked to peaches from Wawona Packing Company sold in 2-pound clear plastic bags. Since a number of patients bought them from ALDI, the grocery store has issued a recall of organic and regular Wawona-brand peaches from stores in about 20 states, including New York, Florida, Michigan, Virginia, and South Dakota. You can see if your state is on the list here.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, some sick Minnesotans had bought their peaches from Target or other stores, and Target is also supposedly working on removing Wawona peaches from its shelves.

In other words: We don’t yet know the extent of the outbreak, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) investigation is ongoing. Because it’s still unclear where the contaminated peaches have been sold, you should avoid buying any Wawona-brand peaches right now. If you have any at home, throw them away—and if you’ve frozen any fresh peaches since June 1 and can’t remember what brand they are, it’s probably best to toss those, too.

You can find out more about the FDA investigation and check for future updates here.

[h/t CNN]