CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The baby formula shortage, has gotten worse in recent weeks after a recall and plant closure by Abbott Nutrition, the nation’s biggest producer. Here with more is Tom Bartholomy from the Better Business Bureau to help protect parents from this devious scam. According to Bartholomoy, scammers are exploiting a nationwide baby formula shortage, tricking consumers into paying hefty prices through fraudulent online stores. Consumers run into trouble, when as “desperate parents and caregivers” they turn unknowingly to fake websites or social media profiles with images and logos of recognizable formula brands. Consumers think they’re purchasing from a company’s official website but formula never arrives, the FTC said. “Scammers have once again taken today's headlines and made them present day scams” says Bartholomy.
Here are some tips:
Tip 1: Check the URL, use a search engine to check out the company or product. Use search terms like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.”
Tip 2: Only scammers will demand payment by gift card, money transfer or cryptocurrency. Paying with a credit card often provides the most protection; you can sometimes get your money back if you ordered something that never arrived.
Tip 3: Do a “Who is search” - it will help you identify the company. Know your rights. Sellers are supposed to ship an online order within the time stated in their advertisements (or within 30 days if the ads don’t give a time). If a seller can’t ship by then, it must give you a revised shipping date, with the chance to cancel for a full refund or accept the new shipping date.
Bartholomy says "this tactic is not new, we saw this scam mimic some of the older scams like mask and testing kit that was prevalent during the pandemic." Don’t forget scammers are preying on your hysteria. Don’t panic, be careful as you go online. Its not just your money they want. They want to steal your identity. For more information visit BBB.org