How to stay safe from scammers taking advantage of the baby formula shortage crisis
As the baby formula shortage is coming to light, parents are trying to find ways to find it and provide it to their children.
With that comes the potential risks of online scams for purchasing baby formula. As a result, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said they’ll be taking measures to increase the supply with the hopes of diminishing the shortage.
Online shopping scams are the riskiest form of scam according to the 2021 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report. Scammers will start by looking at social media, ads or posts saying they have baby formula. The buyer will then contact the “seller” and make a payment through a “peer-to-peer” platform like PayPal or Venmo, but ultimately won’t receive the formula.
According to Better Business Bureau, here are some signs of potential online purchasing scams:
- Positive reviews on the website that have been copied from honest sites or created by scammers. Be aware, some review websites claim to be independent but are funded by scammers. Check BBB.org.
- No indication of a brick-and-mortar address or the address shows on a Google map as a parking lot, residence, or unrelated business than what is listed on the website.
- Misspellings, grammatical errors, or other descriptive language that is inconsistent with the product.
- Search online for the company name and the word “Scam.”
- The seller advertises on a social media site and is communicative until the payment is made. Once the payment clears, they are unreachable.
Before making purchases, you can go to BBB.org to establish the credibility of a purchase. Impostors are known to copy the BBB seal. You can identify a legitimate by clicking on the seal and seeing if it leads you to the company’s profile on the BBB website. Double check the domain of the URL to make sure you are not being scammed.
The BBB also recommends reporting any suspected online shopping fraud.
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - reportfraud.ftc.gov
- Internet Crime Complaint enter (IC3) – ic3.gov/complaint
- National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center - iprcenter.gov/referral/view
- Better Business Bureau – bbb.org/scamtracker/reportscam
For more information about potential scammers and who to contact, click HERE.
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