FTC Says Scammers are Exploiting Baby Formula Shortage

As if parents scrambling to find baby formula during the national shortage don’t have enough to worry about, now they’re the target of scammers. The Federal Trade Commission is warning people scouring the Internet for formula to beware of people who claim to be selling brand-name products, but they don’t actually deliver them after the purchase.

"Scammers exploiting the high demand for baby formula have sunk to new lows,” the FTC says in a statement. “They're popping up online and tricking desperate parents and caregivers into paying steep prices for formula that never arrives.”

  • Some scammers are creating fake websites or social media profiles and using brand logos and product photos to lure hopeful shoppers in. Then they trick people into giving payment information for baby formula they never receive.
  • Others are using sites like eBay to charge hundreds of dollars for formula that usually sells for less than $20. That kind of price gouging - or selling products for well above market rates - violates eBay’s policies and a spokesperson for the site says they’re “stepping up” their manual review of listings to prevent that from happening with baby formula.
  • So how can you avoid getting scammed? The FTC urges folks to research sellers before clicking “buy.” An Internet search of the company’s name plus the words “review,” “complaint” or “scam” will show if they’ve been previously reported.
  • Regulators advise using local and known resources when it’s possible.
  • The FTC warns that sites that demand payment by gift card, money transfer or crypto are scams. Paying by credit card can be helpful since credit card companies often protect consumers against scams and can help get your money back if you pay for something that’s never delivered.

Source: CBS News

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