KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued an alert to consumers Thursday to be aware of possible scams amid the current baby formula shortage.
To combat the shortage, some resellers are taking advantage of platforms like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. But not every reseller is to be trusted.
“Scammers are posting bogus online offers to lure in desperate parents and trick them into turning over cash or credit card information,” Schmidt said in a news release. “Meanwhile, the formula the scammers are advertising is either nonexistent, counterfeit, expired or recalled.”
The formula shortage is in part due to supply chain issues as well as a major recall of formula because of bacteria concerns.
While parents are concerned about how they will feed their children, Schmidt advises seven tips to avoid being scammed:
- Stick with trusted vendors
- Know the seller
- Beware of social media
- Beware of fake websites
- Shop with a credit card
- Be aware of common scam tactics
- Perform a safety check of the product
Knowing the seller or using a trusted vendor helps reduce the chances of falling for a scam, according to Schmidt.
Doing research and remaining alert of messages in social media parent groups can prevent false exchanges over a fake website or social media platform.
In the event of a fraudulent transaction, using a credit card may provide further protection and an opportunity to dispute charges while cash is much more difficult to recover.
Most importantly, Schmidt recommends using the Food and Drug Administration’s website to confirm whether a formula from a third party is unsafe or expired.
Anyone who believes they have been the victim of a scam can contact the Office of the Kansas Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-432-2310 or online here.