Potential online shopping scams target baby formula shortage

With stores out of stock, many caregivers are turning to shopping for the product online.
With stores out of stock, many caregivers are turning to shopping for the product online.
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 11:40 AM CDT|Updated: May. 16, 2022 at 5:21 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - With grocery store shelves emptied out of baby formula, many caregivers are turning to shopping for the product online.

The Better Business Bureau is warning parents of potential online shopping scams.

“We want families to be aware that scammers do take advantage of situations like this,” said Tiffany Bernhardt Schultz, the Regional Director of Better Business Bureau WI.

Scammers may have created fake websites or profiles on social media accounts displaying photos of the product in stock. Experts say a desperate parent may reach out and submit a payment through a peer-to-peer platform like Venmo or provide their credit card information.

“So they turn to online sources that claim they had it, but they fell into the trap of providing personal and credit card information and never receiving the product that they ordered, " said Schultz.

According to the 2021 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report, online scams are the riskiest and why Schultz says you need to stay aware.

“I’m a mom and I had young kids once and used formula. It’s something we take for granted that it’s going to be there,” said Schultz. “But in these shortage situations you really need to be careful who you’re ordering from. If you do go online, make sure that site is legitimate.”

BBB Wisconsin has not received any official reports of these scams in Wisconsin, but officials say that does not mean it’s not happening. To report a scam like this, head to the BBB Scam Tracker website.

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