BBB warns of formula scams as shortages continue

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CROMWELL, CT (WFSB) – The Better Business Bureau is warning of online scams for infant formula as shortages continue.

The bureau says ads and social media posts claim to have a formula available for purchase.

Officials say the seller will show the buyer photos of the formula via chat or direct message.

“The buyer makes a payment through a peer-to-peer platform such as PayPal (a BBB-accredited company) or Venmo (a BBB-accredited company), but the formula never arrives,” said the BBB.

The bureau has listed the warning signs of possible scams:

  • Positive reviews on the website that have been copied from honest sites or created by scammers. Beware, some review sites claim to be independent but are funded by scammers. Check BBB.org.
  • No indication of a physical address or the address appears on a Google map as a parking lot, residence or business unrelated to that shown on the website.
  • Misspellings, grammatical errors or other descriptive language incompatible with the product.
  • The seller advertises on a social media site and is communicative until payment is made. Once the payment is made, they are unreachable.

Officials also gave advice on how to research the website before making a purchase:

  • Visit BBB.org to check a company’s rating and BBB accreditation status. Imposters are known to copy the BBB seal. If it’s real, clicking the seal will lead to the company’s BBB profile on BBB.org – check the URL domain.
  • Do an Internet search with the name of the company and the word “scam”. This can locate other complaints about the site.
  • Note the website where the order is placed. Take a screenshot of the item ordered, in case the website goes down or a different item than advertised is received in the mail.
  • Credit cards often offer better protection against fraud than other payment methods.
  • Think before you click. Pay particular attention to email solicitations and online advertisements on social media sites.

For more information, click here.

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