BBB warns of formula scams as shortages continue


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
  • 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 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 – 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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