WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The Federal Trade Commission warns about scammers who are targeting parents desperately looking for baby formula for their children.
- According to the FTC, scammers set up fake websites that sell high-priced infant formulas that never arrive.
- The baby-formula shortage in the country has been going on since February.
The Federal Trade Commission is warning about scammers who are targeting parents desperately looking for baby formula for their children.
“Scammers exploiting the high demand for baby formula have sunk to new lows,” the FTC said in a statement. “They’re popping up online and tricking desperate parents and caregivers into paying steep prices for formula that never arrives.”
Scammers are setting up official-looking fake websites and social-media platforms by using images and logos of baby-formula brands. Desperate parents looking for infant formula can be easily tricked into buying due to the shortage.
The FTC recommends looking for the brand online with words such as “scam” or “complaint” before placing orders to see if anyone else had fallen into a trap.
The Feds also recommend using a credit card for purchases. Credit cards offer the most protection for you to get your money back if you’ve been scammed, the FTC said. Signs that it’s a scam is when a website asks for payment by gift card, money transfer, or cryptocurrency.
The FTC also urged parents to look for baby formula locally, such as from a pediatrician, versus searching online.
The US has been facing a nationwide shortage after Abbott shut down the Sturgis, Michigan plant in February due to safety concerns. The FDA started an investigation after complaints of bacterial infections related to Abbott powdered formula manufactured at the Sturgis plant.
Two infant deaths have been reported, according to the FDA, and a Cronobacteria infection may have been the culprit.
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden invoked the Defense Protection Act to address the baby formula shortage and ramp up production in the U.S. The measure allows the federal government to require private suppliers to provide formula manufacturers with the needed ingredients ahead of any other customers.
Source: Yahoo! News