The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers to beware of scams targeting parents amid a nationwide shortage of infant formula.
The FTC said that scammers are trying to trick desperate parents into paying steep prices for formula that never arrives.
The FTC offered the following tips to avoid becoming a victim:
- Check out the company or product by typing its name in a search engine with terms like “review,” “complaint,” or “scam.” See what other people say about it.
- Consider how you pay. Credit cards often give you the strongest protections, so you can sometimes get your money back if you ordered something but didn’t get it. But anyone who demands payment by gift card, money transfer, or cryptocurrency is a scammer.
- Know your rights. When you shop online, sellers are supposed to ship your order within the time stated in their ads, or within 30 days if the ads don’t give a time. If a seller can’t ship within the promised time, it has to give you a revised shipping date, with the chance to either cancel your order for a full refund or accept the new shipping date.
- Search for local resources. Call your pediatrician to see if they have formula in stock. Pediatricians often get samples of different formulas and may be able to help. If you are a participant in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition assistance program, contact your local office to find formula.