ByMay 23, 2022 10:06 a.m.
NATIONAL – The National Better Business Bureau has issued a warning about baby formula scams: Shortages in the supply of baby formula are prompting new moms to look for other ways to find this much-needed item – and risk falling victim to online scams.
The BBB already knows that scammers have started creating fake websites to trick consumers into sending their money or credit card information.
How it works:
An ad, post, or social media group advertises an available baby formula. The new mom contacts the seller via chat or direct message and even sees pictures of the cans available. She makes a payment through a peer-to-peer platform like PayPal or Venmo, but the formula never arrives.
Signs of a potential online shopping scam include:
- Positive reviews on the website that have been copied from honest sites or created by scammers. Be aware that some review websites claim to be independent but are funded by scammers. Check out our website, orgto see if we have had experience with them.
- They give no indication of a physical address, or the address they provide appears on a Google map as a parking lot, residence, or business unrelated to the one listed on the website.
- Their website or message contains spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or other descriptive language inconsistent with the product. These people can contact you from abroad and their knowledge of English is limited.
- The seller advertises on a social media site and is communicative until payment is made. Once the payment is made, they are unreachable.
Check the website before making a purchase:
- Visit BBB.orgto 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 – so check the URL domain.
- Do an Internet search with the name of the company and the word “scam”. This may locate other people who have already been deceived by the website.
- 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.
- Always use a credit card, not a debit card. Credit cards offer better protection against fraud than other payment methods.
- Think before you click. Pay particular attention to e-mail solicitations and online advertising on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. If you receive a message from one of your friends on social media claiming to have purchased from this company before, beware! Scammers are very good at hijacking other people’s address books, possibly including your friend. Before you believe the message, call your friend and ask if he really sent the message.