4 Tips How To Avoid Baby Formula Scams in New York State
Police from the Hudson Valley is offering tips on how to avoid baby formula scammers across New York State.
As the nation's formula shortage continues the Ulster County Sheriff's Office is trying to help make sure you, or someone you care about, doesn't get conned by a baby formula scammer.
Ulster County, New York Officials Offer Tips To Avoid Baby Formula Scams
"Scammers exploiting the high demand for baby formula are out there. They’re popping up online and tricking parents and caregivers into paying steep prices for formula that never arrives. Scammers may set up fake websites or profiles on social media platforms with product images and logos of well-known formula brands – all to make you think you’re buying products from the companies’ official websites," the Ulster County Sheriff's Office stated.
Earlier this year the nation's formula shortage was caused due to a recall of certain powdered formulas from Abbott Nutrition. It was reported in May about 45 percent of the nation's baby formula was out of stock.
Then in mid-June, flooding in southern Michigan forced Abbott Nutrition to pause production, less than two weeks after Abbott Nutrition's plant resumed production after shutting down over possible contamination.
At the time Abbott said the flooding will "likely delay production and distribution of new products for a few weeks."
How To Avoid Baby Formula Scams in New York State
The Ulster County Division of Consumer Affairs advises all residents to take the following steps to avoid being scammed.
Before you order from an unfamiliar online source, check out the company by calling Consumer Affairs at 845-340-3260 or by visiting the Better Business Bureau.
Search locally before buying online.
"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," the Ulster County Sheriff's Office word.
You may have more protection if you pay with a credit card.
"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," police said.
If your order isn't shipped within 30 days you have a chance of a refund
"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," the Ulster County Sheriff's Office said.
If you believe you have been the victim of a scam you are encouraged to file a complaint with Ulster County Consumer Affairs at 845-340- 3260.