RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As the baby formula shortage continues across the country, the Better Business Bureau is warning families to be aware of online scams.
The BBB said the shortage is leading new moms to find other ways to buy formula and its posing a risk for online scams.
Rebecca Craft said her family and friends are feeling the direct impact of the nationwide shortage of baby formula.
“It’s an additional stressor that I can’t imagine going through right now,” she said.
Supply chain issues and safety recalls on some products caused the baby formula shortage. The White House is now stepping in to help as the Biden administration recently announced plans to import more formula and crack down on any potential price gouging.
Craft has a six-week-old baby and relies only on breastmilk. Because she produces more breastmilk than her family needs, Craft turned to a Facebook group called Eats On Feets Virginia where families swap breast milk.
People from all over can donate or request milk on the donation only platform.
“I think it’s important to look at other options and rely on resources we do have,” said Craft.
She added that some of her family and friends who are struggling to find formula could look at other options, such as Eats on Feets or hospitals that donate breast milk.
“The idea of not being able to find the food to even just provide your baby, much less thinking about if they’ve eaten enough or are they growing the right way? Are they gaining enough weight? It would be just really, really difficult to go through,” said Craft.
The BBB says this uncertainty means scammers could be lurking. Here’s how it works: an ad, post or social media group announces that formula is available. The buyer then contacts the seller and then makes a payment through an app like Paypal or Venmo, but the formula never arrives.
The BBB said to look out for grammatical errors on the website, check out any reviews to see of they’re real, or if they have a fake BBB accreditation seal. It’s also a good idea to do a quick internet search and see where the address leads you, or if there are any complaints about the site.