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Online scammers targeting parents seeking baby formula

The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning about scammers selling baby formula online that never gets delivered.

TYLER, Texas — The FDA continues to make efforts to ease the baby formula shortage, but it could still be months until shelves are replenished.

This is prompting parents to shop online where they could be vulnerable to scammers.  

"They're doing everything and anything to feed their babies and scammers know that," said Mechele Mills, president & CEO of Better Business Bureau Central East Texas.

The BBB is issuing a warning to families about the potential dangers of finding baby formula online. 

"They're catching these people in desperate and emotional situations, and saying, hey, we have what you need and here's a picture of it ," Mills said. "Which they could have swiped from anywhere."

For some shoppers the formula never gets delivered. In order to prevent that from happening to you the BBB wants to share some tips on how to shop safely.  

"Do your research," Mills said. "If you're going to purchase from somebody do your research, find out if it's a legitimate company, if it's a legitimate seller, check out their ratings, their reviews, things like that before you spend your money."

The BBB also recommends that paying with a credit card is the safest way of shopping online. You can often dispute scam charges and will have the best chance of getting your money back. 

"If you pay through unconventional methods, like sometimes they'll ask you to pay through money order, or wiring, or gift cards," Mills said. "That's going to be a red flag that's not a legitimate seller."

If you run across something suspicious don’t be afraid to report it. 

"It's really important that you report it to BBB scam tracker," Mills said. "You also want to report it to ic3.gov, that’s the FBI's internet crimes unit."

You can also report it to the platform where you spotted the scam. A move that may help prevent other desperate buyers from getting ripped off. 

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