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Ill. AG warns residents of scams related to baby formula shortage

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul urged consumers to exercise caution before buying any...
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul urged consumers to exercise caution before buying any product from unknown sources, particularly from those online.(Storyblocks)
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 12:15 PM CDT
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ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Attorney General Kwame Raoul is warning Illinoisans to be on the lookout for scams involving the baby formula shortage.

Raoul’s office provided these tips on Friday, May 20 to help people:

  • Research the business selling the product before you make a purchase
  • Consider how you are being asked to pay. For instance, credit cards provide the strongest protections, while payment methods of gift cards, money transfers or cryptocurrency are indications of a scam
  • Be aware, some review websites claim to be independent but are funded by scammers
  • Be on the lookout for positive reviews on the website that have been copied from honest sites or created by scammers
  • Be cautious if you discover no indication of a brick-and-mortar address or if the address appears on a Google map as a parking lot, residence or business unrelated to what is listed on the website
  • Misspellings, grammatical errors or other descriptive language that is inconsistent with the product is often a sign of a scam
  • Be cautious with sellers that advertise on a social media platform that may be communicative only until the payment is made. Once the payment clears, they may be unreachable

“The baby formula shortage continues to impact families across Illinois. On top of the stress of locating formula, people must also be on the lookout for scammers looking to take advantage of families’ desperation,” Raoul said in a news release. “I urge anyone affected by this shortage to be vigilant for potential scams that could result in financial losses or – more seriously – the inadvertent purchase of unsafe products.”

He urged consumers to exercise caution before buying any product from unknown sources, particularly from those online.

He also recommended that families follow guidance issued by the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau in response the shortage.

Consumers who are or believe they have been the victim of a scam or price gouging related to baby formula should file an online complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.

According to the attorney general’s office, the U.S. Department of Justice recently expressed concerns to state attorneys general related to reports of businesses taking advantage of the formula shortage. The DOJ offered its assistance to states.

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