The shortage of children’s formulas is bringing out scammers, warns FTC

Scammers are exploiting a nationwide shortage of baby formulas, tricking consumers into paying high prices through fraudulent online stores, the Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday.

Scammers lure “desperate parents and caregivers” via fake websites or social media profiles with recognizable formula brand images and logos, according to a consumer notice. Consumers think they’re buying from a company’s official website, but the formula never comes, the FTC said.

“Scammers exploiting high demand for infant formula have dropped to new lows,” the agency said.

More from Personal Finance:
High-yield bonds may lose their appeal due to rising interest rates
Better market days are coming. It’s just a question of when
How to get around a tax bomb when you sell your home

A shortage of infant formula started early in the Covid-19 pandemic, but it has got worse in the last weeks. The scarcity is partly due closing a Michigan production plan in February; two infants who consumed the formula produced there contracted bacterial infections and died.

The Food and Drug Administration reached an agreement with the plant owner, Abbott Nutrition, of the nation greater formula maker, Monday to help alleviate the shortage.

The White House said last week it would make it easier to import formulas from abroad, among other measures.