TYLER, Texas (KETK) — Frustrated and afraid are what some East Texas parents are feeling amid the baby formula shortage. Not only are parents worried about possible malnourishment, but now they have to watch out for scammers trying to sell baby formula at much higher prices.
Supply chain issues and labor shortages are affecting almost every item on the market. Now, with parents scrambling, scammers are watching and taking advantage of those who are in need of baby formula. This is making online shopping scams a high risk.
“The price range could be anything because of supply and demand and because of the level of desperation that mothers are in. They may be willing to pay whatever to have a formula,” said President of the BBB of East Texas, Mechele Mills.
The BBB recommends that before making an online purchase, check the accreditation status of the business. You can do so by clicking on a real BBB seal on their website. It should lead you to the company’s official BBB profile.
“The main ways we are seeing this is that they are contacting moms on social media and showing pictures of baby formula that they say they have in stock but really it is just a stock photo of something they have taken off someone else’s page online. They are collecting payment and they are taking the money and then you never hear from them again,” said Mills.
Low-income mothers across East Texas see this new expense at a time of surging inflation. That’s why places like WIC are here to help.
“We ask that you contact us because we are keeping an eye out on our infants to make sure there is no malnourishment. We do check-ins every 3 months,” said WIC Program Director, Tecora Smith.
WIC physicians and officials make regular check-ins to ensure they are receiving the formula they require. They use accessible forms of communication like the WIC app.
“The WIC app helps them shop and it helps in making selections in the grocery store. Our moms love the app as they navigate through the shopping experience and communicate with us and the state,” said Smith.
It takes a strong community to come together to feed all infants.
If you and your infant are in need of support, you can find more information for WIC here.