RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) — North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is warning parents to be wary of baby formula scams.

“Parents of infants in North Carolina are struggling to feed their babies during the current baby formula shortage. But instead of helping parents in this perilous position, scammers are looking to take advantage of this crisis to steal a quick buck,” said Stein in a press release.

The attorney general listed the following steps for parents to protect themselves against scammers:

  • Avoid buying formula from auctions, unknown sellers, or overseas sellers. Scammers may post fake products online to try to steal your money.
  • Check out sellers before you buy from them. Look them up online to see if they have bad reviews, check with the Better Business Bureau, or call our office at (1-877)-5-NO-SCAM.
  • Do not buy someone’s homemade infant formula. These recipes are not evaluated by the FDA and may lack necessary nutrients or have unverified ingredients.
  • Use a credit card to make purchases in case you need to dispute the transaction later.
  • Never fall for scammers pretending to be from a government agency who contact you and ask to collect recalled baby formula. You can check product recalls on the manufacturer’s website and if your product is recalled, take it back to the store.
  • Report price gouging concerns on the baby formula to our office.

If you have been victimized by a scammer, contact the attorney general’s office at (877)-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint online at https://ncdoj.gov/file-a-complaint/.

If you are unable to find baby formula, contact your health provider for a feeding plan or contact community organizations to find an open food pantry near you.