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Georgia’s Attorney General’s Office on alert for formula scams, price gouging

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 5:57 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - With parents desperate to find baby formula amid a nationwide shortage, the Georgia Attorney General’s Office is urging parents to do their homework before buying the product.

“Whenever a crisis occurs, scam artists come out of the woodwork sometime and they will charge exorbitant prices for products and services, scams will occur, there will be fake websites that are created, fake posting for the product in question,” said Shawn Conroy with the AG’s Consumer Protection Division.

He said there have been no reports of scams or price gouging related to formula in Georgia at this point, but they’re on alert. Businesses can be fined up to $5,000 for price gouging.

Conroy said, “Check out the seller, the business online at bbb.org if you come across a website. Be very leery of social media postings that may offer to sell formula as well.”

He said taking some time to do some quick research could save you a headache down the road.

“The scam artists can be very creative creating websites that look legitimate so be sure that you are dealing with a site that’s reputable,” Conroy added.

“The president has made it very clear that it is top priority to get more safe infant formula supply onto American shelves across the country and in Georgia,” said White House Assistant Press Secretary Kevin Munoz.

The president invoking the Defense Production Act to increase supply and is launching “Operation Fly Formula” to use Department of Defense aircraft to import formula from other countries.

“We’re focused on getting this done as quickly as possible,” said Munoz. “Right now we’re actively working to find places where there is safe, available and in significant quantity formula that we can work to get to the United States.

The Bunny Hive in Chamblee has been collecting formula this week and making it available to anyone who needs to pick some up. The social club for parents and their babies has been getting nonstop calls from parents asking what kind they have. They’re asking people who pick up some of the donated formula to donate money if they can, such as how much they would normally spend on formula, which will go to the organization Helping Mamas.

Mariana Santiago drove from Suwanee to pick up a few cans for her nine-month-old son.

“He’s on his last can and it’s halfway through so I was really, really scared,” she said. “I didn’t know what I was going to do actually.”

Santiago said she has tried several different stores with no luck.

She said, “I was just panicking. I didn’t know what to do, if we were going to give him cows milk or what we were going to have to give him.”