PHILADELPHIA - As the national baby formula shortage continues, officials say parents desperate to feed their children have fallen victim to formula scams.
FOX 29's Kelly Rule spoke with a New Jersey mother who said she connected with a woman on Facebook who offered to ship five containers from Iowa for $135.
Kelsey Oczkowski, the mother of a 5-month-old, said she sent the money but the formula never came. She later received a message from someone else who told her that the woman was running a scam.
"It’s honestly like another level of evil that somebody would think it’s OK to steal money, but ultimately they are potentially harming these babies," Oczkowski said.
She isn't the only person who has fallen victim to formula scams. The Pennsylvania Attorney Generals Office issued a warning to parents about bottle bilkers.
"I cannot even fathom if I was counting on this woman to ship me formula and I didn’t have anything else on hand," Oczkowski said.
Although the federal government made some potential headway in relieving the formula shortage, stores across the country are still struggling to keep shelves stocked.
"It’s extremely hard, as you can see we’re trying to keep it in stock as much as we can, we’re ordering from different companies," said Ehmud Ibrahim who manages a local grocery store. "Sometimes even by the time you call and come in, it might be gone."
Baby formula maker Abbott said Monday it has reached an agreement with U.S. health regulators to restart production at its largest domestic factory, though it will be well over a month before any new products ship from the site to help alleviate the national shortage facing parents.
Abbott did not immediately detail the terms of the agreement with the Food and Drug Administration, which has been investigating safety concerns at its Sturgis, Michigan, plant since early this year. The consent decree amounts to a legally binding agreement between the FDA and the company on steps needed to reopen the factory.
After production resumes, Abbott said it will take between six-to-eight weeks before new products begin arriving in stores. The company didn’t set a timeline to restart production.