COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is warning parents to stay alert for baby formula scams.

“As a parent, I understand the importance and stress associated with providing for your children,” Wilson wrote in an announcement.  “I am very concerned about the shortage and encourage South Carolinians to remain vigilant to avoid activity that could result in harm to their children or financial losses.” 

Nationwide, parents have been left scrambling to find infant formula. That desperation, Wilson cautions, may inadvertently lead parents to being victims of scams or buy formula that is counterfeit, expired or recalled.

Wilson suggests parents to use authorized retailers, to avoid buying formula from unknown sellers on social media and websites, to check that the product is safe and not expired and to use a credit card in case a purchase is fraudulent.

Wilson’s office said it has received two complaints of alleged price gouging. The state’s price gouging law is not in effect, and a spokesperson said one complaint was for a price that was “in line with usual practices.” It also received a complaint from someone angry that formula was at the U.S.-Mexico border, which U.S. Customs and Border Protection is legally required to provide for infants in its care.

Anyone who suggests a seller might be attempting to scam them is asked to call Wilson’s office at (803) 737-3953, or call local police. Complaints can also be filed online.

Additional resources can be found from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.