Kentucky-based Buffalo Trace has taken legal action following a spate of online whiskey fraudsters.
The distiller has warned whiskey fans to be cautious about a rise in fraudulent online sales.
Buffalo Trace said several fans had contacted the distillery after purchasing the brand’s whiskeys online from various sites.
After being charged for their purchase, the customers either never received any whiskey or were sent empty bottles. Furthermore, many of the bottles included plastic toppers instead of the authentic metal caps on legitimate bottles.
Buffalo Trace said while several brands from its portfolio had been targeted by fraudsters, its Blanton’s and Double Eagle Very Rare labels had been hit ‘particularly hard’ by scams.
Mary Tortorice, general counsel, Sazerac Company – owner of Buffalo Trace – said: “We’ve had fans from across the US contact us to tell us they’ve been duped. We’ve taken legal action to have the sites shut down and also sent notices to the social media companies, asking them to take action, but unfortunately the situation persists.
“In all but six states plus the district of Columbia, it is illegal to ship alcohol directly to consumers.
“One of the tip offs is if the website will process your order with shipment to your state, if you are located in one of the 44 states where shipping alcohol directly to your home is illegal.
“Another red flag is if the website is located in another country, as the majority of the scams we have seen have been located overseas.”
Furthermore, Tortorice reminded whiskey fans that Buffalo Trace does not sell its whiskeys online. She advised that “if it looks too good to be true, it probably is”.
Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by scam sales should report the incident to the Better Business Bureau or their state’s attorney general’s office, and should contact their credit card company about its fraud protection policies.