An increasing number of consumer frauds are making their way across social media and the internet. Thus, consumers have contacted Buffalo Trace to inform the distillery that online fraudsters are claiming to sell premium whiskies, particularly the Blanton’s and Double Eagle Very Rare Bourbons, and then sending empty or counterfeit bottles upon payment. Often these bottles have plastic toppers on them, rather than the metal toppers used on legitimate bottles.
Mary Tortorice, general counsel of Sazerac Company, says: “We’ve had fans from across the U.S. 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.”
She adds: “In all but six states plus the District of Columbia, it is illegal to ship alcohol directly to consumers.” If a website will process your order and ship to your state, and you are in one of the 44 states where shipping directly to your door would be illegal, this should be a tip-off that something is amiss. “Another red flag is if the website is located in another country [other than the USA],” says Tortorice, “as the majority of the scams we have seen have been located overseas.”
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is — the sale of counterfeit alcohol has long been a global problem. Buffalo Trace Distillery does not sell its whiskies online. If you feel you have been duped, you can report the site to the Better Business Bureau and your State Attorney General’s office, and contact your credit card company about its fraud protection policies.