The famed Buffalo Trace Distillery found itself involved in an online scam last week after it was discovered that multiple websites had been offering and selling counterfeit versions of the distillery’s whiskeys.
According to the company, fans of Buffalo Trace’s premium whiskeys were charged for bottles that never arrived, or in some cases received “empty bottles with plastic toppers.”
“We’ve had fans from across the U.S. contact us to tell us they’ve been duped,” Mary Tortorice, general counsel at Sazerac Company, shared in a press release. “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.”
Advertisements on social media led consumers to websites where they assumed they were purchasing Blanton’s or Double Eagle Very Rare Bourbon, among other products.
Due to complicated distribution laws, many consumers may have missed the red flags on these sites. As Tortorice notes, it’s illegal for distilleries to ship alcohol directly to homes in 44 U.S. states. Additionally, many of these websites were located in countries outside of the U.S.
Buffalo Trace continues to work with victims who fell prey to the scams, and reiterated that it offers none of its products for sale online.
“If it looks too good to be true, it probably is,” Tortorice concluded in the statement.