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With Counterfeit Bottles and Whiskey Scams on the Rise, Here are Buffalo Trace’s Tips to Avoid Getting Fleeced

Buffalo Trace

Buffalo Trace bourbon is shown Feb. 3, 2015, in Chicago, Illinois. The distillery is warning fans of an increase in scams and counterfeit bottles. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

When you make a whiskey purchase online, the one thing you expect is to, of course, receive what you paid for. For several would-be Buffalo Trace customers, that hasn’t been the case.

Fans from across the U.S. told the distillery they ordered Buffalo Trace online, paid for the bottles and received empty bottles, often counterfeit, or nothing at all, Buffalo Trace said Thursday in a news release.

We’re here to help

Fear not: Here are some red flags that should set alarm bells off in your head when purchasing whiskey online:

  • Do you live in Florida, Hawaii, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Hampshire or Rhode Island? If not, be advised that shipping spirits directly to consumers in your state is illegal, so any website that allows you to order whiskey anywhere outside of those six states is illegitimate.
  • Buffalo trace does not sell its whiskeys online. So, if a site offering to sell whiskey appears to be posing as Buffalo Trace, it’s not. If you’re purchasing whiskey from a third-party site, examine it very carefully before ordering, the distillery advises. Check out some online reviews to see if other customers from that website were satisfied with their orders, or if anyone has flagged the site as a scam.
  • “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is,” Buffalo Trace warns. In other words: If the price is so low you can’t believe it, you probably should, in fact, not believe it.

Too late?

If you believe you have been scammed, Buffalo Trace recommends reporting the website to the Better Business Bureau and your State Attorneys General office. Also be sure to contact your credit card company and ask about its fraud protection policies.

A serious threat

Counterfeit alcohol sales are a big problem. They can even be lethal in certain cases, when the sellers lace booze with dangerous substances. Thousands of people die every year for that reason, according to the release.

There are many rare, pricy whiskeys out there, and that number is nothing compared to the number of fans eager to get their hands on those scarce bottles. The two most common brands being targeted by scammers are Blanton’s and Double Eagle Very Rare, according to the release, but those aren’t the only ones. Buffalo Trace bottles all of the expensive and sought-after Pappy and Van Winkle lines, whose lore and mystique make them among the most common targets for counterfeits and scams.

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David Morrow is the managing editor of Whiskey Raiders and has been with the company since September 2021. David has worked in journalism since 2015 and has had bylines at Sports Illustrated, Def Pen, the Des Moines Register and the Quad City Times. David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Saint Louis University and a Master of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. When he’s not tasting the newest exciting whiskey releases, David enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, watching sports and traveling.