Attorney General issues alert for online bourbon barrel scam

Attorney General issues alert for online bourbon barrel scam
Authentic barrels of bourbon age in a rickhouse at a distillery in Versailles, KY. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office issued an alert Friday about an online bourbon barrel scam.

The alert says an online company called 'The Oak Wood Barrel Co.", which claims to be located in Lexington, is scamming customers looking to buy bourbon barrels.

The site, OakWoodBarrels.com, claims that the company sells bourbon, craft beer and spirit barrels ready to ship worldwide.

Three people, two from out of state, have come forward as victims. They paid more than $650 each for barrels they did not receive.

After receiving complaints, a Better Business Bureau employee drove to the company’s address of record in Lexington--the same address listed on the company’s website--and found no physical building.

The BBB also tried sending a letter to the company. It was returned by USPS.

“During the Christmas season it is sad that con artists go to extreme lengths in order to steal money and personal information from those who support Kentucky’s popular bourbon industry,” Beshear said in a statement. “I urge anyone who has fallen victim to this company to contact the Office of the Attorney General immediately and file an online complaint.”

Even if a website looks legitimate, Beshear said, Kentuckians should follow these tips to avoid falling victim to a scam:

Check to see if the website contains a phone number

If you cannot call and talk with a customer service representative, this may suggest the business is not legitimate.

Research the business online

Search and read customer reviews or internet postings containing the name of the business. Try typing in the company name along with the word “scam” to see if others have reported issues with the company. Research the business’s physical address online or using a mapping app to determine if the location matches.

To contact Beshear’s Office of Consumer Protection Hotline dial 888-432-9257 or visit ag.ky.gov online.

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