A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Scam Alert: Bourbon barrel company pretending to be headquartered in Lexington is stiffing customers

Attorney General Andy Beshear has issued a Scam Alert after his office and the Better Business Bureau say an online company claiming to be located in Lexington and selling bourbon barrels is scamming customers.

OakWoodBarrels.com claims that “The Oak Wood Barrel Co.” sells bourbon, craft beer and spirit barrels that are ready to ship worldwide, yet three victims, two from out-of-state in Kansas and Virgina, say they paid more than $650 for barrels they did not receive.

Beshear said after receiving the complaints a BBB employee drove to the Lexington address listed on the company’s website and discovered no physical building. The post office returned a letter sent from the Office of the Attorney General to the company.

“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,” said Beshear. “I urge anyone who has fallen victim to this company to contact the Office of the Attorney General immediately and file an online complaint.”

Kim Sweazy, director of operations for the Better Business Bureau serving Central & Eastern Kentucky said they contacted Beshear’s office for further investigation.

“Kentucky is well-known for its bourbon distilleries,” said Sweazy. “The people behind this scam used that recognition by providing what our investigation showed are fake Lexington addresses on the website.”

Beshear said even if a business website looks legitimate, Kentuckians should always 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 click here.

One of Beshear’s top priorities is to protect Kentucky consumers, especially seniors and veterans, from scams, abuse and exploitation.

To help Kentuckians stay ahead of new and trending scams, Beshear launched Scam Alerts – a communication service that alerts Kentuckians when con artists are on the attack. Beshear urges all Kentuckians to sign-up for Scam Alerts by text.

Office of the Attorney General

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