Facebook Hoax - Water Bottle Lids to Pay For Chemo Treatment

January 14, 2014
January 14, 2014, Charleston, WV - The Better Business Bureau is warning Facebook users about a recent hoax that has surfaced surrounding the water contamination crisis in West Virginia. 

It has been less than a week since the Governor of West Virginia declared a state of emergency because of a chemical leak into the Elk River that contaminated the water supply to nine counties in West Virginia. Residents were ordered not to use the water for cooking, bathing, or washing and ordered to use only bottled water or turn to water stations that were set up in local communities. 

Already an old hoax has resurfaced asking West Virginia residents to save water bottle caps to help pay for chemo therapy treatments for cancer patients. 

The Facebook post declares David Lee Cancer Center in Charleston, WV has partnered with a local business to offer free cancer treatments to patients for every 1,000 bottle caps collected. 

The Better Business Bureau has verified with a representative of David Lee Cancer Center that they are not collecting nor have partnered with a local business in collecting water bottle caps in exchange for treatments. 

Further into the BBB's investigation, rumors surfaced that the caps were being collected from students at Capital High School in Charleston WV, not the David Lee Cancer Center. A representative at the high school verified there is no current campaign to collect water bottle caps from any student groups at this time. 

The American Cancer Society's website also has a release about the hoax at http://www.cancer.org/aboutus/howwehelpyou/bottlecapsforchemo

The BBB advises consumers to be leery of such Facebook posts that tug on your heartstrings for a good cause. 

Amanda Tietze, Vice President of the WV Division of the Better Business Bureau states "You may unknowingly be redirected to websites that contain viruses or malware  that are used to collect your personal information or hack into your Facebook account to gather information or send messages to your friends." 

The BBB advises consumers to contact the BBB office if you receive or hear of any questionable charitable solicitations. If you need to verify the legitimacy of a charitable cause the BBB reports on both local and national charities nationwide. Consumers can also verify with the West Virginia Secretary of States office to see if any charity is legally registered with their office.