BBB presents seven steps to help eager runners set the record straight
With the Calgary Mud Hero Obstacle Run taking place next week, BBB is urging fun-runners to do their homework before racing to the registration line. While many colour runs, obstacle courses and mud runs promise fun, adventure and a chance to help a charity, BBB warns of scammers setting up fake fun-runs, bilking participants out of money.
"Fun runs are a great way to foster community involvement while supporting charitable causes and engaging in healthy activity," says Mary O'Sullivan-Andersen, president and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay. "This is a popular time of year for all kinds of fun-runs, and sadly, scammers count on people's eagerness to participate and their willingness to help worthy causes."
Sprint past fun run scams with these BBB tips:
- Check the track record. Look online for additional information about the event before signing up. Read customer reviews from runners who have participated in previous races or events.
- Don't be fooled by a well-designed website. Scammers can easily create an official-looking website. Look for misspellings or poor grammar, copied or stolen images and logos, which are signs you might be dealing with fraudsters.
- Check with the local venue. Contact the park or host venue directly to confirm that the event is on the calendar and organizers have gotten the correct permits.
- Pay with a credit card. Credit cards give you protection for charges disputed according to the terms of your financial institution. Never pay by wire or pre-paid money card.
- Understand terms and conditions. If the website says there are no refunds, buyer beware. It's your responsibility to read the fine print before hitting "I agree" when making a purchase or registering for a race.
- Keep documentation of your registration. After completing the online registration process, you should receive a confirmation receipt. Print out and keep a copy of the confirmation and any supporting documentation for future reference.
- Check out the charity. While the organizers of many runs are for-profit businesses, some may advertise a charitable partner. If race organizers claim a portion of the proceeds will go to charity, ask for more details. Contact the charity to make sure there's a connection. In Canada, all charities must be registered with the Canada Revenue Agency.
For more tips you can trust, visit bbb.org.
Leah Brownridge, Media and Corporate Communications Specialist
Better Business Bureau Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay