BBB Warns Consumers to Run Away From Some “Fun Run” Scams

June 30, 2015

What better way to spend a summer weekend than by throwing on some sneakers and joining family and friends for a Color Fun Run. These themed events in which participants wear a white T-shirt and get sprayed with powdered dyes along the running course seem to be trending. Unfortunately, scammers see them as an opportunity to take advantage of innocent would-be runners who are just out to have some fun.

Online color fun run registration sites are sometimes presented as actual Color Run registries. These event websites may list fake races as well as runs that get cancelled right before the race date, offering no refund for registration fees paid.

Events to watch out for are the Color 5 Mile races, whose website lists more than 100 events in 40 states and Washington, D.C. Upon collecting entry fees, this organization doesn’t hold the race and offers no refunds. Another scam to watch for is the Run or Dye event, which received an “F” rating from BBB after more than 200 complaints were received in one year. The complaints centered around the inability of registrants to get a refund after the race was cancelled or rescheduled.

Although som

e color themed fun runs may be bogus or fake, that is not the case for all. The Color Run, LLC, which is the original “The Color Run,” is an Accredited Business earning an A+ from BBB. The organization is a for profit event management company, partnering with Global Citizen, a community of people who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges, and local organizations in various cities with the number one goal of increasing cause awareness. This year, The Color Run is presenting a new run called “The 2015 Shine Tour” which is scheduled to take place in San Diego on October 10, 2015. The Shine Tour is partnering with locally based Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence.

Another BBB Accredited fun run earning an A+ is the Color Me Rad 5K, taking place on August 22, 2015 at the Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar. Color Me Rad is partnering with The Marine Corps Community Services organization that is committed to taking care of Marines and their families.

BBB serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties wants you to be able to tell the difference between a fake race, and one that is legitimate, by watching out for the following:

  • High rates – Make sure the registration fee is in line with other similar fun runs.
  • Charities listed – The scam sites often show questionable ties to charities. If promoters claim a portion of the proceeds will go to a specific charity, make sure it is going to a trustworthy cause by researching at
  • Canceled or rescheduled races – Check the organization’s track record on canceled or rescheduled races.
  • Refund policies – Look for specific language regarding their refund policies should you decide not to participate in the race.

For assistance in locating a reputable Fun Run, scam alerts and other useful consumer tips call your local BBB serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties at (858) 496-2131 or visit