PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – From socks and t-shirts to toasters and kitchen mixers, virtually everything turns a shade of pink in October.
But the Better Business Bureau warns just because its pink, doesn’t mean it supports breast cancer awareness.
KDKA’s Meghan Schiller explains how scammers are working overtime this month to profit off your generosity.
“We have seen an increase throughout the pandemic of fake websites being created, fake social media accounts, as well as even phishing scams being sent through email that impersonate legitimate organizations,” said Caitlin Driscoll, the Better Business Bureau of Western Pa.’s public relations director.
A quick internet search can turn up nothing but pink, but Driscoll warns consumers to do their research and don’t be afraid to ask for the percentage of funds that will be donated to the cause.
“Definitely watch out for any vague claims of proceeds that are benefitting unspecified charities or even vague descriptions of how any of these collected funds are going to be used. That could be a red flag,” said Driscoll.
Even the American Cancer Society’s planned event on Oct. 17 will look different this year.
“Every year the big thing for us is our Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks,” said Dan Tobin with the American Cancer Society. “This year we’ve had to reimagine the way we’re doing them and this year instead of a traditional walk, we’re doing a drive-through event.”
Tobin reiterates the need for consumers to do their research and make sure you trust the organization or person you’re giving money to this October. He said the American Cancer Society lists all of their fundraisers on its website.
“So you go there and you can put in your zip code and you’ll find all the teams in your area, all of the events in your area,” said Tobin. “So you know that the money you’re donating is actually going straight to the cause you’re hoping it goes to.”
The BBB said it’s important to check the website and look out for “impersonators.”
“Make sure you’re on that confirmed authentic website before making a donation and providing that personal information,” said Driscoll.
And to do that, Driscoll said to look for the URL to start with “https” instead of the usual “http.” The “s” stands for secure.