Better Business Bureau Warns of Fun Run Scams

Themed runs can be a great way to have some fun and support a good cause, but the Better Business Bureau is warning residents of some organizations that aren't as they appear.

Although runners may believe they're contributing to charity when they pay their registration fees, some themed runs don't partner with charities at all, according to the BBB. The average registration price is $45.

One themed run website says its charity partner will be announced "soon," while another allows runners to pre-register but has yet to announce the course address. Others have gone out of business and canceled events with little-to-no notice and without reimbursing the runners who signed up, the BBB said.

The BBB has also received reports from runners who said one unnamed event "did not deliver anything close to what was advertised."

Nonetheless, themed runs can be fun and rewarding. The BBB recommends taking the following actions before signing up for a themed or charity run:

  • Do your research by checking out the company's BBB review
  • Understand the terms and conditions of the race, including the refund policy
  • Verify with the local venue to make sure the race has been scheduled
  • Pay with a credit card so you can dispute the charges if need be
  • Document your registration and keep copies of your entry for your records
  • Vet the charity on to make sure your donation is going where you think it is
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