BBB warns of fake 'Color Run' scam in Mobile
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WPMI) —
BBB Serving Central & South Alabama has been alerted to a possible fun/color run scam in Mobile, AL. The event, Fun Color Run (funcolorrun5k.com), is supposedly being held by Hatcher Event Productions, LLC and is scheduled to take place Sunday, August 13, at the Intramural Fields at the University of South Alabama in Mobile.
South Alabama gave a statement to Local 15, saying there is no record of the event on the university's campus.
BBB Serving Central & South Alabama contacted the Hilton Garden Inn in Daphne, AL where the supposed pre-race “Expo/Packet Pick-Up” is located, but the hotel does not have any record or knowledge of this event taking place. BBB also contacted the University of South Alabama Campus Rec department who says they have no fun/color runs scheduled for the advertised date and campus police is not aware of any event of that nature.
BBB CSAL was first made aware of this business after being contacted by BBB Serving Central Indiana who received a Scam Tracker report from a consumer expressing their concerns with the legitimacy of the event:
“I received an email about this ‘event’ happening in San Diego on Sept 30th. I paid a ‘refundable’ deposit of $100 (which I will have to get back from my bank), and then as time has gone on, and I have been looking for more details about the event, I started to feel like maybe it was not legitimate. There is a REAL ‘The Color Run,’ which originally made me think this was some sort of knockoff. I called the hotel that the email says the packet pick up is at, and the hotel confirmed they DO NOT have any record/information about this event. I called the number, and it went directly to a (personal sounding) voicemail, that said ‘Fun color run!’ I looked for any evidence of the event in other cities (based on the event list on the website), and found nothing.”
BBB attempted to contact the business, but when calling the phone number listed on the website, the call goes directly to a “full” voice mailbox for the “Fun Color Run” and is unable to accept new messages.
BBB is advising consumers to always do their research and offers the following tips for signing up for a fun/color run:
Red flags for these types of races include:
• Similar names as other popular races or organizations
• Questionable or undocumented ties to charities
• Have a track record of canceling or rescheduling races
If you are thinking about participating in a themed “fun run”, here are some BBB tips:
• Do your research. Check out the company’s BBB profile and search online for additional information before signing up.
• Understand the terms and conditions. In some cases, promoters state on their websites that they don’t offer refunds, but many consumers don’t read the fine print before hitting “I agree” to long, online documents.
• Check the local venue. Contact the park or other venue to confirm that the event is scheduled.
• Pay with a credit card. Charges made on a credit card can be disputed after a purchase, whereas debit, cash or wire transfer transactions cannot.
• Keep documentation of your order. 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.