Missouri Organization offers tips to avoid ‘Pink Washing’ scam

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – During the month of October, some businesses attempt to capitalize on the prominence of the Pink Ribbon symbol without contributing to the cause, according to the Better Business Bureau.

The BBB says opportunistic businesses can do this because there is no agency regulating the usage of breast cancer symbology.

“Knowing how to research a charity organization or a business prior to giving is essential with these kinds of things. It is difficult to track your money once you give it to what you believe is a reputable charity,” Shelbi Felblinger with the Better Business Bureau said.

The BBB offers these tips for anyone making a ‘pink purchase’ or donating to a breast cancer-related charity:

  • Shop smart. Some companies donate a portion of the sale of specific items, designated with pink ribbons or packaging. When shopping for “pink ribbon” items, see if the promotion is transparent about which charity it will benefit and how much of the purchase will be donated. Watch out for vague claims of proceeds benefiting unspecified charities.
  • Check the charity. If you are considering a donation to a charity that is not familiar to you, go to Give.org.
  • Participate carefully. Some charities host fundraising events in addition to marketing promotions. If this interests you, gather all the important information before signing up. Is there a participation fee or are you required to sign up a minimum number of sponsors? Always research the charity or group organizing the event before you register.

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