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Watch out for scams during Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer Awareness Month October Pink Ribbons-3231718_640Every October, countries across the world observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month to increase support for and awareness of this disease.

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among U.S. women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About one in eight U.S. women, about 12 percent, will develop breast cancer during her lifetime.

From 2012-2016, overall breast cancer incidence rates increased slightly, by less than 1 percent per year. However, there is still no cure, and fundraising continues for research.

There are many ways to contribute, among them purchasing “pink ribbon” items.

People should use caution when they donate to ensure their money is being used as advertised. Phony charities make phone calls and send emails and letters. They may even text you or send you a message on social media.

The Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance offers these tips to consider before you donate:

  • 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. Charities accredited with BBB Wise Giving Alliance meet the 20 BBB Charity Standards. If you’re  considering a donation to a charity that you’re unfamiliar with, go to to review its charity report or find trustworthy organizations to donate to. When researching a charity, pay attention to its name, as some questionable charities may use names similar to those of established organizations.
  • Participate carefully. Some charities host fundraising events in addition to marketing promotions. If this interests you, gather 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.
  • Take action. If your preferred charity isn’t holding any events or promotions during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, contact them directly to see how you can volunteer or donate.

You can also use websites such as GuideStar or Charity Navigator to check out a charity before donating.


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Your tips apply to all charities. There are good ones and many bad ones. Some non-profits use their proceedings to benefit themselves. They live off them. You really have to be careful.

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