LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The colorful site funcolorrun5k.com advertises an upcoming “color run” race Saturday, August 19 at War Memorial Stadium. For $20, the site says runners can get “blasted with color” while running through the stadium.
But this is one fun run you should probably run away from…
While the website looks fairly convincing, we called War Memorial about the event and stadium reps said they had no record of it. The Hilton Garden Inn in North Little Rock also had never heard of the event, when we called and asked about an alleged registration expo and packet pickup on Friday.
“They’ll put up these really nice pictures, it looks like there’s big crowds, looks like a lot of fun and everybody’s smiling,” said Mike Rohrer with the Better Business Bureau serving Central Arkansas. “But always read the contract. Somewhere in there it’s probably going to say there are no refunds available.”
According to Rohrer, fun run race scams are a trend sweeping in the nation. In fact, Rohrer says the BBB recently issued a national alert warning consumers about possible scams when signing up for “fun run” types of events.
A Fun Color Run race scheduled for August 13 in Mobile, Alabama was also reported by local media to be a scam.
“The biggest red flag I would see in a fake race is it you cannot reach anyone, you cannot email them, you cannot call them and get a response within 24 hours,” explained Gina Pharis, race director for the Little Rock Marathon.
Pharis suggests always paying for a race, no matter how legitimate it seems, with a credit card. That way if it does turn out to be a scam, you have a much better chance of disputing the charge and getting your money back. She also recommends runners be suspicious of “touring” types of races, saying locally produced runs are typically more trustworthy.
We reached out to the phone number listed on funcolorrun5k.com for the organizers but were only able to reach a strange automated voicemail recording. The number listed on the site has an Ohio-based area code.
If you ever suspect a race or any event may not be real, you can always go to the BBB’s website and search for reviews or report it as a possible scam.
Check out a full warning from the Better Business Bureau involving fake races HERE.