AARP warns of ‘pinkwashing’ scams in Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – While it is a sign of hope and healing for many people affected by breast cancer, the pink ribbon is also an opportunity for scammers to make money.

“Unfortunately, the scammers will come after folks who have those good intentions because the scammers are bad actors,” said Jamie Harding with AARP Alabama.

The pink ribbon is often plastered on products in October. That is why AARP Alabama is warning of “pinkwashing” scams this month.

“Pinkwashing” is when a group uses the pink ribbon to make it appear they are donating to a breast cancer research organization or other nonprofit.

“There are some who are, you know, legitimate companies, but others who are maybe posing as a charity related to Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” Harding shared.

AARP Alabama encourages donors to investigate.

Consumers should check out any organizations they are weary of online. Give.org and charitynavigator.org can be used to verify the legitimacy of groups.

Shoppers are urged to ask companies which nonprofits they plan to donate to, and what percentage of the money is going to the cause.

Another item to consider is whether the product contains toxins linked to breast cancer.

“I think there’s some legitimate concern by some in the breast cancer community about companies who are promoting products, which may have been linked in some medical studies to raising cancer rates or something of that nature,” Harding said.

While October will soon come to a close, scammers are just getting started. The holidays are a prime season for criminals to steal.

AARP Alabama stressed the importance of only shopping on legitimate websites. Criminals can create fake websites to steal your credit card information.

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