I read this article this morning and wanted to alert more people to this:
Runners urged to seek refunds after advertised race in Leeds is exposed as potential scam – Read More
Most of us can be exposed to potential scams on a regular basis and a professional football club, Hamilton Academical, have recently become victims of fraud that is challenging their very existence. Now, it would seem, runners are being targeted with fake races.
The article mentioned at the top refers to a series of 5k and 10k some only ‘glow in the dark’ night time fun runs that were to be held in Leeds, Sheffield, Edinburgh and Birmingham. The problem here was the organisers weren’t responding to enquiries and their website, Facebook page and email address were deleted. That’s after people forked out a lot of money for entries.
How to spot the good from the bad
Themed fun runs are increasing in popularity, growing in numbers and are often organised by or in association with a charity. They are often aimed at the beginner runner market and while the majority of races are very well organised, there now looks to be a greater potential for one of these races to be a total scam. How can we spot the good ones from the dodgy ones?
- Reputable Entry Sites – Many races will use reputable entry sites like Entry Central, Active or perhaps have their own bespoke portal.
- Information – The branding of the race should easily be spotted across the whole website AND entry portal. There should be a fair amount of detail about the race and an FAQ page. If not then…..
- Contact Details – If you are unsure as to whether an event is authentic, their contact details should be clearly visible and so drop them a line. Perhaps email them with a question about where to park, if there are toilets on site or nearby etc. If they don’t respond within a day or two, try phoning them. If it rings out or they don’t return your call later in the day or following morning then don’t enter.
- Check Social Media – It’s worth looking for a Facebook page or search the event to see if anyone else is talking about it. Runners are good at talking about and sharing events they are taking part in so you will know if anyone has raised any concerns or at least be able to join in a conversation with fellow runners you will meet at the event.
- Contact Local Authority – All events must have a license issued by the local authority to hold the event so if you have any concerns, contact the authority and they will be able to tell you if a license has been granted or even applied for.
- Contact Your Bank/Card Issuer – If you’re in any doubt then contact your bank immediately and report the suspected fraud and you should be able to get a refund. Check your bank anyway for what policy they have in place for things like this.
The majority of races are organised by very responsible people who are passionate about running and experienced event organisers and fingers crossed you never got caught up in something like this.