SPOKANE, Wash. - While thousands were enjoying the Ironman in Couer d'Alene last Sunday, several people in Spokane were left disappointed after finding out the Fun Color Run 5K was a scam.
Nikki Easterling and her daughter Amelia were two of the victims of the scam.
The mother daughter duo had been staying active all summer participating in the Couch to 5K Challenge. The Fun Color Run was supposed to be a culmination of their effort.
Nikki Easterling said, “we scoured websites and blogs and even looked at a magazine at our doctors office and we found this color run.
After signing up, signed up Easterling and her daughter invested in new sneakers and outfits.
On the Saturday before the race they went to pick up they registration packets at a local hotel.
“As we came in they told us we were one of several other people including vendors that it was a scam,” explained Easterling.
She says she felt silly; she didn't know it was possible to be scammed out of a 5K.
“We were building up to it, planning for it and excited about it and it was a real let down. I felt really foolish that I ended up in this boat,” she added.
Nikki thought the website looked legitimate and was immediately concerned for people in other cities this supposed race was coming to next. She came to KXLY 4 News for help and we connected her with the Better Business Bureau who said this is a classic copycat event.
Kirstin Davis of the Better Business Bureau said, “these color runs have become really popular. Its very easy for these companies to go from community to community to set it up, tear it down and its really to copy this sort of thing.”
Davis has alerted the Better Business Bureau in every city this race is supposed to travel to
and says even when websites and magazines are promoting an event, it's always best to research the company that's putting it on. Hatcher Event Productions, the host of the Fun Color Run has an F-rating with the Better Business Bureau and they've put out alerts saying the event never happens.
Looking up cities the event has been to prior is another way to avoid being scammed. Check to see if there are any complaints, if participants were happy and if the event was canceled.
Take some time and dig in to the event website. Davis noticed immediately the photos on the scam website were generic and lacked the color run logo.
“I thought it was very interesting too when you went to the vendor page; all of these pictures are just very generic. They could be from any trade show anywhere,” she added.
Lucky for Nikki Easterling, she paid by credit card and is working with the card company to get her money back.
KXLY 4 News has also alerted the official Color Run of the scam.