It is not uncommon for complaints to be made to SCAMwatch by consumers or organisations concerned that claims made by traders misrepresent their affiliation with, or support of, a charity or charitable organisation. If in doubt, consumers are encouraged to make inquiries of businesses about the nature of their affiliation or the way in which they support charities or charitable organisations.
By way of example, SCAMwatch has been advised that there are a number of products for sale online that are using the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s (NBCF) Pink Ribbon motif and slogan without NBCF authorisation. The products of concern are generally health-related products, such as teeth-whitening solutions, age-defying lotions or weight control formulas. The websites which sell these products sometimes list Australian based addresses, although other promotional material contains an overseas telephone number for consumer-related inquiries.
As many consumers know, the NBCF is a community-funded organisation in Australia that raises money for research into the prevention, detection and treatment of breast cancer. Recognised as a symbol for breast cancer awareness, the NBCF uses a distinctive Pink Ribbon motif to accompany its slogan, ‘National Breast Cancer Foundation: Funding research for prevention and cure’.
Of course, there are many known and trusted brands in Australia that very generously support charities such as the NBCF and do have authorisation to use their motifs and identify themselves as a partner or supporter. The website of the NBCF has a list of all its official partners (see the ‘corporate’ section).
There are many genuine ways for you to support the work of charities. The most direct way is to contact the charity yourself and make a donation.
If you are interested in supporting a charity organisation, you may want to approach the organisation directly to identify ways to make a donation or offer support.
If you have purchased a health-related product online and are concerned that it may be part of a scam, report it to the ACCC Infocentre via the SCAMwatch website.