SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Many will be looking for ways to support efforts to help find a cure during Breast Awareness month but donors beware, the charity may not be what they seem.

“I think that’s horrible… you have an organization trying to do some good in the world and people take advantage of that and that’s poor,” said David Parkinson of East Longmeadow.

The Better Business Bureau says know the red flags. The pink ribbon is one of the most recognized symbols of breast cancer awareness month, but keep in mind that charity scammers could also use that image to trick you. Before making a donation:

  • Make sure to research the charity or organization: Better Business Bureau recommends asking for documentation to know exactly where your money is going. Also, gain a better understanding of what they do. Are they engaged in medical research, treatment assistance, and/or prevention education?
  • A major red flag is intimidation tactics by the scammer that would include using guilt or urgency to get you to donate your money.
  • Check the charity’s ratings on a reliable website, the Better Business Bureau recommends Give.org.

The Pink W.A.Y. is a local organization here in western Massachusetts that raises money for people with breast cancer to support them financially through treatment.

“From our perspective that would take away from somebody that we would be able to help with groceries, or electric bill, or a wig because someone who donated their money to someone not legitimate,” said Robyn Hersey of the Pink W.A.Y. Foundation in Ludlow.

after you have made a donation…make sure to review your statements closely to make sure you’re only charged the amount you agreed to donate…

If you are looking to support locally, Pink W.A.Y will be holding its annual breast cancer benefit and dinner this Sunday.