Sham charity operators turn the Big C into a Big Con

If you know someone with cancer, you may have considered donating to a cancer-related charity. Many legitimate charities use donations to find treatments and cures. Some support patients and families. But there also are bogus charities that lie, exploit your generosity, and use donations to help their managers, their friends, and their families, not the causes described to donors.

Sham Cancer Charities

Sham Cancer Charities

Today, the FTC, along with all 50 states and the District of Columbia, announced they have filed a complaint in federal court against four sham charities — Cancer Fund of America, Cancer Support Services, Children’s Cancer Fund of America, and the Breast Cancer Society. Two of the operations have agreed to shut down, and three people agreed to permanent bans against ever managing charities, controlling charitable funds, or fundraising. Litigation continues against the other defendants, seeking to permanently end their allegedly illegal practices.

According to the complaint, the operators of these four so-called charities obtained more than $187 million from donors across the country. Potential donors were told their contributions would go to direct support for patients — things like medicine, cash help and groceries; transportation for chemotherapy; counseling; and hospice care. Some of those promises were just lies – the defendants did not pay for pain medication or hospice care for cancer patients at all. In truth, the sham charities spent most of the donated funds supporting themselves, their families and friends, and their paid fundraisers, who often received 85 percent or more of donations.

Before you give, take precautions to make sure your donations benefit the people and organizations you want to help.

  • Sleep on it. You don’t have to make a donation, or even a commitment to donate, on the spot.
  • Ask the charity questions directly about what it will do with your money.
  • Donate to charities you know and trust.

For more tips, visit Charity Scams. If you spot a scam, file a complaint with the FTC. Every complaint matters, and can lead to investigations and prosecutions.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Have you looked into the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Foundation? I didn't think so!!

I have donated every year to the Cancer Fund inspite of not having enough every year for my basic needs. Thank you for your work to bring these crooks to justice.

Once upon the time I subscribe my self to be an activist to help people with cancer in my area..Little after I received a package with envelopes and forms for me to send out or to go in my neighbor for them to fill out the form and send the money to some where else..I though that was wrong and I refuse to do such thing..Why I may going to put my face to still money for some else ? I ask my self, from then I never believe in those fundraisers.....I bet, that this mechanism was part of the scam.. Sad!!

them dirty dogs

I have been saying this for years When I found out Avon keeps half the money raised on every single walk . I am a survivor I received nothing No help No wig No prosthetic Nothing There's a cure for cancer There's more money in treatment Shsme

Preach! It's been going on for a while now!

I America?? I'm loosing everything, am young to be disabled, worked 2 jobs, until 40s, returned to college, my 4 childrn, now independent, I rasied alone, no assistance, getting to point, was finally in good job, second marriage, con artist, ruined my credit, cleaned out my bank, I put new home / credit all in my name. Now in replevin of home, which is another issue, soon to be either homeless or in a SHELTER!!! 800.00 mo. In bucks pa! Can't get gov, legal help. Lupus, is my battle of many, but facing homelessness? How can this be? Anyone LYING ABOUT CANCER FUND RAISING OR ANY DISEASE DESERVES, extensive repercussions!!!! Where is all the " money" ??? How do they get away??? SICKNING. Then, it's hard work to find ANY HELP, these poor families with chemo, or no family help! Sickens me

Why are these people not prosecuted for their crimes against Humanity. Have them pay back what they stole, work off their debt by cleaning up the roadways,Community service for the needy, soup kitchens, etc., there are hundreds of things they can do to pay back their debt. Our Justice Dept Stinks. 5-19-2015.

Read the press release for more information about the monetary judgments imposed, bans set on defendants and federal and state charges against defendants.

American Cancer Society is a sham too. All the hair given to them as Charitable donations are sold to patients. Disgraceful!


Leave a Comment

Comment Policy

Read Our Privacy Act Statement

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.