The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers not to fall for an “every child matters” orange shirt scam that is circulating from a Facebook advertisement. (Website/TeeToro)

The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers not to fall for an “every child matters” orange shirt scam that is circulating from a Facebook advertisement. (Website/TeeToro)

T-shirt scammers falsely claim to support Indigenous causes, BBB warns

‘Opportunists trying to take advantage of a horrible tragedy is nothing new,” says Karla Laird

An “every child matters” orange shirt scam is circulating, warns the Better Business Bureau.

It’s aiming to turn a profit using Indigenous charity claims while communities grieve the 215 children whose remains were found buried near the former Kamloops residential school late last month.

“Opportunists trying to take advantage of a horrible tragedy is nothing new,” said Karla Laird, senior manager for media and communications at BBB, in a news release.

Laird said the consumer watchdog received a report of a Facebook ad selling T-shirts with the promise of proceeds going to the Indian Residential Schools Survivor Society.

However, that promise unraveled quickly when the consumer clicked on the advertisement and it brought them to the website of a T-shirt seller, Tee Toro, and no mention of the charity.

READ ALSO: Religious order that ran residential school renews apology to Tk’emlups te Secwepemc

The phone number and address listed on Tee Toro’s website belong to an unrelated shirt printing company in Florida, Viral Style.

“It is believed that Tee Toro has hijacked Viral Style’s address and contact information to appear legitimate to unsuspecting consumers,” Laird said of BBB’s findings.

“There have also been several consumer warnings on other platforms about Tee Toro, where consumers report making purchases of up to $54 USD and nothing was delivered.”

The orange shirt movement was inspired by six-year-old Phyllis Webstad, who wore an orange shirt to her first day at a residential school in Mission in 1973. The orange shirt, a gift from her grandmother, was taken from her by school officials.

RELATED: ‘Every Child Matters’: Orange Shirt Day spreads awareness across B.C.

Consumers can protect themselves from scams using the following tips:

Verify the charity. Visit the Canada Revenue Agency to confirm if the organization is a registered Canadian charity under the Income Tax Act using the registration number listed on its website.

Do not click pop-ups, be wary of sponsored ads soliciting donations. Scammers will use enticing headlines and images to get people to click on ads that redirect them to fraudulent websites.

Be wary of unsolicited emails. Watch out for spam messages and emails that claim to link to a recognized organization. Hover your mouse over a link to determine its true destination.

Think twice about unknown social media appeals. Watch out for private messages soliciting your support. Stay away from offers that sound like a quick way to get money, benefits or that require cash.

Exercise caution when crowdfunding. If you decide to contribute through crowdfunding, it is safest to give to people you personally know.

Use a credit card. Avoid donating cash and be wary if a platform asks you to contribute using gift cards, email transfers or cryptocurrency.

READ MORE: Remains of 215 children found at former B.C. residential school an ‘unthinkable loss’

The Indian Residential School Survivors Society is offering toll-free 24-hour telephone support for survivors and their families at 1 (866) 925-4419. The KUU-US Crisis Line Society’s 24-hour line is at 1-800-588-8717.



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

BusinessfraudIndigenousresidential schoolsScams

Just Posted

A new banner was unveiled Monday, June 21, in Williams Lake that will hang across Oliver Street. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Orange Shirt Banner Project unveiled in Williams Lake

The Every Child Matters - 215 banner will hang across the city’s main street

(File Photo)
Police watchdog clears 100 Mile RCMP of wrongdoing after man dies in Williams Lake shelter

The man had been in custody at 100 Mile RCMP detachment prior to being taken to Williams Lake

The future of the Quesnel Rec Centre pool is unknown after residents shot down potential renovations in a referendum. (Melanie Law photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Cariboo Regional District, Quesnel residents shoot down pool renovations in referendum

The $20 million project needed approval from people living in the North Cariboo Recreation area

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Williams Lake Blue Fins swimmer Cale Murdock is competing in Toronto June 17-23 at the Canadian Olympic Trials for a shot at competing as a member of Team Canada at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo submitted)
Blue Fins’ Murdock places eighth overall in 200m freestyle at Canadian Olympic trials

With the uncertainty of training and moving to Williams Lake to train, Webb said they were pleased

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read