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

Hundreds gathered at Surrey’s Holland Park Friday (June 11) in memory of the Muslim family killed in London, Ont. on Sunday (June 6). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Educating public ‘exhausting,’ says White Rock Muslim Association past president

Asad Syed says public needs to be more vocal in their condemnation

The City of White Rock turns 63 today. (file photo)
City of White Rock 2020 annual report available for review

Report to be discussed at June 28 council meeting

Dooris Raad was last seen in South Surrey’s Ocean Park neighbourhood on June 7. (Surrey RCMP photo)
Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 13

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read