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 concept rendering of the proposed seven-unit, two-storey development at 1129 Riverside Ave. in Sicamous. (District of Sicamous graphic)
Proposed luxury development in Sicamous sparks parking concerns

Seven-unit commercial-residential building planned for Riverside Avenue

The Shaw Centre and the SASCU Recreation Centre are the two largest producers of greenhouse gas emissions on City of Salmon Arm properties. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
City of Salmon staff surprised COVID not cause of drop in greenhouse gas emissions

2020 sees emissions on city-owned properties decrease well below 2019 totals

Shuswap Litas and Son of Stomp head out from uptown Askew’s parking lot on Thursday, June 10, some with teddy bears and stuffies, to ride to Pierre’s Point by Adams Lake community hall to show their support for band members in the wake of the confirmation of 215 children buried at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap bike clubs ride to support Indigenous communities

Motorcyclists go to Pierre’s Point in solidarity with bands in wake of residential school findings

Interior Health is offering mobile vaccination clinics for the first dose only of COVID-19 vaccine in the Shuswap from June 15 to June 19h. (Interior Health image)
First-dose vaccinations for COVID-19 offered via mobile clinics in Shuswap

Clinic in Salmon Arm scheduled for June 15, other clinics in Sorrento, Malakwa, Chase

The price per litre of regular gasoline was at 145.9 cents at several gas stations in downtown Salmon Arm on June 11, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Salmon Arm Observer)
Gas prices pumped up in Salmon Arm and Sicamous

Price spikes from 131.9 to as high as 145.9 cents per litre

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a summary of this week’s biggest stories from the Okanagan-Shuswap

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

The RCMP are asking for assistance regarding the death of Kathleen Richardson of Naramata, pictured here. Her death is believed to be related to two homicides in Naramata in May. (RCMP)
Police identify South Okanagan homicide victim as 57-year-old Naramata woman

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday

Two e-scooters parked on the sidewalk along Water Street in downtown Kelowna on Monday, May 3. Scooters parked on walkways are causing accessibility issues for some people with disabilities. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Kelowna General Hospital clinicians observe increase in e-scooter injuries

A report is set to go to city council next week on how the e-scooter pilot has gone thus far

Fair-goers take a ride at the 120th annual Armstrong Interior Provincial Exhibition and Stampede Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2019. (Katherine Peters - Morning Star)
Armstrong’s IPE not eligible for COVID-19 grant designed for major attractions

Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo criticized the rigidity of the provincial program’s criteria

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Most Read