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starbrightstarbright Posts: 4,660Registered User Senior Member
edited December 2010 in Parents Forum
I'd love to know where this kid learned about how to run a business. The last thing we need are more people like this running companies. I hope it goes down the tubes with all the bad press.

That Facebook Welcome to the Class of 2015? Not So Fast, Colleges Say - NYTimes.com
Post edited by starbright on
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Replies to: ****

  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone Posts: 2,582CC Admissions Expert Senior Member
    I'm glad you started this thread in the Parents Forum, starbright. I was going to start a thread on this topic as well, but I wasn't sure where it would best fit. It definitely seems worthwhile to alert parents to this Facebook scam. With Early Decision verdicts rolling in, high school seniors are likely to get duped into joining these faux Facebook groups. So hopefully parents can provide some guidance and will warn their newly-accepted seniors to proceed cautiously despite the excitement of getting good news from top-choice colleges.
  • corey91corey91 Posts: 902Registered User Member
    Hmm, I don't see what a fake facebook group can harm. I know for my school there were tons of class '14 facebook groups started up by various people. I also found my roommate through uroomsurf, though at that time it was free.

    I think all people should take caution with anything on the internet. Hopefully even on an official facebook group (which is public) people wouldn't go about spouting personal information.

    In all reality there are very few advertisements that are fully honest anyways, i don't understand the significance of this particular advertisement ploy.
  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone Posts: 2,582CC Admissions Expert Senior Member
    These Facebook groups are posing as official college-sponsored online meeting places for new students. What they really are, however, are fishing nets designed to lure accepted students and sell them roommate-matching services.

    Certainly, it's fine to start a group that isn't official. Anyone is free to say, "Hey ... I just got into Tufts. Join this group if you did, too," much in the same way that College Confidential has threads for accepted students at many colleges. But here on CC we make it clear that these accepted-student threads are not formally affiliated with the college.

    It's also fine to offer a fee-base roommate-matching service. But there should be transparency here, too. The service shouldn't pretend to be something different. Note also that roommate-matching services are useless at many colleges where housing officials do not honor roommate requests unless there are extenuating circumstances.
  • umcp11umcp11 Posts: 1,321Registered User Senior Member
    When I was admitted to several colleges in 2007 I wasn't aware that ANY Facebook groups were "official" and created by the university. I thought all were created by admitted students. In fact, bolstering my theory was the fact that most of my schools had multiple admitted students' Class of Whatever groups...I usually just joined the one with the most members at the time.

    Sure, I guess there's a difference in that those students who happened to be the first to start a Class of X group aren't trying to sell anything or do anything other than connect with other students. But the focus on the creation of "official looking FB pages" and "unauthorized use of logo" is a little stupid in my opinion. This generation's college students are very skeptical of FB/the internet and I imagine would USUALLY assume something on FB is unofficial unless stated otherwise...i.e. guilty until proven innocent.

    That said it's clear that the intent of this guy is to deceive - I'm not sure we can leap to the conclusion that he's posing as an official representative from the college, nor can we assume anyone is thinking that, but we can leap to the conclusion that he's trying to disguise the fact that the group is connected to his business. Otherwise URoomSurf would be mentioned on the page obviously, and it's clear from this article that it wasn't.

    I think mostly, though, he's just hurting himself. Operating in such a deceptive manner is just going to cause students not to trust the service/not to trust personal info with the service. Actually that's really too bad, because I think a lot of students actually would pay $5-10 for such a service. It's true that some colleges don't honor roommate requests and I would hope the service only focuses on schools that do, but at many colleges it's standard practice to honor a request for two people to room together. And at most schools, roommate matching is very random/the survey questions are very sparse. Of course, colleges are recognizing that the internet age is making it easier for students to connect ahead of time...Maryland is launching a pilot, official roommate matching service sometime soon/already has. So. Eh. I think the guy already lost his chance.
  • ginab591ginab591 Posts: 1,068Registered User Senior Member
    I personally just think an accepted student would stop at the point where what he or she thought was a roommate finding service affiliated with the school asked them to pay extra.
    It's not a great business opportunity for the guy, but that's his own fault. He uses logos but says he'll take them down with a message directly from the school.
    I personally don't see the problem.

    umcp11--speaking someone who's freshman roommate is currently trying to cause tons of drama in our group of friends. I'm glad Maryland is starting this so no one has to deal with things like this.
  • SaintSaensSaintSaens Posts: 1,152Registered User Senior Member
    I saw one of these faux facebook groups (the link was posted on here before the post was deleted as spam). I was wondering why somebody from UMiami would start a group for a completely unrelated college, then I realized it was solely to promote a website that wasn't even up yet.
  • cseigercseiger Posts: 14Registered User New Member
    My issue with this website isn't that they are creating facebook groups for students. In fact, I think that's fine. However, I also use an official group created by the school that I was accepted to. **** has begun joining these groups and advertising their website, which is highly inappropriate. One guy posted on a link where people were talking about potential roommates, and suggested that people try **** instead. When I clicked on his page, I discovered that he worked for ****. They should not be joining official groups posing as admitted students. I don't care if they want to advertise by making their own groups, but they can't join sites created by the school to advertise. I do agree, though, that this guy can't cause much harm. Most people are realizing now that **** is behind these sites and don't consider them to be the official representation of the school.
  • daniellef88daniellef88 Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    I think you're all missing the mark. It wasn't until recently that colleges started making "official" facebook groups for their incoming students. When I first got accepted into my choice college (which wasn't 20 years ago-- mind you-- but 3 years ago), they were all run by other kids in my year. The point of a facebook group is to meet other kids who are going to the same place as you-- i.e. not feel so completely lost and alone when you first get to campus. Therefore, no group is really "fake" if it contains other students all wanting the same thing as you do.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Posts: 27,277Registered User Senior Member
    Your first post. Are you from room surf?

    It's problematic because there is an unspoken "gentleman's agreement" that if you start a group for, say, Tufts class of 2015 to use Sally's example, that the people who join the group are indeed excited Tufts 2015ers. Not their parents, not their friends, and not representatives of room surf trying to sell something.
  • Dean JDean J Posts: 3,860College Rep Senior Member
    This person has been doing this for three years, first while working for College Pr0wler and now with his new company.

    I don't know if the Times linked to the original "story" that developed on the blog of former Butler admission officer Brad Ward, so here it is:

    SquaredPeg Blog Archive There’s something going down on Facebook. Pay attention.

    These folks have posted under using alias usernames on blogs and Facebook for years.
  • SWTCATSWTCAT Posts: 855Registered User Member
    I agree with most of you that he should not be posing as a student on FB to lure students to his website..however...my D actually joined Uroomsurf last year and found her roomate. They are the best of friends and she couldn't be happier. The website works, he just needs to find another way to market it..also, I think she only paid $4.00 to get a "deluxe" subscription which allowed her to see how others that she matched with answered thier questions. There was a free subscription also. It was well worth the $4.00 for a drama free year so far..It looks like he has made some changes this year and the cost has gone up. I still think it's a worthwhile service for roomate matching.
  • sunnyfloridasunnyflorida Posts: 4,790Registered User Senior Member
    There was a horrible facebook scam recently. A person set up fake facebook persona's, posed as a sorority rep for several different sororities, and then friended new pledges in universities across the south. He was very good. He gathered info from national websites from large and prominent sororities, then would message girls congratulating them about their success after rush and introduce himself as their regional rep He would throw out facts about their national group, then about their local chapter. He would slowly begin to ask personal questions under the rouse of "checking the girl out." I believe he posed as a woman.

    He then made some of them so comfortable that he had them send name, addresses, family names, dorm locations, favorite restaurants. Eventually he asked them about body type, and finally asked a few to send pictures of their breasts.

    Dean of Students at several large state and private U's in the south began to get calls from students uncomfortable about this facebook friend. Law enforcement got involved. Emails were sent out to entire student bodies warning of this scam. National sororities sent out warnings. One coed was so freaked out about the incident (and she never sent pictures) that she dropped out of FSU. Once news began to spread, local law enforcement realized this was happening regionally across the south. The FSU student went on the Today show to tell her story and generate even more news. It was a compelling interview. As calls came in and more coeds provided info, they caught the guy. He was a chef in Key West.

    This was after rush this year and went on during August through October. They caught the guy in December. I will look for a link. The story is easy to find via goggle.

    BE CAREFUL.
  • sunnyfloridasunnyflorida Posts: 4,790Registered User Senior Member
  • daniellef88daniellef88 Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    No, I'm not affiliated with **** in any way. I heard about it last year from incoming freshmen and was extremely jealous that it existed for them, but not for me when I was their age.

    My first year of college was typical-- fill out 3 questions on a bland questionnaire for the university to match you with your roommate... and a total disaster. My living situation was hell. My roommate was the complete opposite from me and she eventually stopped acknowledging my existence. We had meetings with our advisor and after a couple more months, with the head of housing. My roommate and I weren't the only ones going through this. After the first semester, every single room on my floor had been switched. A dorm should be your home away from home and a place of comfort-- not someplace you avoid. That is why I'm posting on here-- maybe their marketing tactics have been questionable-- but their service has not. Coming to college is like starting a new life. Being able to pick and choose your roommate beforehand can make a world of difference.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Posts: 27,277Registered User Senior Member
    My D joined her college's Official Class of 2015 site and she's been corresponding with some of the girls about room preferences / potentially becoming roommates. What does **** offer that private correspondence doesn't?
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