Avoiding Freshers Facebook Scams

The definitive guide to avoiding Facebook scams in the lead up to Freshers week

A string of posts on unofficial Freshers’ Facebook pages have advertised fake or risky events, putting prospective students at risk of losing their money, being subject to fraud, and missing out on the official events programme attended by thousands.

Facebook is one of the first ports of call for new university students, as it offers an opportunity to interact with other applicants and to arrange Freshers’ activities. The danger arises where both scammers and genuine promoters set up ‘Unofficial’ groups, as these are not moderated by the Union and are often used by fake accounts trying to sell tickets to alternative or simply non-existent events.

In some cases these sites may actually sell tickets to official or real events, but these will often be at inflated rates so that the creators can profit from freshers.

A Students' Union event with CocaCola

In a warning to University students one first year took to the popular student forum 'the Student Rooms' and said:

"I've just finished my first year and wanted to give a bit of advice to you."

"Be careful of the Facebook groups for freshers. Check the description to see if it's affiliated with the University before joining. I made the mistake of joining a couple of bogus ones last year and got majorly ripped off with them selling tickets to crap events. Avoid the Ice Breaker at all costs. It's nothing like they make it out to be and honestly, you can have a much better time [on an official event]."

"Also, don't post your room numbers or accommodation on these groups. The admins accept anyone so it can cause some problems with crime. The official Facebook groups which are set up by the Union are much safer as they are checked against student lists."

The Lyberry Bar and Astoria are official partners of the Students' Union

So, how do you avoid these scams and Fake Facebook pages? Here are our top tips:

Be advised by the Union

  • We'll keep this page updated (below) with the latest known scam, fake and unofficial Facebook pages so if you are ever unsure then double check here.
  • We only promote and advertise official events that have been rigorously tested to ensure they are safe, student only and the best experience in the city.
  • We have three main nightlife partners in the city - Eskimo11.com who run our official events in venues across the city, the Lyberry Bar who are our official bar partner on Guildhall Walk, and the Astoria who are our official Nightclub Partner also on Guildhall Walk

Shiny graphics, no substance

  • A clear tell for these fake groups is often shimmering graphics, fake admin accounts featuring stolen photos, and lots of exciting words but often they have no venue listed, start time or ticket information
  • Often these groups start as something enticing to build a fan base and then change their name - last year the biggest con was a fake 'Puppy Petting' page which launched at every University in the UK and turned out to be a data harvesting exercise

Give me all your data

  • Never ever give out your personal data unless you are purchasing a ticket via a legitimate ticketing platform
  • Dodgy sites use Google Forms in general to harvest your data and provide no benefit to you
  • Most of them are likely to be in breach of data protection regulations and put your personal security at risk

Don't be fooled by the swell of fake events during the lead up to Freshers

Not sure what's endorsed and safe and what's not, here's our handy list of official communities:

Some of the pages above are operated by our events partner Eskimo11.com

Now, here's the list of pages, groups and events that we think might not be legit or have no association with the University or Students' Union:

Confused? So are we, that's why we recommend sticking with the 4 groups at the top of this section.


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