Students are advised to be aware of online scams run by unofficial or even fake Freshers events and groups popping up across social media. These companies or individuals who are aiming to make easy money from students who don't want to 'miss out' on the university experience.
The groups will often claim to be running events for all London students, or for Greenwich students in particular. They will often ask to gather your personal information and push you to purchase a wristband or ticket highlighting that there are limited numbers and time is running out.
But what are the risks of these events and can they really all be fake?
One event 'The official London socially distanced freshers wristband' claims tickets are super limited and that if you give them your full name, email, number and University, you can get on a secret ticket link.
However, there is no information on their Google form about: the number of tickets available, how your data will be stored, whether or not they can pass that information on to a range of venues or sell off your data.
What's worse is that there is no information about the location of any of the events, whether they are COVID-secure or the times of the events. You could be signing up to anything and it could be incredibly difficult to get to if you don't know your way around London.
There may be some genuine events, but check the company who is running the event, students have been overcharged for club nights in the past that were open to the general public, the only difference was that they bought a wristband as well.
How do I spot a 'fake' event or social media group/page?
Unofficial pages will often use panic tactics to force you to make you sign up and they will use promoter profiles who will pretend they are students attending the events.
Their branding is often inconsistent and won't often be in line with the University or Students' Union brand.
They will change their location of the event suddenly or not be upfront as to where it is.
They might use inappropriate language in branding like 'F*ck me, it's Freshers'.
What do I do if I spot an 'unofficial' Freshers event or page?
You can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm whether or not it is one of our events or check our What's On page.
The best thing to do is to not join the group and do not give them your contact details to avoid being spammed by companies marketing to you.
What are the official events?
Greenwich Students' Union is running a range of virtual and in person events called GSU Welcome. We will be hosting events in the Lower Deck which is our student venue. You can discover all of the events here.
For the majority of our events, you sign in to our website to sign up, this is done through the University of Greenwich portal and so is a secure way of signing up.
There is also only one Facebook group run by us and we do not run a WhatsApp chat because it puts your phone number at risk of being stolen.