The ‘Durham Student-Nights’ Sham
Are you friends with ‘Durham Student-Nights’ on Facebook? If so, DELETE THEM NOW!
Female students across Durham are being contacted on Facebook by a mysterious user who has been looking through their photos and asking inappropriate questions such as the type of underwear they wore.
Suspicion was sparked after several girls reported being Facebook messaged by someone called Alexa, who claimed to be an employee of the entirely fictitious, ‘Durham Student Nights’. It transpired that their conversations were almost identical, beginning something like this:
Hi …., very sorry to randomly, personally, bother you, but could i ask you about a dress in one of your pics which i think is gorgeous?
im Alexa btw! bored at work so dress shopping!
Recipients of these messages all say they were asked about a particular dress they had worn far back in their photos; so at the very least this supposed Alexa had been stalking far beyond what she (or he?!) should have been.
The questions were quite normal to start with, just asking where it was from and if there were any problems with it. But as conversations continued, the questions became more and more personal and somewhat inappropriate, asking about VPLs, for example, and what kind of underwear they wore.
In one girl’s case Alexa even went as far as to tell her she’d looked through the rest of her photos and could see there was “no VPL problem”. Somewhat disturbing to say the least.
“She was pretty convincing,” says one girl, “She chatted just like a girl our age, and kept saying things like, “oh you don’t have to”, “sorry to bother you” and, “I hope this is okay”. You know, sort of felt bad for not answering her questions at the beginning.”
Some girls were even offered drinks vouchers for answering her questions.
“I think I talked to her for about 40 minutes in total, which seems ages, but it was only in the last 5 or 10 minutes the questions started to make me uncomfortable. I then made an excuse and left.”
It was after comparing stories with friends that real concerns were raised.
“The thing is, Alexa had said to me she was at work, a late shift, and we were talking at about 11pm, but she’d also told my friend she was at work, earlier the same day at 1pm. So if that were true she would have been at work at least 10 hours, on a Facebook page that had had no activity in about 2 years.”
And on inspection of the page, ‘Durham Student-Nights’ has over 500 friends, all of whom are girls from Durham.
The reason, it seems, that the page managed to attain so many ‘friends’ is that similar pages exist at other universities, such as ‘Birmingham StudentNights’ and ‘StudentNights Canterbury’; so it seems that the mystery creator used a pretty convincing cover.
On closer inspection of the Facebook page, there has been little activity except for statuses asking for private messages from female models. And these were from as early as 2009, so the page has clearly been around for a while.
“I didn’t really realise it was anything more than a slightly over intrusive girl asking questions until I’d had a look at her page and realized it could pretty much be anyone hiding behind the page title.
“I felt like an idiot afterwards. You always think that you’d notice something like this if it happened to you. The more I think about it now the more I kick myself for not picking up on it sooner, but as you say it’s all too easy to be fooled and just go along with it,” confessed one student.
So make sure you’re not the next target – delete ‘Durham Student-Nights’ now! Let’s get their friend count to 0…