Freshers' Week Facebook Ticket Scam

It’s that time of year again. A Level results are in and thousands of 18 year olds across the country are desperately scouring the web for any information they can […]

It’s that time of year again. A Level results are in and thousands of 18 year olds across the country are desperately scouring the web for any information they can get about the university where they are going to spend the next few years. So, they turn to Facebook to find all the information they can.

The top 10 results for “Southampton University Freshers” return 3 groups for Solent, and 6 for Southampton. Some claim to be **OFFICIAL** but clearly aren’t. Funnily, the Southampton and Solent groups both use the same profile picture! A quick search through the profiles and what they post reveals the truth: the pages have been set up by promoters for nightclubs in Southampton and are trying to flog Freshers tickets.

The 2 main culprits are “Southampton Uni Freshers” and “Southampton University Freshers 2011 / 2012” who post

Last year's official SUSU logo

identical updates multiple times a day. These pages posted links to purchase an “AAA Pass” The pages went live way back in May, well before any official SUSU page. Cheekily, they even use last year’s official SUSU Freshers’ logo as their profile picture.

The adverts for Dirty Box Promotions’ AAA pass have been removed from the pages and in a post on August 22, the page’s owners stated the AAA Pass was nothing to do with SU:SU [sic] and only for Solent Student Union Events. A spokesman from Dirty Box Promotions informed The Tab the pages, including the Solent  page, are nothing to do with them and :

These pages have actually caused us a few issues with the AAA pass as freshers are confused and buying our AAA passes then realising they are predominantly for Solent SU/DBP events and requesting a refund – very irritating and time consuming.

When I pressed the apparent owner of the page on the 27th of August, I was immediately blocked and the page has suddenly disappeared. It appears the person behind this page has shut the page down in an attempt to avoid any consequences for their actions.

Vice President Communications at SUSU, Joe McLoughlin said:

I see these promoters as opportunistic in their marketing practices and do not support their techniques…The promoter in question has changed there tactics and is no longer pushing the tickets in the same way.

SUSU has been active across social media, in informing new students that these were not SUSU tickets and where the official page was.

SUSU has been active in pursuing any company or facebook profile which has been breaching our copyright; including photos, branding and logos, which has seen a number shut down
SUSU has been working with the University to remove facebook profiles/pages which infringes the Universities copyright.(again a number of pages have been shut down)

Reassuringly, the official SUSU page has got 3000 likes in 2 weeks and Freshers are advised not to take advice from any other page that purports to be an “official” University of Southampton page. If more people are aware of these scams, then hopefully no-one will be tricked out of their much-needed cash before a hectic Freshers’ fortnight.

Official tickets go on sale next Friday, the first of September, and are available here. If you have purchased a Triple A pass in error, Dirty Box Promotion will happily refund your money.