Facebook Fraud? Company Creates Unauthorized “Welcome to College” Groups

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When high-school seniors are admitted to college, they may get another invitation as well — one that could lead to spam.

A company called RoomSurf has set up more than 150 unauthorized Facebook groups for the incoming class of 2015, the New York Times reports. RoomSurf offers a service to match roommates, though it often has little say over eventual pairing and some colleges require random roommate assignments.

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On the surface, there’s nothing that sketchy about these Class of 2015 Facebook groups. But once you join the group, RoomSurf reportedly spams you with messages about its service, which can run up to $9.95. There’s no indication RoomSurf created the groups, though, which leads some to accuse the company of deceptive advertising.

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A staff member at Hamilton College tracked the groups to RoomSurf’s founder, Justin Gaither, who defended himself to the Washington Post. “The concept that no one else can reach out to a group of students — it’s not something that we agree with.” In the past, Gaither has been linked to similar Facebook skirmishes in 2008 with a service called MatchU, and he told the Post in February that he planned to be more transparent when marketing in the future. So much for that.  (via AllFacebook)