The creator of the popular “UBC Class of 2020” Facebook group appears to be gathering students' emails for marketing purposes.
An account by the name of Danielle Schlumberger — who is purportedly from Toronto and has no Facebook friends — occasionally posted tempting offers like free textbook PDFs in exchange for students' emails.
Students who comment their email address receive a recruitment email from OneClass, a site that awards students credits — which can be exchanged for cash payments or gift cards — to take notes during class and upload them on the site.
The URL they're asked to follow (emphasis added) looks like this:
The URL suggests specific targeting of UBC students' emails gathered through Facebook.
“I know it's facebook and not a big deal in the grand scheme of things but I wish that someone more official would take care of administrating these 'class of 20xx' groups,” said Reddit user Methionine in the r/UBC thread. “The 2019 group is run by 3 admins which were 3 dummy accounts that were posting amazon referral links and pinning it to the group. If you mentioned anything about the links not being appropriate or called into question the legitimacy of the admins you were banned.”
One member of the Class of 2020 group, Joe Thomas, took it upon himself to warn everyone who gave away their email in an email of his own, which has been condensed for length and clarity:
“Thank you for your emails. No seriously, thank you very much. As you can tell from the recipient list in this email, you and over 500 other students have just given your emails away for free on facebook so that some random marketing agency, or guy, like me, can easily email you.
I have no idea if the woman advertising a google doc with a bunch of textbooks is legit or not, but nevertheless you should be a bit more careful with your email and your identity.
Anyways, there were a bunch more people added that I couldn't add to this email, so tell your friends and whoever not to fall for this shit, and thanks for taking the time to read this :)
A quick Facebook search reveals another account, Nicole Danielle Schlumberger, which has posted exactly the same thing in other universities' student groups, along with direct recruitment for OneClass. The account sometimes links the list of PDFs directly in the comments, using a link shortener that pays the creator for sending traffic through it.
The Danielle Schlumberger account is now deactivated and no longer an admin of the group, and another spam account from Los Angeles under the name of Calvin Randell has taken their spot.
OneClass did not respond to a request for comment.