Students across the country have become the target of an “elaborate phishing” scam, with ‘DateWithStudents’ asking for their University login details for “authentication” to sign up.
Many Southampton students have received emails in their SUSSED accounts over the last few days, asking them to sign up to the ‘dating service’ in exchange for revealing an ‘anonymous’ admirer.
The scammers claim on their site they use the university email addresses as “authentication via school email address so we can avoid fake profiles, SCAMs and SPAMs.”, similarly to UniDays.
However, Oxford’s IT Office warned the site itself appears to be an “elaborate phishing site”, while Leeds University officials suggested the email details had possibly been passed on or sold to the third-party organisation, but that it is “not possible to pinpoint what’s happened in this particular case”.
The main page features three extremely diverse “love stories” from the service, including Doris & Peter whose love is “the best match since 6 months”, and Yuan & Jin, who got off to such a hot start that he “stood [her] up on the first date”, before eventually finding love on the site.
The image of Yuan & Jin appears to have been taken from a 2012 post by Russian social media site VK user Choi-Seo Hee, further reducing the credibility of the site’s romantic claims.
There have also been reports online from Bournemouth, Manchester, Loughborough and many other universities in the last month.
Reactions to the emails on Twitter suggests many savvy students have not fallen for the hoax:
This datewithstudents is shady af ?
— ??? ?? ()
wtf is datewithstudents and why am i getting an email about it ?
— Ericka ()
Students are advised to never use their university login on external websites.
VP Welfare Sam Bailey told the Soton Tab:
If you suspect that an email or link might be a scam or phishing attempt then there are some general steps you should take:
Don’t open any attachments or click on any links; Don’t give any personal details such as bank details or passwords; Check with the organisation if it appears to come from an official email address.
Have you had any scam attempts to your uni email address? Let us know in the comments!