University Web Developers

University Web Developers

Over the weekend I received an email from a student telling me that she saw a Facebook ad with our school’s name and logo, offering a $10,000 scholarship. She sent me the link and expressed concern that it was shady and thought I’d like to know.

I changed my Facebook demographic information to try and see the ad (assuming that it was targeted at current students), and it worked. Here is the picture:


And here is the link it goes to:

http://www.scholarshipzone.com/form.php?c=189975043&forcelp=

I had our Vice President for Admissions look at “Scholarship Zone” and she confirmed that we are not at all affiliated and had her doubts of its validity.

Seeing as how I doubt our 2000 student campus is the bulk of their income, my guess is that they’re doing this on a large scale, a la the Class of 2013 issue from December.

I have filed a complaint to the Intellectual Property Infringement service at Facebook and am waiting on a response.

But, I have no way to know, so that’s where the super-networked Highered community comes in.

Does anyone know anything about Scholarship Zone? Are they using your school’s logo to advertise on Facebook?

Views: 6185

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Interesting. I'll shoot an email to my Facebook contacts and report back what I hear.
This is similar to when these spammy places buy Google keywords on your college's name (they do it for mine.)

Since they used your logo, I think you did the right thing by alerting Facebook. Being the giant company that they are, they might not respond. The best thing you can do is have your college's counsel send this company a cease and desist letter. You can also do the same on Google and Yahoo if you see similar things happening there.

IANAL, but if they continue after all the above steps, your counsel could file suit against them.
It looks like Vinyl Interactive is the company behind the Scholarship Zone website, based on a WHOIS lookup on the domain.
I ran a reverse DNS on it, and while the domain is blocked (stupid GoDaddy), it does say the name server is owned by Vinyl Interactive, which says it's a "lead generation" company.

Hmm. Sounds like they're fishing for incoming college students contact info they can sell.
Here's one I just got. Links to http://xldealsnow.com/Butler-Ins.php

Have legal draft up a cease and desist letter for them too.

Here's another one:

This one links to http://studentfinancialaidhelp.info/?t202id=3268&t202kw=et1819ns

One company with different URLs or many? whois says that studentfinancialaidhelp.info is registered to Murali Kumar of Chennai, India.

Looking up the url www.scholarshipzone.com with www.lookup365.com it shows a CNAME of www.scholarshipsolution.com. Perhaps a more web savvy person can explain the role of a CNAME and what that would mean.

Scholarshipsolution.com shows the same $10,000 scholarship stuff (though no college logos that I could see) on their site as well.

They list their email as info@scholarshipsolution.com and address as Free College Scholarships LLC., 135 Townsend St, Ste 615, SF CA 94107. The owners name is Ms. Nili Malach and you can contact her at (415) 503-2342.

Interestingly enough the owner, Nili Malach, is also co-founder of Vinyl Interactive. Here is the contact related to Vinyl:
(415) 503-2342
Fax: (303) 835-4617
Address: 1550 Bryant St Ste 545
San Francisco, CA 94103-4873
(Citation for above: http://www.bbb.org/greater-san-francisco/business-reviews/lead-prod...)

You can make a report to the Better Business Bureau about Free College Scholarships LLC. here: https://www.bbb.org/online/consumer/cks.aspx?ID=1070813161150820

Further digging also pulled up a connection to http://freecollegescholarships.net/
Further info:

It appears the address for Scholarship Zone, Scholarshipsolution and Free College Scholarships LLC is also connected to getyourdegree.com and get getyourdegree.net. Those sites of been linked to harassing telemarketer calls regarding getting your degree online. More info here http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-800-656-3152/2
Our ad clicked through to http://www.freecollegescholarships.net/form.php?c=190293621&for..., which looks very similar to http://www.scholarshipzone.com/form.php?c=189975043&forcelp=, which is where the OCU ad ends up.

Follow the BBB link on freecollegescholarships.net and you can get to this contact info:

Back to top
Business Contact and Profile for Free College Scholarships, LLC

Name: Free College Scholarships, LLC
Phone: (415) 503-2342
Address: 135 Townsend Street, # 615
San Francisco, CA 94107
Website: www.freecollegescholarships.net
Original Business Start Date: June 2005
Principal: Ms. Nili Malach, Owner
Customer Contact: Ms. Nili Malach, Owner
Entity: Limited Liability Corporation
Incorporated: March 2005, DE
Employees: 1
TOB Classification: Scholarships & Financial Aid
BBB Accreditation: Free College Scholarships, LLC is a BBB Accredited business.

Same phone number as for Vinyl Interactive.
Wow, what great information and team work. Hopefully we can shed some light on this and also all be reminded that we should be vigilant for this type of brand-jacking.
Also, as an update concerning damage control, I just posted an announcement on our FB fan page saying that we were in no way affiliated with FB ads using our name and logo and offering scholarships. Two people have already indicated they appreciated the heads up.

RSS

Elsewhere

Latest Activity

Lauren Zakich commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Jim Heiney from Lock Haven University shares his advice on how an editorial calendar can help keep your web content up to date and engaging in today’s blog post.  "
Thursday
Lauren Zakich commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"We have a new addition to our OmniUpdate family. Welcome, Cerritos College! "
Wednesday
Lauren Zakich commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Emergency Alerts for OU Campus allows you to communicate with students, staff, and the community with custom website announcements. When time matters most, make sure your website is the go-to place for info."
Tuesday
Neil Joellenbeck replied to Mark Greenfield's discussion The Future of the UWEBD Social Network
"This is the first time I have been here in a long time. Selfishly, I would hope that you would be able to continue the site, but I understand realities. As I re-acquaint myself, I'm seeing a lot of value in what you have tirelessly built.…"
Sep 16
Gareth J M Saunders replied to Mark Greenfield's discussion The Future of the UWEBD Social Network
"Hi Mark, in line with many others who have posted, first a big thank you for providing this resource for so many years. I was a keen reader of it and occasional poster a good few years ago. And I loved my Website Hero mug until I dropped it and had…"
Sep 15
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Have you heard about our new UX Feedback Program? Your input can directly affect the future of OU Campus! Learn more in today's blog post. "
Sep 14
Lauren Zakich joined Lynn Zawie's group
Thumbnail

OmniUpdate

Share your experiences using OmniUpdate CMS
Sep 13
Genevieve Howard replied to Mark Greenfield's discussion The Future of the UWEBD Social Network
"I want to chime in along with the others in thanking you for being a leader in our niche group! I appreciate your effort. I lean toward LinkedIn. "
Sep 13
A. Watson replied to Mark Greenfield's discussion The Future of the UWEBD Social Network
"I was a recent addition and did not find too much activity here that I could leverage but LinkedIn does seem to be the logical destination.  Perhaps there is interest here and you can crowd source the migration. Migrating the content could…"
Sep 13
Eloine Chapman replied to Mark Greenfield's discussion The Future of the UWEBD Social Network
"I would be very sorry to see this resource go. I am just a one person shop at my college and feel quite a alone as far as anyone understanding the complexity of what I do. It's a wonderful thing to see people facing the same challenges I face…"
Sep 13
Christopher Spires replied to Mark Greenfield's discussion The Future of the UWEBD Social Network
"I wouldn't feel necessary to stick with Ning if the cost isn't a burden. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Slack are all satisfactory options in my opinion. Slack is a great option for more instant communication, and you'll probably find a lot…"
Sep 13
Mark Lawrence replied to Mark Greenfield's discussion The Future of the UWEBD Social Network
"Thank you Mark, this has been an invaluable resource - particularly for seeing how our cohorts at other institutions approach the problems we all face. But, as many people have said today, I haven't visited in a while. I think that's…"
Sep 13
Charlie Lindahl replied to Mark Greenfield's discussion The Future of the UWEBD Social Network
"Ah. Thank you. I've just sent a request to have TAMU.EDU added to the list."
Sep 13
Laurie Trow replied to Mark Greenfield's discussion The Future of the UWEBD Social Network
"Is this for the Slack? If so, you need to email leta@berkeley.edu to have your edu domain added."
Sep 13
Hugh Jarvis replied to Mark Greenfield's discussion The Future of the UWEBD Social Network
"Regardless of where this goes, Mark, thanks for setting it up and running it all these years! I find it quite useful myself, lurking mostly, but occasionally joining in where it might help us, or I might be able to provide value. I like having this…"
Sep 13
Charlie Lindahl replied to Mark Greenfield's discussion The Future of the UWEBD Social Network
"OK, I give up. I am at Texas A&M, and @tamu.edu is not listed among those allowed to create userids. Can someone either (1) add TAMU.EDU or (2) send me an invitation to uwebd slack? (clindahl@tamhsc.edu). Thanks, Charlie"
Sep 13
Jay Massey replied to Mark Greenfield's discussion The Future of the UWEBD Social Network
"Mark, I agree that the paid Ning site may have outlived its usefulness in light of other group media apps. Like many have stated, Slack and FaceBook / LinkedIn groups. are good options. Slack may not have as much adoption as FB or LI yet. Consider…"
Sep 13
David P. Dillard replied to Mark Greenfield's discussion The Future of the UWEBD Social Network
"If you decide to leave Ning, please consider as an additional place to have this discussion group at no cost, the GROUPS.IO discussion group network which is free and of a very high quality. It also provides a wiki to those who have discussion…"
Sep 13
Tiffany Broadbent replied to Mark Greenfield's discussion The Future of the UWEBD Social Network
"There is already a uwebd.slack.com Slack group that was created back in May so that is something that folks could transition to now if they'd like (http://cuwebd.ning.com/forum/topics/is-there-a-university-web-developers-slack-group). I…"
Sep 13
Sherrie Roberts replied to Mark Greenfield's discussion The Future of the UWEBD Social Network
"UWEBD is a site I come to ever so often but would hate for it to go away because it is a great place to meet and get input from other university web developers. Maybe move to a cheaper platform, Facebook group or LinkedIn group would be my choices.…"
Sep 13

UWEBD has been in existence for more than 10 years and is the very best email discussion list on the Internet, in any industry, on any topic

About

© 2016   Created by Mark Greenfield.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service