Avoid Scams: How to Make Sure Your Alumni Community is the Real Deal
We recently had issues with a separate alumni site causing some confusion in people’s inboxes.
We noticed one website that sets up “bogus” alumni websites, and there’s one that exists for Menasha. It sends out emails under the label “MENASHA ALUMNI,” which would understandably cause people some confusion and potentially make people think the email is coming from us at Bluejay Nation.
Instead, these “alumni sites” send out spam messages, including matchmaking/dating site advertisements, and nothing actually to do with Menasha alumni.
There are multiple companies set up like this that purport themselves to be alumni networks to get the attention of unwitting victims. These companies create individual websites for thousands and thousands of high schools, encourage graduates of those schools to submit their personal information, and then use it to send advertisements (or worse).
First, we would like to reassure you that Bluejay Nation is the only alumni community tied to the district and the high school.
Second, it’s important to clarify some of the ways you can tell your alumni site is the real deal, and that you’re not getting pulled into a spam factory.
- It’s affiliated with the district: Does the website link to the school district or high school? More importantly, does the district recognize the existence of the site and the alumni network? This sort of affiliation should clarify with ease that it is a legitimate website.
- It’s easy to find information about members: Our website, for example, features a member directory that allows you to find and connect with other members who are alumni of all ages.
- There’s a purpose beyond collecting member information: It should be clear from the website that the alumni network is doing more than just harvesting information. There should be information about events, sponsorship or donor opportunities, volunteer opportunities, news about the district and other items that show an actual interest in the school and in alumni activity.
District administrators should be proactive about clearly communicating to their alumni about alumni associations that actually have a relationship with the school. Alumni, meanwhile, should make sure any organization they’re considering joining is actually sanctioned by and has a relationship with the school before registering.