Fake ‘Puppy Petting’ events are stealing your information

Written by Ivan Edwards |


Credit: Kitty Green


Yesterday, the FXU Community and Welfare President Harry Bishop warned students not to fall for the fake university events circulating Facebook. This comes after over 2,000 people marked themselves as ‘Going’ or ‘Interested’ in the bogus ‘Puppy Petting Day’.

The Puppy Petting Day event on Facebook is hosted by ‘Exeter Events’, and is advertised as taking place on 14th November at Penryn Campus, with the page offering to “reduce all the other stresses of Uni life by bringing the cutest puppies to the arms of students”

An almost identical event was set up supposedly in Falmouth, titled “Puppy Petting Day Falmouth”.

But in a Facebook post on Friday, Bishop confirmed that these events were fake with malicious intent, adding that:


“Every year some absolute cretins think it’s cool to create a FAKE Puppy Petting Day and the they collect all your info and find out who’s hooking up with who”.


Fake events are a scourge for every university, particularly during Freshers’ Week. The hosts of the ‘events’ can gather personal data from people who interact with the page, gain likes, or may ask students to click a link and provide even more personal details.


Here is how to spot fake events:


  1. Who is organising it?


The ‘Puppy Petting Day Exeter’ was hosted by ‘Exeter Events’, a Facebook page created on 2nd October, with only one like, and whose sole event is the Puppy Petting day. You can check the host by clicking underneath the event name.



  1. Does it involve animals?


They know how to get us. Fully aware that we’re banned from having animals and missing our pets back home, fake events are often animal-themed.

There are occasionally real events on campus involving animals, but these are almost always hosted by an FXU society so you should always double check.


  1. Gets details about the local area wrong


Despite the event being held at Penryn, the joint campus of Falmouth and Exeter, the event was advertised as ‘Puppy Petting Day Exeter’, hosted by ‘Exeter Events’, with the location being ‘University of Exeter Cornwall’.

This suggests that, either there will be bouncers outside the puppy petting area, checking student cards and throwing out all Falmouth students who try to get in; or the creators of the page have no idea about this campus or the area.

See also: Freshers’ Events welcoming students to their new ‘city’ of Penryn.


  1. Are they desperate?


By including “Click Going & Share!” in the event name, the organisers reveal their true motives – to go viral and harvest as much personal data as possible. Steer clear.


  1. The same event is duplicated, everywhere
  2. Anything else suspicious


The Exeter puppy day was advertised as taking place from 14th November at 18:22 to 15th November at 20:20 precisely. While I was very much looking forward to stroking some puppies at 4am, I’m not sure they would have been able to cope with the 26-hour marathon petting session.


If in doubt about any events, you can double check with FXU.