Summer job listings on university campuses falsely rumoured to be linked to human trafficking

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A story surrounding mysterious clipboards has been circulating at various post-secondary institutions, such as the University of Windsor and Ryerson University. 

Students in various lectures and classes had been given the opportunity to provide their information to unspecified summer jobs. However, despite a seemingly harmless concept, rumours began to circulate that the clipboards and sign up sheets were linked to human trafficking. 

According to The Eyeopener, the sign up sheets asked students to write down their first name, last name, cellphone number, faculty and the city they’ll be living in next summer if interested in a “management opportunity” for summer 2019, and that there was no specific company name listed. 

There was no reported evidence that the clipboards were linked to anything suspicious. 

The Eyeopener also reported, however, that some students began to receive unknown calls after inputing their personal information on the sign up sheets. 

“Before this company came forward, the university issued a SafeHawk message to students through our SafeHawk twitter channel advising students not to provide personal information if they encountered the clipboards,” Crowley said in an email.

“Student Experience has confirmed that the organization that is collecting this information is attempting to recruit students for Ontario-based employment opportunities in spring/fall 2019,” said a statement published by the University of Windsor. 

“Exercise due diligence should you elect to engage with these people. If you have any concerns about the nature of their call, end your call, or do not reply to their emails,” it continued. 

Although the mysterious job postings have not been reported to have been present at Wilfrid Laurier University, the school iterated that the company who had been distributing the sign up sheets confirmed the validity of their company and explained that the sign up sheets were simply a part of the company’s recruitment initiatives.

“Shortly after this became an internet story a couple of weeks ago, Laurier was contacted by a representative of a company called Student Works,” said Kevin Crowley, director of communications at Laurier, in an email.

“He apologized for any concern their approach caused. The company appears to run student-operated house-painting and window-cleaning services.”

The company’s website states a similar goal, which is to employ students in a management program as well as window-cleaning and painting services. 

“Before this company came forward, the university issued a SafeHawk message to students through our SafeHawk twitter channel advising students not to provide personal information if they encountered the clipboards,” Crowley said in an email.

As a further precaution, Laurier’s Special Constable Services spoke to Waterloo Regional Police about the clipboards. But, again, the company came forward since then to explain the situation.” 

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