Incident likely an Amazon hacking scheme, says federation’s VP comms
The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) is among other student unions in the country to receive mysterious anonymous packages of sex toys and other electronics, according to the federation’s vice-president services and communications Kathryn Leblanc.
Last month, the Eyeopener, Ryerson University’s student newspaper, published an article saying that the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) has been receiving anonymous packages of miscellaneous goods, from random electronics to sex toys such as dildos and vibrators, since September 2017. The Eyeopener’s piece discusses that RSU had been receiving numerous packages, two per week at times, and that one shipment even contained as many as six packages.
In a statement to the Fulcrum, Leblanc shared that the SFUO has also been receiving similar packages for months, but not as frequently nor as many as the RSU.
“Yes, the SFUO has received these mysterious boxes, with content ranging from cell phone chargers to sex toys. Not everything in the boxes are sex related; I’d say that the overall theme is that they are mostly electronics. We seem to have gotten way fewer boxes than other student unions mentioned in the Eyeopener‘s reporting,” said Leblanc. The packages themselves have been arriving via Amazon delivery.
Other student unions who have received such packages include those of Dalhousie, St. Francis Xavier, Wilfrid Laurier, the University of Regina, and the University of Manitoba, according to the CBC.
“We called Amazon and they won’t accept returns on these packages. Other student unions have learned the same thing about returns—Amazon won’t let you return a package from a third party seller (i.e. not Amazon) if you don’t know who shipped the package,” said Leblanc.
The Eyeopener’s coverage notes that when members of the RSU tried contacting Amazon to find out who the sender of the packages was, Amazon refused to provide them with this information as it was a “privacy issue.”
Leblanc believes that “this is most likely a hacking scheme related to Amazon and not an elaborate and costly prank on Canadian student unions.”