Has one of your colleagues ever sent you a private message on Facebook requesting money or your social security member? If you’ve gotten one, well, chances are, he/she is likely not your coworker.
Facebook’s mission is to give users “the power to build community and bring the world closer together.” Unfortunately, the social network has also given scammers the ability to become closer to their targets: Facebook users.
This past month, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Scam Tracker warned that con artists are “using Facebook Messenger to promote phony grants.”
You receive a message from someone you know, possibly a colleague or friend, stating that you have won a sum of money when in reality, you are pretty close to losing. Often, a deposit is needed, either in the form of wired money or a gift card, or the scam goes to the extent of requesting your social security number. This “friend” is typically a fake account created to appear to be someone you know, or even the actual account hacked by a scammer.
The bigger picture in business
Scams such as these remind us of the importance of guarding information in business – both of your employees and of customers. In the digital world we live and work in today, most things are stored online, meaning they can be lost online, too. It is important to be updated with modern technology and to pay attention to suspicious activity.
Maintaining a secure work environment is important to employees – it grows trust and strengthens relationships. This can be accomplished by ensuring procedures are in place, relayed, and understood by everyone. Whether its employee or customer data, keeping records consistent is safer.
Be a skeptical, responsible employee
An article written by Facebook outlines a few helpful tips to protecting yourself from online scams, but these tips can be helpful in your office as well. Being skeptical of messages and protective of your information is essential, either online or in your cubical.
Always keep in mind that your work reputation is just as important as the information that lies behind it.
Guest Blogger: Morgan Grunow
Morgan is a Communications Intern at TDS Telecom and a junior at UW-Madison studying journalism.