Accounts From The Assistant:
There is a point whereas horrible as scammers are I have to give them credit to the lengths they will go for a couple (or couple hundred dollars). Hopefully, we are all aware of the people I'm talking about, some may have even fallen victim. The countless phone calls and emails claiming you personally face a major issue but if you just pay $$$ it will all be hunky-dory. For years our office has warned clients not to wire money without a word of mouth instruction from their agent after having clients conned out of 7k. The calls from the "warrants office" may not be as convincing but they seem to be getting craftier and really doing their research so I share this with you so you can keep an eye out for pesky tricksters.
When you click someone's Facebook profile more often than not their job location and position are located just under their photo for the world to see. Same for Linked In you see someone name position but with linked in you can see so much more. When you use linked in you can see information on a company like who the bosses and managers are the kind of business they conduct and even company emails. When this information is used properly linked in is a great source of networking the trouble comes when people begin to abuse that information. For example, My friend from college recently started a job for a big accounting firm in Charleston, SC an exciting new chapter which she quickly shared on Linked In. 3 weeks into the job a partner ( We can call him Tom) in the firm who has been working remotely through the pandemic and had not yet met her or emailed her before emails her asking if she can do him a favor. She responded and he asked her to pick up two visa gift cards worth $200 apiece for client dinners coming up over the weekend ensuring he would repay her. While she found it odd another girl in the office said the partners do ask for gifts like that regularly so my friend did as instructed sent pictures of the gift cards and waited for a response. After not hearing from him my friend approached another boss about the issue only to discover THE WHOLE THING WAS FAKE. Someone used "Toms" name to create a fake email and knew enough information to con, my friend, out of $400.
Three key things she took away from this were:
- Always check the email address! If you use a program as we do in our office or my friend uses it in hers, you only see the name of who you are corresponding with and have to click that name to see the address. If my friend had she would have noticed the email was sent from a Gmail and not a company email.
- Never deal with money over text or email make sure you hear the person's voice or are face to face! That is something I have said we are big about in our office. When my friend asked the other girl if the partners ever ask for gift cards and the girl said yes, my friend failed to mention it was over email which would have been a red flag because they have never asked in a non-direct manner before.
-Be careful what job details you share- All in all, this could have been prevented if the details of that office were not so public. Any information about you can be used against you this day in age so maybe think twice before going into too much detail.
Hopefully, nothing like this will happen to you but make sure to stay aware! Until next time.