Is your business secure? It may not be. Many unscrupulous individuals are operating online looking for new ways to exploit honest people.
I was recently pulled into a scam enacted by someone yet to be identified via a freelance work website. Because of how personally this affected me and my brand reputation, I’ve decided to write today’s blog post about securing your business online.
My personal experience involved Upwork.com, which is a website boasting about the value of freelance talent.
Well as the old saying goes: there is nothing more expensive than cheap labour.
Someone posing as me purporting to be a writer/editor from NYC took a job writing a book for a client and the results were bad. 3 chapters completely plagiarized bad.
Even worse – the fraudulent work got blamed on me! This person’s network cabling services profile had my name and my photo and her client found me (the real me) through a Google search that matched my profile photo. You can imagine the shock I felt of being falsely accused of ripping someone off!
After realizing this was a clear case of identity theft, I immediately contacted UpWork to have the fake profile taken down. This person’s client did the same; we hope they were able to get a full refund of the monies spent on the useless book written for them.
Scary stuff. But compared to what others have encountered it’s small potatoes.
While hiring and supporting local talent has always been my thing, if you have to outsource (overseas or via those freelance sites), then a great idea to protect yourself is to insist on seeing a scan of government issued ID. Take your identification proof one step further and insist on a video conference before making any commitment.
Fraud is on the rise
2016 saw a significant increase in fraud over 2015. While the numbers show the amount stolen went slightly down the volume of theft went up. A lot.
While those figures relate more to consumer fraud if you’re the seller, you can be out of pocket money if the claim means sending the now used product back to you.
The point to take home is fraud is up so you need to take action to prevent yourself and your customers from becoming victims.