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How Social Media Scammers Can Damage Your Company's Reputation and What To Do About It

Presented By: Amanda Winstead

 how social media nov 2022

Image Source: Unsplash (https://unsplash.com/photos/qZenO_gQ7QA) 

If your company uses social media to advertise your services and connect with clients, you will need to ensure that it is secure. You owe it to your customers to do what is right to protect them, their data, and their money. However, scammers have other ideas, and if you let them have their way, then they could put your customers in a bad place, and your company could be on the hook.

That is why it is important for management and customer service reps to be aware of common social media scams and what can be done to prevent an issue. Let’s talk about how to stay protected and keep your business going strong.

Social Media Is Important, So It Must Be Protected

The fact is that social media is likely a major component of your content creation and marketing strategies. When used correctly, social media can be incredibly useful for your corporation and your reputation because it allows you to advertise your products, talk with your customers, quickly address negative reviews, and partner with other influencers who can help your brand continue to expand. However, if a hacker or scammer is able to gain control of your accounts, then they could do irreparable damage to your reputation.

When it comes to succeeding in the world of business, customer loyalty is everything because it helps you to retain customers, and if those customers are happy, then they will likely refer their friends, and your company can expand exponentially over time. Unless your product is completely unique, you are likely not the only game in town. If you don’t take the proper steps to protect your social media, and a customer has their money or identity stolen, then they may fail to trust you again, and many won’t have an issue taking their business elsewhere.

Of course, loss of customer trust is not the only side effect of a data breach or scam. You’ll likely need to spend a lot of money in damages and costs to repair the vulnerabilities in your systems. Plus, you may be sued by some of the victims. As it is, customers younger than 20 years old lose about $70 million a year due to scams, so they will not be afraid to fight back for what they lost. On top of that, you will also need to spend a lot of time rebuilding your reputation, and taking steps backward will not help your company’s bottom line.

Types Of Scams 

Now that you know what is at stake, it is time to educate your teams on common social media scams that they could see at any time.

Many criminals start their scams on Facebook, where they create fake ads and steal product photos from real businesses, so their posts look legitimate. Since the customer thinks that it is your company selling the item, they pay their money, and it ends up going into the hands of the scammer, and the customer never gets their product. A customer that is unaware that they fell for a scam may leave a negative comment on your website, and that could hurt business going forward and force you into damage control.   

Twitter is also a breeding ground for scammers who try to trick you into giving over the account information for your company. Many criminals will try to send you a tweet that tells you that they saw something negative about your business and ask if you want to see it. If you agree, then they will ask you to provide your Twitter username and password, and from there, the scammer can access your account and start posting malicious tweets on your behalf, which is a tactic called impersonation.

There are also scams on LinkedIn, where a scammer will pose as a representative from another business and ask to collaborate with you. Again, they will ask for your login information or con you into giving them money. The point is that hackers will find a way to use any social media account to their advantage, so it is essential that you are cautious as you go about your business.

How To Keep Your Social Media Safe 

The best way that you can prevent malicious activity on your social media accounts is to be aware of common scams and then educate your team on the warning signs so they can avoid falling victim. Make cybersecurity training a part of the orientation program for all new employees. Also, limit the number of employees that have access to your social media accounts so there are fewer people who could make a possible mistake.

Even if you only have a few agents handling your social media and marketing needs, you must also be sure that your employees are not being overworked, or they could make innocent mistakes. Burnout is very real, so ensure that your employee workloads remain balanced, and you’ll reduce the chances of falling for a scam. If an employee does see any red flags, then they need to report the issue to management immediately.

It is also important for customer service reps and management to keep an eye on all social media accounts and the money flowing in and out of your business. One of the common mistakes that many businesses make is not keeping a close eye on the records. If an employee is tasked with watching the financial records and notice a lot of money missing, then they can check if a social media scam is the culprit and take the necessary steps to put an end to the issue. If you don’t pay attention to the records, then a scammer can continue to take advantage of your organization.

As you can see, social media scams are very real, and if you let one slip through the cracks, then your company could be in jeopardy. Consider the risks and tips discussed here and avoid becoming a victim.