A couple of years ago I almost got scammed by Hollywood 'A' lister and all round great actor 'Tom Hanks'.
This was via my Twitter feed where he was asking for donations to an orphanage he had set up. The back story was interesting and sparked some interest from me to donate.
As I was getting the payment set up I realised something I hadn't picked up on before which now started to look very odd.
This Twitter handle spelt my 'Tom Hanks' name with 2 a's as in 'Haanks'.
Of course it turned out to be a scam and I immediately alerted the real 'Tom Hanks' Twitter account along with reporting it to the 'Twitter' police.
As the take up of all manner of social channels has increased globally some things remain the same e.g. where there's a buck to be made the criminals will follow.
Unlike a company website your presence on social networks when done right is very much a front of mind reminder for consumers.
The platforms can display all manner of info about your business that isn't easily accessible, or visible by your company website.
Key information such as reputation based on engagement of 'followers, including number of those followers as well.
So, when a likely scammer wants to do their ROI on your social pages they can quickly assess the likely value to be derived by (in the case below) doing a 'Tom Haanks' on you.
She had just discovered the Instagram page for her beauty-product business, which she had spent 12 years building up, had been cloned.
"For some reason the scammers tagged me in one of the photos, which seems like it was probably a mistake," she says.
And this alerted her to the cloned page, where the only discernible difference from the legitimate Little Soap Co's page was an extra "o" at the end of the name.
So I wondered - how many people in your company are performing their own due diligence on the way your brand/company is possibly being used by a 3rd party?
As well as making a carbon copy of the page, the scammers were intent on making some money. "The account went private and we discovered that they spent the entire evening on bank-holiday Monday contacting hundreds of our followers, who had entered our latest competition, saying they had won and asking for PayPal details," Emma says. At least one of her customers responded but she does not know how many more were affected or who lost money. And trying to persuade Instagram to remove the fake page proved frustrating.