I was. Or at least I almost was. This stuff is everywhere and it just shows you how it can creep into your personal lives. A few years ago, I had a car to sell, something that would be considered a big ticket item, but it wasn’t huge. So I list it on a popular publication for selling items like this (not craigslist). I get a response right away. A man wants to buy it and he asks if I had paypal. I said yes I have a paypal account. Then he tells me he is in another state far away and will be paying via paypal. Seemed a little strange there are plenty of these vehicles around, but I said ok. And he asked if I could receive paypal payments again I said yes. He seemed to be a lot more interested in paypal than the vehicle. Hmmm, what is going on here?
Not So Simple
But it was not so simple. Now my radar was up and running and I was looking for something suspicious. So I just did a simple Google search on Paypal scams. Man, was I surprised! There was not one paypal scam method there were many! Particularly for sellers. Needless to say, I was not in business with this man anymore. I never responded to him again and he went away. The lesson is how easy it is to get scammed in your day to day life. But these things can happen in your business life as well. The need to have a system of policies and procedures that are overlapping and current is essential. Are these systems audited on a regular basis? Are they tested from time to time? We all need to be ever vigilant but there needs to be more.
What If He Did Scam Me?
Yeah, I could have been out the money for the car. It would be embarrassing to me personally to my family. But that is about it. It would not have created any hardship. It wouldn’t have threatened my way of life. But the stakes are much higher in your business. The money amounts are much much higher and can be exorbitant. Estimates from Microsoft are that the average breach costs a company about $3.5 million per incident, and takes almost 300 days to discover. Look at the potential damage that can be done to your company and or career. This takes on a seriousness with orders of magnitude more than what a simple scam can do. This cannot be left to chance. This is why your awareness and mindfulness are essential.
Photo by Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos