Risks of Not Monitoring Your Social Reputation and Your Online Identity

Dr. Robert Wainwright Brisbane Email Scam

The Risks of Not Monitoring Your Social Reputation and Your Online Identity

 

 

My name is Kendell Lang, I’m a social media marketing guru and and I have an interesting story to relate; the moral of which every single business practitioner in the United States and across the world should adhere to. Just because you run an honest business and keep your personal details discrete from the public and the World Wide Web doesn’t mean that you are invulnerable. There are incalculable numbers of people out there in the virtual ether looking to exploit your reputation and misuse your name for nefarious, self-serving purposes.

The story I will tell illustrates this point perfectly.

A Few Days Ago…

I received an email from “Dr. Robert Wainwright,” a plastic surgeon operating in Brisbane, Queensland. The email provided quite detailed information on the surgeon, including his background. It then went on to convey highly specific details of a client he has who is interested in receiving some dental treatment in the United States. The following paragraph provides the gist of his request:

Pls tell me a little more about your self, how long have you been a Dentist? Would you be able to provide her with the Simple smile makeover treatments 8 upper teeth and 8 lower teeth, when she arrives the states in two weeks time?”

“I knew immediately it was a scam. I typically delete such emails, but I was quite alarmed as to how sophisticated and elaborately researched it had been…”

I am not a dentist, but I do handle the online marketing campaigns of many dentist clients across the United States, which is why this scammer mistakenly targeted me, although who knows how many real dentists he or she also targeted?

If you’re interested in reading it, the full email scam is featured at the end of this article.

The point is, I knew immediately it was a scam. I typically delete such emails, but I was quite alarmed as to how sophisticated and elaborately researched it had been right down to providing the contact numbers and physical address of Dr. Wainwright.

So, I decided to do a little research of my own.

Upon Googling the Dr.’s name, I discovered that in fact Dr. Wainwright does exist and he has quite an extensive professional CV. I was able to locate his office phone number, so I called to warn him that his name and identity had been stolen and were being used without his knowledge. I eventually got through to him and he responded quite tersely, “I don’t know who’s doing this, but I don’t just give out my email address to anyone.”

End of conversation.

“This particular email scam is one of the more sophisticated attempts I have seen in a long time…”

It may seem easier to just ignore scam artists; after all, most of us have at some stage received a text message or an email from just such a person and they’re usually pretty obvious. They’re poorly written, offer huge sums of money and ask for personal information, such as banking details. The Nigerian inheritance scams are a good example of this and most people are hopefully smart enough to totally ignore it.

But this particular email scam involving cosmetic surgeon Dr. Robert Wainwright is one of the more sophisticated attempts I have seen in a long time and to the unsuspecting dentist in America, may seem like a legitimate communication! The scam artists involved in this skullduggery are clearly stealing Dr. Wainwright’s identity without even knowing traditionally important details such as social security number or birthdate: information one usually thinks about when discussing “Identity Theft.”

So, this is a whole new brand of concern when it comes to ID theft and one that’s important to get out into the public domain for one and all to read and learn about.

The Risk of Not Monitoring Your Online Reputation and Social Media

Imagine how many people this scam artist could manage to successfully swindle under the guide of an experienced and reputable cosmetic surgeon? And any illegal activity done by the scam artists implicates Dr. Robert Wainwright without him knowing a single thing about it! Brought to court, it could easily be argued that he is the victim of a scam artist, but the damage done to his online reputation may be irreparable. Unfortunately, Dr. Wainwright has yet to contact me with regards to this issue and he seems perfectly happy to ignore it.

Cosmetic surgery is a vitally important industry in which to monitor your reputation. A single bad story could deter hoards of patients from opting for your services on the off chance that choosing you could result in disappointing or even dangerous outcomes. The same applies to dentistry and the other medical professions. Just one bad story could tarnish your reputation and become synonymous with scamming, dishonesty, and unscrupulous behavior. And all of this is going down while you are merrily going about your daily business or while you’re fast asleep at night!

Social media can be a vitally important tool for alerting you as to this kind of activity. It also allows you to gauge your reputation with clients and customers, which is why it’s so important that every business is represented in the social media sphere.

What You Need To Do:

·      Learn about the key social media sites and understand how they are used to convey and spread information.

·      Never assume that because you aren’t on Facebook or Twitter that it cannot affect your business and reputation. People make use of social media to communicate their experiences with your brand with their followers, friends and fans. If someone has been a victim of a scam artist who has stolen your identity, they can use their social media accounts to advertise the fact and YOUR reputation may be the one to suffer.

·      You need to know what people are saying about your company or business so that you can answer to negative press and take the necessary measures to repair your reputation. Social media provides you with excellent tools to actively protect your business and online reputation.

·      You may want to craft a social media policy for your employees so that they know what is okay to talk about on their private accounts with regards to your business. KFC wouldn’t very well like their factory employees openly “tweeting” the secret recipe used to spice their legendary fried chicken! And many companies have gotten into serious trouble because their employees posted inappropriate pictures of, or said offensive things about clients or customers.

·      You have to be alert and you must be aware. Social media provides you with all the necessary channels to monitor your online reputation and to understand what is being said about your business, both good and bad. Ignorance is never an excuse, because, at the end of the day, it won’t get back those potential clients you lost!

Social Media Monitoring Tools

Trawling through the multitude of social media sites to achieve the above-mentioned points can seem daunting and tiresome, but luckily there are a number of social media monitoring tools that are quick and easy to use:

Google Alerts lets you know of any videos, Groups, search engines or Google News articles that contain your or your company’s name.

Monitor This is a little more sophisticated and perhaps complicated too, but is well worth the time it takes to understand it. “Monitor This” allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of what is being said about your brand on the World Wide Web.

Technorati keeps an eye on the blogosphere and will let you know if you receive any mentions.

Twitter’s Search Function can be used to see how many other people’s Tweets match up to your search query, so you can just type in your company’s name to review the online conversation about you.

In Reality…

Most working professionals like Dr. Robert Wainwright don’t have the time to monitor their social media accounts, which is why they are the easy targets of email scammers. They’re not going to spend their evenings or weekends trawling through Facebook, Twitter and these various social media monitoring tools after countless stressful hours in an operating room.

But just because they and perhaps you don’t have the time for it, doesn’t mean that social media can be ignored! If you can’t cope with it yourself, then you should consider the services of a social media marketing agent who has the time, resources and expertise to do more than just monitor your online reputation, but also to polish it to a glittering shine!

What Do I Do If I’m The Target Of Online Identity Theft?

If you suspect that you are the target of such fraud and online identity theft, don’t hesitate to contact me. My name is Kendell Lang and you can learn about me at www.KendellLang.com. I market dental practices and would want my clients to be contacted if someone were misappropriating their identity. You can email me at kendell.lang@gmail.com and I will help you discover the details of how any scam artist may be stealing your identity.

Remember, ignoring scam artists could have dire consequences for your personal and professional reputation!

Dr. Robert Wainwright Scam Email:

 

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