Many companies are now wading into the world of social media as a means of trying to reach a larger number or prospective customers or clients, but doing so carries certain risks of which they will have to be very aware. That includes a number of Facebook scams that are making the rounds these days, and could cost businesses considerably.
One of the newer types of these scams involves what are supposed to be a number of small businesses in a given geographical area that come together to create a Facebook group designed to promote them all regularly, according to a report from Business 2 Community. However, where this goes from being a good idea to an illegal scam is that these groups are now often being set up by outside parties, rather than the businesses themselves, who then charge money to the independent companies in their area for “membership” into these groups.
This type of action – the charging to be in Facebook groups – violates both the social network’s terms of service and federal guidelines, the report said. This is because the posts for these groups typically do not indicate that they are tantamount to being paid advertisements, despite the fact that they are required to be listed as such. Of course, it’s not the responsibility of the businesses involved in these groups to say that they’re paying for these ads, but rather the people running them. When they don’t, it’s technically illegal and against online advertising industry protocol. It should also be noted that similar scams have cropped up on Twitter and Pinterest as well.
In general, a good rule of thumb for companies is to not pay anyone for participation in any group on a social network, and to carefully assess any advertising costs on these sites overall, the report said. Unless owners are paying the companies themselves for ads, it’s very possible – perhaps even likely – that they’re just being ripped off.
Owners who may want to safeguard themselves against any potential scams on social networking sites, and other online issues, because these can lead to extremely expensive data breaches. For this reason, tech insurance might be one of the most beneficial types of small business insurance that a company can have, as the coverage may help to save enterprises from potentially catastrophic remediation costs.