A couple of months ago my business partner at SBTV.com was at the airport and needed to make some changes in his travel plans. In order to reverse a hotel room, he gave out his business credit card number over the phone. When his credit card statement arrived at the end of the month, there were numerous items posted that weren’t his. Apparently, someone overhead him on the phone and copied down his credit card number. He immediately called the credit card company, the charges were deleted and the company issued a new card.
The point is you really have to be careful what you say in public places. You may think no one is paying attention, but you never know. Luckily, the culprits who gained access to my partner’s credit card number used it for small purchases only such as a $75 pizza order. However, an identity thief can run up substantial charges quickly and before anyone has a chance to detect it.
Not only is this a warning for financial information, but it is also important thing to keep in mind when you’re discussing business in public. The person across the aisle on a plane may work for a competitor. Even worse, if you say something negative about another company or an individual, the woman at the next table in a restaurant could be a company employee, relative or co-worker.
The same goes for social media. An innocent tweet to a friend might end up causing your company to lose a big client and you to lose your job. Perhaps you read about the employee of a social media advertising agency who upon landing in Memphis, Tennessee sent a negative Twitter message about the city which is the global headquarters of the agency’s client, Federal Express. The tweet was picked up by a Fed Ex employee and immediately made its way up the ladder with Federal Express executives as well as within his agency. And as they say, the rest is history.
Always error on the side of precaution because you never know who is listening on or offline.