Lenders Are Monitoring Your Reputation; Are You?
There’s a growing trend among debt collection agencies and financial firms: monitoring the social media activities of those that owe money.
Reports first surfaced back in May–see my interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette–and now the chatter is growing, thanks to a new article from the Houston Chronicle.
[Consultant Marc] Davenport recalled a businessman who failed to pay a $17,500 debt. The man claimed his business was in the tank and he was filing for bankruptcy. But pictures he posted on Facebook said otherwise. He showed off his new Corvette and a picture of himself on a boat fishing off Florida’s coast, images that didn’t add up to him being broke, Davenport said.
“He was boasting and bragging about it to all his friends,” Davenport said. “When we told him the information we had, I thought he would drop dead of a heart attack.”
The man ended up paying his debt in full.
Right now, the only thing stopping debt collection agencies from fully monitoring your personal reputation is the question of privacy. They’re not sure whether current laws prohibit snooping on customers or not. But, you have to assume that, if you’ve posted something publicly, it’s fair game for anyone to use it for their needs.
Potential employers. Venture capital firms. Banks. Credit Cards. The list is endless.
So, what should you do? Well, monitor your online reputation the way you monitor your credit score. A low credit score could mean the difference between getting that loan, or not. Likewise, a bad reputation could have similar consequences.
With Trackur’s free social media monitoring tools, you owe it to yourself to be the first person alerted to anything that might hurt your financial situation.