Empowerment, Facebook Management, Hot Tips, Scams, Solopreneur

New Scam on Facebook to Watch Out For

Apparently there is a new scam happening on Facebook that you may not have noticed yet, but affects small businesses and entrepreneurs.

I discovered the new scam happening on Facebook like this: I got a notification suggesting I add a friend who was my coworker at… my business.  I am a Sole Proprietor, so how can this be? I guarantee there is no Bryan Conner working for my company…

new facebook scam

The first thing I did was take a screen shot.

The second thing I did was attempt to report him – however, this is where it gets tricky. Facebook gives you about 6 options to report a profile. He’s not impersonating me or someone I know. He’s annoying me, but Facebook doesn’t allow me to explain how. I’m not sure if it’s a fake account or not. I don’t know if he’s using a different name he uses in everyday life, and I don’t know if he’s underage.

The last available option is “This profile represents a business or organization”. I clicked that, however there is no option to explain what is going on – which is that this individual is pretending to be an employee of my SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP.

The third thing I did was to ask about this on a Facebook group of Virtual Assistants. Another VA kindly forwarded this link to me from Facebook which basically says, “You can’t do a durned thing about it.”  However, within that “business help” I am able to leave feedback to the developers. I then explained what was going on, with a link to the offenders profile page. I’ll update if Facebook responds on this.

What else can I do? The individual is not currently showing up as a Team Member on my Facebook Business Page. I can’t ban him, because he has never “liked” my page.  He publicly posted his start date on his Facebook page. I publicly called him out on it via a comment. I can block him from my personal Facebook page, which I did.

As to why someone would do this, one VA commented that individuals are doing this to obtain credit or a visa. There were a couple of other VAs that this has happened to. The Facebook users that are doing this have a tendency to be from the Philippines or South Asian countries.

While not devastating to the operation of my business, it is annoying because Mr. Shirtless Wonder is affecting my brand. And Facebook is not being diligent about responding to “fake news”, at least not as far as it affects my business.

If you are a small business owner, you may want to click on your business link from time to time so that you are aware if someone is doing the same thing to you. As far as I can tell, he has no access to my business page other than the link on his profile.

Edited to add: Facebook responded over the weekend and basically said, “Thanks for contacting us but there’s nothing we can do. You can block Bryan if you like.” Then they give you the 5 emoticons to rate their response. I gave them the mad face. At the very least they then offer you an opportunity to explain your dissatisfaction with their response and I was able to vent in more detail. Facebook needs to figure out a better way of handling this, because it is basically turning a blind eye to fraud.

Comfort Zone, Hot Tips, Solopreneur, Travel

Traveling and Working Remotely as a Virtual Assistant

girl-with-travel-bag

Tomorrow I leave my bedroom office and take my work satchel with me for 5 weeks.

This is one of my “why’s” for leaving Corporate – because I need more than two weeks per year to get out of Las Vegas. I’ve left for a weekend here and there, but this will be awhile – so here are a few of the things that I’m making sure I have to get my work done over there!

A nice big personal carry-on item

The standard measure measurement for a personal item is 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches, or 22 cm x 25 cm x 43 cm.

This needs to be big enough to safely store and protect your laptop, your neatly wrapped cords (note: do NOT just throw cords in a bag. Use the little Velcro strap to safely wrap. I have had wires and connectors stop working from being squished and banged around in a personal bag), and your wireless mouse. Try and have a little pouch for your mouse to protect it and keep it free from dust and debris. Also your external hard drive and a Mophie. Don’t forget a power converter depending on where you’re traveling to.

Fossil Bag available on Amazon

I my go-to purse is a small to medium crossbody bag that will easily fit within my personal carry-on bag. That’s how I’ve always managed to get both a purse and a personal item onboard, not to mention my rollerboard.

Try not to have more than 3 files if possible in your computer bag if you can help it. The goal of being virtual is to have everything on your computer, so less paper = less weight and less bulk.

A good VPN

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network is good for a couple of reasons: One, it protects and encrypts your work. Especially if you are using internet cafes or public Wi-Fi. Second, some countries will not allow you to access certain sites. Some American sites will not allow users from certain countries to access their sites. The VPN allows you to look like you are logging in from wherever it is you want to look like you’re logging in from. No matter where I’m traveling, my VPN allows me to log in from San Francisco. This is something you need to have up and running before you travel, fo because you may be unable to access it once you are overseas depending on the laws of the country you are visiting. I use Strong VPN and have had no problems with it for over 3 years.

Lots of Skype Credit

Part of my job as a Virtual Assistant is making phone calls – I will still need to do this on the road. So far the least expensive and least hassle-free way to call Land Lines and Mobile Phones seems to be Skype. I can call North America for $6.99 per month or $0.03 per minute. There may be other avenues to try but this seems the easiest to me.

Miscellaneous

Lots of pens, your business cards, a mini-stapler, and any office supplies you use on a regular basis.

I always bring a face mask just in case I’m sitting next to Typhoid Mary. Seriously, I became very sick with the flu once. All because of a coughing, nose-blowing passenger I had to sit shoulder to shoulder with for 4 hours in coach. Now I travel with a face mask, just in case.

Moisturizer! For your face, lip balm or gloss to keep your lips silky, and hand cream or body lotion for everywhere else.  You can become a fossil on those long-haul flights without it!

Everybody is individual about their go-to items for working on the go but these are some off the top of my head. I would love to hear what you can’t live without as you roam around while working. Thanks for reading and see you on the other side of the Atlantic!

Comfort Zone, Solopreneur, Travel

A Solopreneur Needs a Travel-Savvy Virtual Assistant

Are you a solopreneur who is on the road a lot?

When you’re a solopreneur, who takes care of your customers and clients when you’re traveling?

woman-in-airport

Getting Help

Do you need someone to hold down the fort while you’re away? You would likely feel more comfortable with a seasoned admin professional who:

  • Has worked in the airline and travel industry
  • Has been heavily involved in travel arrangement, event prep and registration
  • Delivers highly rated Customer Service (see my LinkedIn profile!)
  • Is an experienced long-haul flight traveler, with lots of tips and tricks up her sleeve to make  your flight more pleasant!

I am that person. Allow me to help you affordably with:

  • Travel research. Finding you the most convenient flights and lodging with your budget in mind. Whether you’re looking for a high-end hotel, a comfortable AirBNB room or something in between, I can assist with that.
  • Make sure your shuttle arrangements to and from your destination are in order.
  • Reserve your rental car with or without GPS.
  • I help with little details like researching cellphone requirements, weather reports, and local attractions at your destination as well as local restaurants and internet cafes. Need reservations made? I can do that.

While you’re away, I can:

  • Take your calls and messages. Follow up with clients. Engage on your social media.
  • Take care of other important administrative tasks that need doing while you’re away from your desk.

man-and-taxi

Don’t go it alone!

A solopreneur does not have to do everything themselves. You’re not alone! Put your mind at ease by delegating travel arrangement and client care to a capable Virtual Assistant. That’s me!