One of the most recent scams was a news story involving Fox News. “Arrested on fraud charges and falsely claiming to be a CIA operative, Wayne Shelby Simmons has been caught feeding disinformation to Fox News for over a decade.”  (Source

That’s 10 years of news stories that have been completely discredited. That’s 10 years of credibility out the window all because Fox News hired a self-proclaimed expert who turned out to be a fraud. 

How did this happen? 

Fox did not do ANY due diligence. The fact of the matter is that something like “worked for the CIA” is fairly easy to verify. Especially for an organization like Fox News.

More importantly, working for the CIA is SUPER EASY to fake when you know no one is ever going to check on it. The news organization bought into the the lies Simmons told them and didn’t bother verify any of the information. Simmons most likely submitted his resume and was able to speak educated about the subjects associated with the CIA. Perhaps he even went so far to name drop and “poof” he was now the go to guy for all things CIA for Fox News.

Many won’t associate a news channel with business. But at the end of the day, Fox News is no different than any other business. Albeit, a high profile business, it’s still a business and still open to frauds and scams, especially if they do not have a due diligence process in place.

Unfortunately, more and more businesses are falling victim to this type of fraud each and every year. For the person committing the fraud it’s to easy to pull off. The old way of doing business lends itself to high risk situations that invite in fraud and scam artist. The old way of a hand shake, taking someone on their word and believing what is on a resume or on Linkedin no long work.

Most businesses can’t afford the kind of PR nightmare Fox News just experienced.  You can mitigate your risk by having a due diligence process. Ask the hard questions and verify the information. The person you’re thinking to bring on board will not be offended if you want to verify who they are. In fact, if they’re truly on the up-and-up they should expect it from you.

Protect yourself and your business and always do your due diligence.