Bank fires more than a dozen employees for simulating keyboard activity to fake work | Trending - Hindustan Times
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Bank fires more than a dozen employees for simulating keyboard activity to fake work

Jun 14, 2024 10:29 AM IST

Wells Fargo has fired over a dozen employees for faking work through simulated keyboard activity

Wells Fargo has terminated over a dozen employees for faking keyboard activity to trick the bank into thinking they were working. According to a Bloomberg report published Thursday, the fired workers were all from the firm's wealth and investment management unit.

Wells Fargo has fired over a dozen employees for simulating keyboard activity (Representational image)
Wells Fargo has fired over a dozen employees for simulating keyboard activity (Representational image)

In its disclosure to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, America’s third largest bank said the employees were “discharged after review of allegations involving simulation of keyboard activity creating impression of active work.”

Bank's response

“Wells Fargo holds employees to the highest standards and does not tolerate unethical behavior,” a spokesperson for the firm told Reuters.

Wells Fargo did not say how the employees’ alleged keyboard simulation was discovered, nor did it disclose whether it was related to work from home.

According to a BBC report, many companies have taken to monitoring their employees through sophisticated tools that track eye movement, keyboard activity to take screenshots of the web pages they visit. These tools gained popularity during the pandemic when many companies moved to a remote work model and wanted ways to track their employees.

(Also read: Woman’s 18-year job ends over remote keystroke monitoring)

Employees, on the other hand, have devised several ways to get around these tracking tools - like faking keyboard activity, which got the Wells Fargo employees in trouble.

Devices and software known as “mouse movers” or “mouse jigglers” gained popularity during the pandemic as companies were forced to allow employees to work from home. They simulate keyboard activity to trick the system into thinking a person is working even if they may be away from their keyboards.

Many such devices are available on Amazon for less than $10, reported BBC.

Wells Fargo in early 2022 had asked most of its employees, including those in customer-facing roles, to return to office and work under a hybrid flexible model.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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