Banking giant Wells Fargo fires employees over fake mouse and keyboard jiggling to claim they were working

Banking giant Wells Fargo fires employees over fake mouse and keyboard jiggling to claim they were working

Banking giant Wells Fargo has terminated over a dozen employees in recent weeks following allegations of deceptive remote and hybrid working practices.

Disclosures filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) revealed the workers had simulated keyboard and mouse activity to create the illusion of active work.

The terminated employees, part of the company’s wealth and investment management unit, were allegedly using devices known as ‘mouse jigglers’ to keep their computers active by simulating cursor movement on-screen while they were not actually working.

Wells Fargo fires ‘mouse jiggler’ users

The tools, available online via sites like Amazon for as little as $5-10, are designed to prevent computers from entering sleep mode.

Though it’s clear that the company has taken the right action against deceptive workers, it’s unclear how Wells Fargo discovered that workers were using such devices, raising questions about employee monitoring. 

Laurie Knight, a spokesperson for Wells Fargo, stated: “Wells Fargo holds employees to the highest standards and does not tolerate unethical behaviour.”

The website has been using sophisticated monitoring tools since the expansion of remote work during the height of the pandemic. The company is reportedly using tools that can track keystrokes, eye movements, take screenshots and log website visits (via the BBC).

The BBC confirmed six instances of staff being discharged and one case of voluntary resignation relating to the issue. Most of the affected workers had been with the company for less than five years, meaning that they were likely pandemic recruits.

Following enforced remote working, Wells Fargo now expects most workers to attend the office at least three days per week, which is in line with many other large firms.

The company declined to add any further comment.

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Craig Hale

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