Wells Fargo terminates employees over fake keyboard activity

Image by Thomas Breher from Pixabay

Wells Fargo, headquartered in San Francisco and the US’s fourth-largest lender, has dismissed several employees for faking keyboard activity to appear busy, as reported by Bloomberg on June, 13.


The employees were discovered during an investigation revealing their use of devices or apps to simulate computer activity, including devices known as “mouse movers” or “mouse jigglers,” according to disclosures filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).


Following a review of internal security reports, the company terminated the employment of more than a dozen employees.

“Mouse movers” or “mouse jigglers” can automatically move a computer’s cursor/ mouse or mimic keyboard strokes without human input and are readily accessible online.

These tools create the illusion that an employee is actively working.

It remains unclear how these employees had roles where mouse movements were a measure of productivity and it wasn’t disclosed by the FINRA whether these workers were caught using the tools while working from home. 


However, all fired employees were part of Wells Fargo’s wealth and investment management unit.


The incident has attracted widespread attention on social media, with many comparing these employees to secret agents of idleness. 


Remote Work and Employee Monitoring:

  • The issue of Wells Fargo keyboard activity is mirrored by the trend of employee evading monitoring which is becoming a growing concern for companies striving to maintain productivity and integrity within remote work setups.
  • Employees continue to resort to these devices to appear busy with the rise of remote work.
  • Remote workers using ‘mouse-mover’ technology to fake activity are getting caught more frequently.
  • To ensure productivity, companies use monitoring software and are increasingly investing in sophisticated monitoring tools to detect such fraudulent activity, leading to disciplinary actions, including termination.
  • Monitoring tools have advanced and can now detect patterns indicating a “mouse jiggler” is being used, despite the apparent randomness.
  • The ongoing battle between “mouse jigglers” and detection tools continues to evolve as both technologies improve. 

Additional Information:

  • In early 2022, Wells Fargo began implementing a “hybrid flexible model,” requiring employees to return to the office. 
  • Most staff are expected to be in the office at least three days a week under this model. 
  • Management committee members must be on duty four days a week, while certain employees are required to be on duty five days a week.

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