LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking service that was founded in December, 2002 and launched in May, 2003. It has more than 300 million acquired users in over 200 countries and territories and is available in 24 languages.
Unlike an email address, LinkedIn reveals a lot of information to spammers and scammers because your profile is public and shared with third parties like search engines. This leaves you in a vulnerable state because the social network has earned a high level of your trust, leading you to let your guard down. However, it is very important to be cautious: there are NO SPAM FILTERS on LinkedIn. If spammers and scammers want to find a way to find you, they have an easy way to do that.
How does it work?
According to Henry Bagdassian of Identity Theft Awareness there are two types of scams on LinkedIn:
- Emails that appear to come from LinkedIn: spammers ask the users to click on a link within their email to accept an invitation or to view the sender’s profile before accepting the connection. The links often send the user to another website that has a goal of loading your computer with malicious, tracking software.
- Requests coming from within LinkedIn: Here, the criminal creates a LinkedIn account. After the phishing account is created, the scammer starts to send spam invitations to connect with other users. As they arrive in your inbox, they look less suspicious because the request comes from a user who has mutual connections with you.
What’s the solution?
I am the first person to admit that I accept most connection requests. I am also the first person to admit that if I see someone interesting with common interests, I would add them to my group of connections as well. It makes my profile show up in more searches and gives me the opportunity to view more interesting, full profiles.
Here are a few tips to protect yourself from fake connection requests:
- The sender has only a few connections
- The profile is left blank in many sections
- There are a lot of grammar and spelling errors; the person did not take the time to make their profile professional looking
- The profile owner’s location is not from North America; many scammers claim they are from Syria, Greece, Nigeria, Kenya and China
If you come across a notification that seems to be a scam, archive it and then report it as spam. If you accept one of these requests and receive a strange email, you have the choice of removing and/or blocking it or reporting it to LinkedIn.
Digital Media Academy of Canada has partnered with some of the leading social media experts in the digital media world. Our goal is to help you utilize the various social networks with maximum potential without falling victim to scammers and spammers. Our customized corporate training sessions in areas of web design, social media marketing and search engine marketing will help you become proactive at identifying phishing scams, handling negative reviews and comments and using social media as a vehicle to drive business growth.
About Alex Noudelman
Alex Noudelman is an educator, coach and Digital Marketing Manager with over 5 years of experience. Alex enjoys and strives to motivate others to better themselves professionally and one a personal note. Feel free to contact him if you have any questions or would like a specific topic covered.