The LinkedIn Fake Employees Scam

LinkedIn is an American business and employment-oriented service that operates via websites and mobile apps.  LinkedIn is a social media platform geared to professionals. It enables you to network and to build your professional portfolio, but there are also a number of scams that have appeared over the years.

It is used by anyone from professionals who have been in the workforce for a very long time or freshly graduated people who are looking to find a job.

Here are a few common LinkedIn scams and tips for protecting yourself and your personal information from scammers on LinkedIn.

Fake Member Invitation Scam

One of the most common LinkedIn scams is a fake email inviting you to connect with another LinkedIn member. The email will look very similar to an authentic LinkedIn email, and might even contain the LinkedIn logo. It may ask you to click on a link to “visit your inbox now,” or ask you to “accept” or “ignore” the invitation.

Unfortunately, it is a phishing email, and if you click any of these links, you will be re-directed to an unsafe website that will download malicious software or viruses onto your computer.

Fake Request for Your Personal Information

The scammers will email you pretending to be part of the LinkedIn admin team. They will request you for your personal information like your password or any other personal data that could later help them access your account. The email could also say your LinkedIn account is blocked due to inactivity and to click a link to activate it.

However, this is a ploy by scammers to get your personal information and entering any information on the site in the email could make you a target for identity theft and financial theft. This is also a type of phishing scam.

Invitation from Scammer

In this type of scam, the scammer creates fake profiles and adds people on the LinkedIn site. To stay protected from this type of scam don’t add anyone you personally have never met or heard about. Always remember to check out the profiles of the person who has sent you an invite before you accept it. If something doesn’t look right or there is too little information, then don’t add them.

Scam LinkedIn Message

This is also similar to a LinkedIn email scam, but the message is typically sent on the LinkedIn website itself. Don’t click on any links that don’t look familiar.

To spot scams on LinkedIn or any other social media, it is essential to remain vigilant and know that there are lots of scammers around. Learn how to spot fake emails and don’t click on links that are not from the LinkedIn domain. Sometimes the scammers make the emails look very authentic, to know if it a phishing mail look at the address from which the e-mail was sent if it is not from an authentic LinkedIn site, but some other domain then delete the email right away. Don’t click on any link right away but rather hover your cursor over it to see the address of the hyperlink. If it is not an authentic LinkedIn page, then know that it is a scam.

To stay safe, avoid logging onto your LinkedIn page from any e-mails and rather open the LinkedIn website on your browser and use it from there. If the email was a genuine one, you will have it appearing there too.

Remember that any email asking for personal information beyond your email address is spam. If you ever forget the password for your LinkedIn account, you will receive an email asking you to enter only your email address and nothing more. Next, you’ll receive a link to reset your password. Also, remember that LinkedIn is unlikely to ask you to open attachments or install any software, so such emails are fraud emails.

Similarly, if the e-mail has bad grammar and spelling errors, it is most likely a scam.  Another thing to note is that authentic LinkedIn emails have the security footer at the bottom of every email that says, “This email was intended for YOUR NAME (CURRENT JOB, COMPANY).” The presence of the footer is not a guarantee the email is not from a scammer, but if you do not see it, you should not click on any links.

Some other steps you can take if you have already clicked on any of the spam emails are to report it to the phishing@linkedin.com and to delete it from your account. Run your ant-virus, anti-malware and spyware software on your computer to prevent any attacks. If you have entered any banking details on the scammer’s page, then contact your bank immediately to change your password.

Photo: Absalom Robinson