LinkedIn could also be an area to connect with people in your career field and grow your network, but before accepting every request that comes on your way, checking the profile or details is the right approach. LinkedIn is often impressive and indicates how popular the platform is among professionals. It enables you to connect/network with people from professional backgrounds and helps you stand out from the crowd during job searches and screening processes. It’s not all parade, the platform has also attracted scammers.
LinkedIn scams have grown quite popular, in most cases, it’s because of the trust associated with users’ being professionals. To protect yourself from LinkedIn scams and to stop falling prey for them, you’ll need to know more about them
Modus operandi in LinkedIn scams:
Scammers create fake profiles and they’ll try to make profiles look as legitimate as possible . Below are common LinkedIn scams you need to keep in mind when seeking for a job. This will facilitate you taking precautions, so that you don’t fall prey for them.
- Advance fee Frauds – These scams usually request a small fee up front and claim that you will receive a large sum of money in return. You may also be asked to provide your bank account details, and credit card numbers along with CVV numbers and OTPs, and sometimes you may be asked to scan the QR code in order to receive the money.
- Job Scams – These scams typically involve people pretending to be recruiters or employers or placement agencies offering jobs especially the IT related fresher jobs. Most these fake profiles offer you back door jobs and work from home option with no background required. (a) For the offer to be released, they ask you for funds as a condition of the application process being completed. Most of their scammers are so organised that they have either an insider in the companies where they announce jobs or they spoof the emails and office phone numbers of legitimate companies.
- Dating and romance scams – These scams come from fraudsters who contact you, expressing interest in an intimate relationship. They usually comment on your profile picture and request to be contacted. Most of these dating and romance scams might lead to sextortion scams.
- Spoofing and phishing scams – Spoofing is when someone disguises an email address, phone number, or website URL. These scams are designed to trap you into giving information to criminals that the criminals should have access to. Scammers use this technique, offering fake awards, publishing on the front page of a reputed magazine, and offering membership in reputed associations.
- Tech Support – Employing scammers as tech support executives offering premium LinkedIn free offers or mimicking a reputed brand as customer support. Most these websites that the scammers are associated are not affiliated with LinkedIn. Most of the cases short links are sent by scammers eventually those links will be leading to malware or key-logger getting installed on your computer, beware this might lead to a ransomware.
A Few Signs of Fake Profiles on LinkedIn:
When you get a request on LinkedIn from an unknown person, you must make it a habit to completely check their profile before you connect. Spam and fake accounts on LinkedIn are usually pretty easy to spot. You can visibly see patterns and signs that are common among these fake LinkedIn profiles. Below are a few signs that I use when gauging the genuine profiles against the fake ones!
- They don’t have a profile picture, or their picture is inferior.
- They do not have an official email address.
- Their profile contains errors in grammar and spelling.
- Their profile is incomplete, lacking personal information.
- having generic statements that lack any specificity in the summary and experience sections.
- Their contact list does not appear to be empty, as if they sent you a link or “business proposal.”
- They have gaps in their work history.
- They do not interact with people on their profile.
- Cross-check the complete profile before connecting with LIONs (LinkedIn Open Networkers).
- Check the complete email headers and confirm that the email is not spoofed before you make a private conversations from any LinkedIn connect.
Privacy and Security Tips on LinkedIn:
- Change your LinkedIn password every month.
- Limit contact information on your profile. Avoid putting your email address, home address, or phone number in your profile’s summary.
- Browsing profiles in private and semi-private mode: https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/a567226/browsing-profiles-in-private-and-semi-private-mode?%20lang=en
- Examine and setup your privacy settings properly on your profile using the below URL. https://www.linkedin.com/mypreferences/d/categories/account
- Enable two-factor authentication for your account.
- Never click on short links without verifying its authenticity, you can use https://www.isitphishing.org
- Make the habit of reporting in-appropriate (content, messages, profiles and groups) on the below URL. https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/14z6
Reporting a Cyber Crime:
- Report a scam on LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/ask/TS-RPS
- Register a complaint on https://cybercrime.gov.in/ or else reach out to nearby police stations to lodge a complaint. Alternatively victims can call Helpline No. 1930, which is manned and operated by the respective State Police officers.