LinkedIn is a social media for professionals that helps find like-minded people and learn about new position openings. The platform has simplified the modern-day corporate conundrum, from finding jobs and hiring candidates to expanding connections and networking. It offers a gamut of lucrative prospects regarding marketing, branding, hiring, job-seeking, etc.
However, with such a massive number of users, there can be a large number of scams on this open platform. Falling prey to these scams can harm you in more than one way, from identity and data theft to losing money.
Moreover, in the sea of millions of active users here, it gets tricky to differentiate a fake account from a genuine one. For the same reason, you will find a list of common signs you can look out for to recognize LinkedIn scams in this guide.
1. Fraud job offers
LinkedIn is the hotbed for hiring talents, and it’s substantiated by the fact that there are about 95 job applications per second on LinkedIn that people submit. And about three of them are hired per minute. However, with such excellent traction of job offers on the platform, it’s imperative that there will be scammers who will find their way into conning people.
The nature of this scam is such that there will be genuine-looking job postings on LinkedIn Jobs sections. These postings will use the name of some established companies to lure you in by presenting great offers. Now, after gathering applicants, they start taking interviews. And at a certain point, they’ll ask the applicants for money to register or something similar. That’s the cue that the job offer was a fraud.
A woman reported fraudulent activities after sending personal information to alleged representatives from a well-known tech company. However, this LinkedIn posting aimed to snatch her personal data. Many such scams might also require bank account details.
Moreover, scammers also target freelancers who are in the habit of providing free samples of their work before getting hired. The scammers get their work done one sample at a time with different freelancers with absolutely no intention of paying them.
2. Fake accounts
Identifying fake profiles on LinkedIn is tricky because the platform makes it simple to punch in details that can just as well be fictitious. And these fake profiles are responsible for commotions among the connections by sending fraudulent messages or hyping weird posts.
The best way to spot a fake account on LinkedIn is to study the profile a bit before you accept or send a connection request. The regular giveaways are images that are seemingly taken from stock photos, sketchy bios, generic names, or requests that are out of your professional interests. LinkedIn has also adapted to help users spot fake accounts.
3. Phishing attempts
Phishing attempts are primarily made to target high-profile accounts associated with big companies. And though it can happen to anyone, high-profile or not, accounts associated with big companies stand to lose the most. The standard operating method by phishers is sending highly appealing messages and getting you to click on the link they want.
They can frame the messages, posts, or stories in such a way that will appeal to the basic human desire, like money, or better job opportunities, making it easier for people to buy into them.
The end goal is to get you to click on the links they provide, which means that you’ve given them access to your credentials, private data, and any information or link you have on your profile. This also enables them to clone your profile quickly and exercise further frauds, like accessing your business plans and client details, selling your data to your competitors, or jeopardizing the company’s reputation.
4. Tech support scam
Often, you won’t find the phishers well disguised as a fellow company employee or some LinkedIn star. You may have gotten some messages in your inbox regarding technical support from LinkedIn that your account may be at risk and that you need to take immediate action. Yes, they are the phishers who took a detour while impersonating and decided to become tech support instead.
They will reach out to you through emails or your DMs, where they will inform you that your account has been compromised. They’ll tell you that there was a login attempt to your account from an unknown IP address, and to take immediate action; you need to click the link they provide below. However, such claims are nothing but a tech support scam.
After you tap on it, you will be redirected to a page that will either be a clone of a LinkedIn page or something suspicious. The bottom line is that your account will be compromised once you click the link they provided.
How to stay safe online?
Signs of LinkedIn scams are worth remembering whenever someone invites you to connect with them. However, the internet is full of suspicious links, fake accounts, and malicious software. The best course of action is double-checking everything. For instance, you should verify their safety before clicking on unknown links. Furthermore, you should remember other cyber hygiene tips to save you from losing data or money.
One solution is to choose more privacy-friendly software. Browsers are one of the most essential programs for online users. Thus, ensure you rely on a product that does not violate your privacy.
You can also take matters into your hands by getting a Virtual Private Network. For instance, once you set up a VPN for Windows, all internet activities you perform on your computer will get encrypted. That means that no one can snoop on what you do online. Furthermore, this protects you from having your connection intercepted by others.
Safety while exploring and engaging on the social media platforms like LinkedIn is crucial. Nobody enjoys a poor and unsafe experience on the Internet, and to ensure your safety on LinkedIn from scams, you can be vigilant of these common scams.