Remember when Facebook changed the way we keep in contact with schoolmates? In 2006 Facebook became readily available to anyone over the age of 13. This revolutionized the way we communicate and share our lives with the people we care about most. Linked In is now leading the revolution by changing the way we approach professional networking opportunities. Especially since the start of the pandemic, most employers want to see a social presence on the platform.
Having a LinkedIn is a way to showcase your accolades, work experience, and expand your business network. However with all of the opportunity, people have also unfortunately taken this as their opportunity to scam those who are unaware. Because I’m always looking out for you on your career journey, here are 5 Linked In scams to watch out for and stay ahead of the game!
It’s exciting to have someone reach out to you for a new job, especially when you’ve been actively looking for a while. Searching for a job is a full time job in itself, so there is an absolute sense of relief when the interview request pops up in your inbox. Scammers know this all too well, and have begun preying on those who are the most vulnerable on Linked In.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Always do your research! The best place to start is a quick Google search about the company and their website. Scammers will fabricate a multitude of scenarios to give you a false sense of comfort so they can gain access to your most important credentials. One of the most common is directing you to a “credible” website to fill out an application. This is NEVER the actual website for the job posting. Go to the official website of the company to see the posting, and apply directly through there. Trust your intuition and be skeptical until you’ve clarified for yourself..
There are times that the offers and positions will appear in your inbox directly. It will seem legit, but in fact is an attempt to grab as much of your personal information as possible. There are signs that you should look out for when it comes to phishing attempts in your inbox:
I know social platforms are all about building connections to expand your network, but one of the most common Linked In scams to watch out for are fake profiles. It is worth it to be a bit picky with who you accept/ connect with. Especially if there has been no prior contact or clear connection. Fake profiles try to build connections to give the appearance of a real person, so they can trick you into letting down your guard and providing them with the access they need to proceed with their scam. If Nev from Catfish has taught us anything, it’s how to do a reverse image search. Do this when a profile seems off. A second step/ tip is to look for how complete the profile is.
If there is pertinent common information missing (especially a profile picture or about me section) run don’t walk away from this person.
This particular scam is two fold and can arrive either in your personal inbox or Linked In messages. The email attempt typically has a “click here” link that routes to another website usually filled with malware. As you’ll notice with a majority of the mentioned Linked In scams to watch, they are going after your personal information. The goal of course is to make this as impossible for them as possible.
Best practice is to always delete these email alerts because invitations will be in the app for review if it’s real. With invitations that are in the app, pay close attention to the verbiage and names/ emails provided as contact information. What shows up when you research the email or the telephone number they may provide. If the invitation can not be verified or authenticated, hit that ignore and or block button immediately. By doing so, you won’t receive a reminder and it’ll prevent that person from sending future invitations to others.
Cryptocurrency has grown in the past few years in popularity because of how accessible it is. There’s many benefits that make it desirable. Its value increases as demand increases. People have made a profit from purchasing and selling crypto. Which is the lure for this scam, invest and make your own profit. Scammers pose as workers for successful companies, reach out to build a relationship and gain trust. They then have you transfer money into specific accounts and promise all these profits.
There’s no guarantee with investing, whether that’s in the market or with cryptocurrency. So if anyone is promising you guaranteed success and profit, they are lying and looking to scam you.
It is important to stay alert, especially during your job search to avoid that would put your personal information at risk. If you’re ever in need there is an advocacy/support group called Global Anti-Scam Organization that discusses the latest scams gaining traction. Knowledge is vital in prevention so if you found this particular post helpful or insightful don’t be afraid to share it with a friend, family member or nosey neighbor.