Watch Out for These LinkedIn Scams

24-LINKEDIN

Hello everybody!

LinkedIn, despite being a professional network is stalked by cyber criminals. Discussed below are five known scams used against LinkedIn users.

ADVANCED FEE/INHERITANCE SCHEMES

This is a very common scam that has flooded spam folders of email inboxes for ages.

Jennifer Jones, a partner at Social Media Today, explains how she came across one such scam when she was contacted by “Jonathan Salisbury,” who claimed he worked for the Royal Bank of Scotland as a Senior Relationship Manager in Corporate Banking. This email has tried to trick her into revealing her financial information by telling her that she has inherited millions of dollars from a late relative. If she had followed the instructions and contacted “Jonathan” via email, Jennifer would have been pressed to reveal financial information and then would have probably  lost thousands of dollars in the process.

As an informed person, Jennifer never contacted “Jonathan” over email and instead reported the message to LinkedIn. If you ever receive an advanced fee scam message on LinkedIn, please make sure you do the same.

FAKE (PAYING) JOB OFFERS

In this scam, the scammer offers the details of a high-paying job, the duties of which can be performed from anywhere. To convince the users they say  the offer is 100% legitimate. But when payday comes around, no paycheck is sent.

Irene, a job seeker who had been working from home for several years, explains how she fell for the scam.

“The sales manager contacted me through my LinkedIn profile and the owner interviewed and hired me,” she told FlexJobs. “It was all outbound calling. I worked for them for three weeks and two days, and out of the blue got a phone call they decided to ‘go in a different direction’ and said they would send my paycheck. It never arrived.”

ILLEGITIMATE CONTACT REQUESTS

Misleading messages and fake contacts is another ruse on LinkedIn. These invites usually come with a link that asks the user to either visit their LinkedIn inbox or to automatically accept the invitation. User is  redirected to a website that downloads malicious software such as the data-stealing ZeuS malware onto their computer if the link is clicked.

LinkedIn members should not accept the invitations by clicking the link on the email, instead they should log into their accounts and review their connection requests there.

DATING/ROMANCE SCAMS

Scammers do not hesitate to send prospective romance as a lure to unwitting users.

A true incident of a mail received to the LinkedIn inbox read as follows:

“I was surfing through when i came across your sweet profile, i must confess you sure do have a lovely and interesting page on here, have you been lucky to meet someone special on here? Have a blessed evening, hope to hear from you soon.”

These messages which are not specifically addressed to the user are most often scams.  Once the scammer obtains the user’s email, they can store it for future spam campaigns. The scammer can trick the user into visiting  malicious websites as well.

SPEAR-PHISHING OR “WHALING” PLOYS

Many professionals put in a lot of details on their profiles to market themselves to potential employers. This data can give enough information to launch spear-phishing –or in the case of executives, “whaling”–attacks against entire companies. Scammers can obtain access to an employee’s credentials if these attacks succeed which could lead to corporate information being leaked.

This was the case in the recent data dump of DOJ workers’ information.

Make sure that you treat emails from people you don’t know with caution. In particular, do not click on any suspicious links or open any unknown email attachments. As with any website, scammers prowl these platforms for unsuspecting users. It’s good to build your connections on LinkedIn but beware of these scams and fake connections.

Tell us what you have come across in the comments below.


Source: Akati

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