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7 LinkedIn Scams to Watch Out For

LinkedIn is a major networking and job-hunting hub, allowing professionals to showcase their skills, connect with colleagues, and explore new opportunities. But just like any bustling place, it has its fair share of shady characters lurking in the crowd. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a newcomer to the platform, knowing the common LinkedIn scams can save you many headaches. From fake job offers to crypto promotions, let’s go over what you should be watching out for to protect both your career and your wallet.

Good to know: learn how to delete your LinkedIn account forever.

1. LinkedIn Email Phishing Scams

The most common LinkedIn scam can trick you, even if you don’t actively use the social network. We’re talking about LinkedIn email phishing scams, which are designed to infiltrate your inbox by impersonating LinkedIn notifications or messages.

Usually, the aim is to steal your sensitive data, such as login credentials or financial information. In some cases, cybercriminals also launch LinkedIn email phishing scams to bait unsuspecting victims into clicking on malicious links or downloading malware-infested attachments.

Common Warning Signs

  • An email asking you to reset your LinkedIn password when you haven’t initiated a reset is a major red flag.
  • Poorly written messages that contain noticeable spelling and grammar mistakes or start with generic salutations instead of using your actual name.
  • If the sender’s email address or any included links look suspicious, then you should listen to your intuition and steer clear.

Defensive Measures

  • Use a reliable email service provider with solid phishing and malware protection.
  • Always scrutinize the sender’s email address and included links, but don’t forget that both can be faked.
  • If you ever suspect you’ve received a phishing email, forward it to phishing@linkedin.com for investigation.

Tip: you can greatly minimize the consequences of falling victim to a phishing scam by acting quickly and following our detailed online scam prevention and response guide.

2. Job Offer Scams

The next pitfall to watch out for on LinkedIn is one that preys on those in active job search mode: LinkedIn job scams. As highlighted by a report, fake job offers make up a whopping 49% of LinkedIn scams. These scams not only waste your time, but can also cause significant damage to your professional reputation.

You may receive a message from a supposed recruiter praising your skills and offering a job that feels tailor-made for you. It’s easy to get swept away by the excitement, especially if you’re in desperate need of employment. In reality, the fake recruiter wants to exploit your need for a job to either collect personal information or, worse, scam you out of money.

Common Warning Signs

  • Does the offer seem too good to be true? If so, then you should approach it with caution, as there’s a good chance that it is.
  • A job offer that requires you to pay money upfront for equipment or training is likely a scam.
  • The recruiter pressures you to make a quick decision, insisting the opportunity will disappear unless you commit on the spot.

Defensive Measures

  • Always verify the recruiter’s credentials by cross-referencing their LinkedIn profile with other social media accounts and their employer’s website.
  • Don’t share any personal or financial information until you’ve confirmed the job offer is legitimate.
  • Feel free to call the recruiter’s company to verify their identity. Just don’t forget to check whether the company itself is legitimate.

3. Cryptocurrency Investment Scams

Cryptocurrency is the digital gold rush of our time, offering promises of quick riches and financial freedom. But the sector has attracted an alarming number of fraudsters. Nowadays, cryptocurrency investment scams on LinkedIn represent a significant threat to user safety.

Typically, a so-called “crypto expert” connects with a LinkedIn user and starts engaging in small talk. Gradually, the conversation shifts to investment opportunities in the crypto space. Those who entrust their investments to these fraudsters always see their money vanish into thin air.

Common Warning Signs

  • Amazing cryptocurrency investment opportunities never come knocking on your door, so be wary of anyone who reaches out unsolicited.
  • Over-the-top promises of high returns on investment in a short period.
  • Urgency in their messages, pressuring you to invest as soon as possible.

Defensive Measures

  • Never invest in a scheme solely based on someone’s recommendation on LinkedIn.
  • If the offer seems too good to be true, that’s usually a sign to stay away.
  • Always perform your own research and consult with authorized financial experts.

FYI: looking to get into crypto staking? Check out our post that details the best crypto coins and where to stake them.

4. Tech Support Scams

Tech support professionals on LinkedIn can be wolves in sheep’s clothing. A report shows a surprising 38% of LinkedIn scam respondents reported receiving fraudulent tech support messages containing malicious attachments or links leading to malware-infested websites.

LinkedIn tech support scammers like to claim that there’s an urgent issue with your account that requires immediate attention. They often use scare tactics, saying your account has been compromised or that you’ll be locked out unless you take action right away. Of course, their ultimate goal isn’t to help you – it’s the opposite.

Common Warning Signs

  • Unsolicited messages from people claiming to be tech support, especially when you haven’t noticed any issue.
  • A language that attempts to instill panic, such as “immediate action required” or “your account will be deactivated.”
  • Requests for remote access to your computer or mobile device.

Defensive Measures

  • Independently contact LinkedIn’s customer support through their official website to verify the authenticity of the message you received.
  • A quick Google search about the issue can often help you find out whether others have experienced similar scams.
  • Never give anyone you don’t know well remote access to your device – especially if the person requested it first.

Tip: check out our list of the best dating apps where you can find real love.

5. Romance Scams

Even though LinkedIn isn’t a dating site, scammers know that people are more likely to trust profiles on this platform because they’re tied to professional identities. LinkedIn can be a particularly fertile ground for romance scams. The assumption is that if someone has a well-fleshed-out LinkedIn profile, complete with a job history and endorsements, they must be real.

These days, creating a realistic profile and using it to target a lonely LinkedIn user is easier than ever before, thanks to the rapidly growing availability of AI image- and text-generation tools. With them, scammers can effortlessly generate incredibly lifelike photos and craft messages that seem genuine, making romance scamming easy.

Common Warning Signs

  • Somebody suddenly expresses a romantic interest in you on a site dedicated to professional networking.
  • The user’s LinkedIn profile appears well-crafted but lacks substantial connections or endorsements.
  • The user expresses a keen interest in your personal life but is reluctant to share information about their own life.

Defensive Measures

  • Be cautious when connecting with people you don’t know, especially if they don’t have mutual connections with you.
  • Always maintain professional boundaries when using LinkedIn. It’s a place for career growth and networking, not a dating site.
  • If you can’t resist the temptation, suggest a quick video call. This will filter out 99.9% of romance scammers.

6. Fake Event Invitations

Getting invited to speak at a conference can be a real ego boost and an incredible opportunity for professional growth. But before you start brushing up on your public speaking skills, you’ll want to make sure that the event is real, as fake event invitations have become a common scam on LinkedIn.

This scam targets everyone from CEOs to regular employees, and it shares the same goals with many other LinkedIn scams: steal your identity and financial information. Sound alarming? Don’t worry! It usually doesn’t take much effort to spot a fake event invitation if you know what to look for.

Common Warning Signs

  • Poorly constructed event websites or invitation emails with typos, generic descriptions, and a lack of specific details.
  • Invitations from organizers you’ve never heard of, especially for conferences that don’t show up in any online searches.
  • High-pressure tactics urging you to commit to attending or speaking, often requiring immediate payment to “secure your spot.”

Defensive Measures

  • Always conduct thorough research on the event and its organizers to verify their legitimacy.
  • Ask other people from your industry if they’ve been invited too or have heard about the event.
  • If the invite is for a real, legitimate event, then you can contact its organizers directly via another communication channel.

Tip: when attending various events, it’s useful to know how to share locations and invite people to events with Google Calendar.

7. Business Directory and Certification Scams

For businesses interested in attracting new customers and professionals seeking to flaunt their expertise, business directories and certifications are both valuable resources. It’s no surprise then that LinkedIn is also home to many scams that appear as opportunities to get listed in a prestigious directory or to earn some form of official certification.

As you can probably already guess, such opportunities are not free. Instead, they will cost you your hard-earned money, personal information, and sometimes both.

Common Warning Signs

  • An unsolicited message from someone offering a business directory listing or professional certification.
  • The directory or certification site has little to no online presence or verified reviews.
  • You are asked to provide a lot of personal or business information upfront.

Defensive Measures

  • Established business directories and certification programs don’t typically reach out to LinkedIn users, so ignoring such offers is usually a good choice.
  • Before shelling out money or providing personal information, conduct thorough research on the company and its offer.
  • Reach out to your network to see if anyone has experience with that particular directory or certification in question.

Tip: check out these free Notion templates for students.

Explore LinkedIn Safely

LinkedIn can be a goldmine for career opportunities, but it’s essential to use the social network carefully, as LinkedIn scams are plentiful and highly dangerous. If you do become a victim of a LinkedIn scam, despite the defensive measures described in this article, you need to immediately take certain steps to minimize the damage:

  • Report the scam: navigate to the scammer’s profile, click the “More” button, then select “Report/Block.”
  • Change your passwords: change all important passwords, especially those for financial institutions, email accounts, and other platforms where sensitive information is stored.
  • Contact your bank and authorities: call your bank ASAP to secure your accounts and file a report with the local police.

To remain safe while online, also make sure to check out our post on how to spot a Facebook phishing email and other similar scams. Additionally, explore some of the most common Facebook Marketplace scams.

Image credit: Pexels.

David Morelo

David Morelo is a professional content writer in the technology niche, covering everything from consumer products to emerging technologies and their cross-industry application. His interest in technology started at an early age and has only grown stronger over the years.

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