February 27, 2016

LinkedIn Tip of the Week: How to identify and deal with fake profiles

You may inadvertently have connected with non-existing people on LinkedIn. The number of fake profiles is on the rise and it really is unavoidable, considering LinkedIn is approaching half a billion users.

The reason for this behaviour may in some cases be benign but the internet is rife with examples of identify theft and phishing attacks so you need to be careful. The fake profiles may also connect with you in order to map your network within a certain business and then establish relationships with your connections.

What to do?

Luckily, there are a few tell tale signs that can help you spot these profiles:

  • The profile is very sparsely filled out and some of the text may be copied from real profiles (a Google search will expose this).
  • The person is often posing as a recruiter or headhunter.
  • The profile picture is of high quality and depicts an attractive woman.

Now, it's no crime to be an attractive woman but you'll find that the fake profiles mostly use stock photos or photos stolen from other sites. A quick reverse image search will reveal this behaviour.

If you identify a fake profile, you should report this to LinkedIn.

As always on the internet, if you use common sense and stay vigilant, you can steer clear of these scammers.

This blog post is part of our series of tips for LinkedIn in our newsletter "Tip of the week". Make sure you never miss a tip by signing up at the bottom of this page.

    Thomas Sondergaard
    Thomas Sondergaard