Compared to other social media platforms, LinkedIn is a very safe platform, but are there scammers on LinkedIn? Unfortunately, yes.
If you use LinkedIn for professional networking and job hunting, it’s important not to let your guard down and to know what types of LinkedIn scams are out there.
Scammers know that people on LinkedIn are there to job hunt and network, so they’re more likely to accept connection invitations and respond to messages from strangers.
Additionally, since LinkedIn has a good reputation as a highly professional social media platform, people are less likely to be suspicious of others who reach out to them on the site.
LinkedIn itself is a very secure platform, and the majority of people using it are there for legitimate professional reasons. However, wherever there are potential victims, there will always be online scammers looking for their next target.
That being said, as long as you know what types of LinkedIn scams are out there and how to avoid them, there’s no reason you should have any reservations about using the platform for your professional networking and job hunting needs.
Catfishing is something that can happen on any social media platform. On LinkedIn, catfishers pretend to be legitimate professionals, sometimes inventing fictional companies, to trick unsuspecting victims into giving them sensitive information.
For example, a catfisher might pretend to be a recruiter working for a reputable company, such as Amazon, Google, or Microsoft. They might target you because you are actively seeking employment and know how enticing a job at any of those companies would sound to you.
At some point during your communication with the scammers, they will probably ask you for sensitive data, perhaps your social security number, as part of the “job application process.” To avoid getting catfished on LinkedIn, never provide sensitive personal data over the network.
Phishing scams on LinkedIn are similar to catfishing scams on the platform, but the scammers might try to retrieve your sensitive data through other channels.
For example, they might ask for your email and start sending you emails that appear to be legitimate, but have malicious links or software in them. Or, they could give you a link to a site to fill out a “job application,” but the site is really fake and just designed to steal your personal info.
Always research any companies or individuals you think you’re applying for a job with to make sure they’re legit.
LinkedIn is full of fake or too-good-to-be-true job offers. One way LinkedIn job scams work is that scammers will claim that you’ve been accepted for a job which you never actually applied for, and try to trick you into giving them sensitive personal data.
To avoid this, never accept any type of job offer which you have not applied for or gone through an interview process for.
Other LinkedIn frauds trick people, such as freelancers, into providing free work by requesting services with a promise to pay upon completion. Of course, once you hand over the work, the fraudsters disappear — they can just delete the profile they used to trick you and you won’t ever see a dime.
This is a type of LinkedIn password scam in which the scammers send you emails that appear to be from LinkedIn support and claim that there is some kind of technical issue with your account. They try to get you to provide them with your LinkedIn login details, which they can use to steal your account and other personal data stored there.
Another common way online scammers try to steal from you is by getting you to install malicious software, such as malware or ransomware, on your device. They might send you a file download link or a website URL that they want you to click on under pretenses that appear legitimate, but the link really installs malicious software on your computer.
To avoid this type of LinkedIn scam, never click on unsolicited links from strangers, unless you know they are legitimate (i.e., links to real company sites). Also, you should always install anti-malware and virus protection software on your device and keep it up to date to stay protected.
Advance fee scams are another common type of online scam that can occur on LinkedIn. In this type of scam, the fraudsters will make a promise that’s too good to be true about how you can invest a small amount of money in something to get huge returns.
For example, they might ask you to invest in a startup or in some type of cryptocurrency. However, once you hand over your money, they ghost you and you never get anything back.
To avoid advance fee LinkedIn frauds, never send money to anyone you connect with on the platform and be wary of any offers that sound too good to be true — because they probably are.
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