Can you trust every connection request you receive on LinkedIn? As promising as some profiles or offers may appear on the surface, we’ll be the first to tell you that you should never take requests at face value.
Even if someone appears extremely successful or experienced, somebody up to no good may lurk beneath the surface. So, how can you be sure that the person you’re speaking to is the real deal? Read on for helpful tips.
Why you should never trust a shady or unexpected message on LinkedIn
LinkedIn may be one of the best places to mingle virtually with other members of your industry, but even this gold standard for professional social media isn’t without its crooks.
Scammers may try to loop you into schemes to steal your data or infect your device with malware. Many come in the form of phishing attacks, often through phony job applications and other dishonest data requests. Why?
LinkedIn is a treasure trove of identifying information, making it the perfect way for criminals to learn about their targets. If you’re not careful, it can be easy to slip up and get involved with the wrong crowd. You might even run into emails or SMS scams that claim to be from colleagues in your online circle.
Sometimes, identity thieves may even go so far as to clone entire profiles of real professionals. Luckily, it’s easy to run a quick search before getting to know somebody new to confirm whether the account is a duplicate. Unfortunately, many never think to take this extra precaution.
Here’s a security page on LinkedIn where you can recognize and report scams.
One thing to be especially aware of is fake job offers. These fraudulent ventures aren’t just a domestic issue, either. Criminals hailing from China, Iran, Russia and Asia are known for trying to exploit innocent professionals.
Despite the language barrier, these actors might charm you into a great conversation before trying to procure your data for monetary gains. Don’t be fooled, though.
Clicking on the wrong link could land you in hot water. Getting a message out of the blue from top brands like Amazon, Meta, Apple or anyone else at the upper echelon of society doesn’t happen every day.
While fake account detection and spam-blocking features can keep you safe to some extent, the onus remains on you to always exercise caution when chatting with a stranger online.
We all have information about ourselves on our LinkedIn profiles and the posts we share on our network’s feed. How can you keep yourself safe without compromising the opportunity of a lifetime?
LinkedIn safety tips
LinkedIn isn’t just the best in the business because it’s popular. The platform offers many provisions against unsolicited and duplicitous messages within its borders. Sometimes, though, something nasty might still slip through the cracks.
What are some of the biggest red flags to look out for when you receive an offer that feels too good to be true? Remember these warnings before you get yourself into trouble:
- Avoid projects with astronomically high pay or budgets.
- Always look for endorsements when communicating with profiles with tons of connections.
- Try to remain on LinkedIn when messaging an unfamiliar party.
- Thoroughly research the firm or person reaching out to you. Something might be amiss if you can’t find their profile on the company’s site or other professional networks.
- Be wary of clients asking you to wire money or to compensate for things like “overpayment.” They may claim to be adhering to an internal accounting policy, but this scheme is usually bogus.
- Never share your contact information, payment details or anything else with an unverified contact you’ve never met or worked with personally.
Tap or click here for advice on putting your best foot forward for potential connections on LinkedIn. You can’t trust every person who reaches out to you, but it always pays to make a great impression when the opportunity comes calling.