Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Employment Scams on LinkedIn™

Scams have been around for a long time now, but with the advent of the internet, they have become rampant in cyberspace. There are different types of online scams.

You name it, and there is a scam for it. Scams have become a reality in our lives and they are here to stay. That is indeed the harsh reality, however, we can educate ourselves and remain vigilant so we don’t fall victim to scammers.

In this blog post, my focus in on Employment Scams on LinkedIn™. You are probably aware of the professional network, LinkedIn™.

It’s the largest online professional network on which you will find people who have professional profiles. This social network is similar to Facebook, except that it is meant for professional use. You probably already have a LinkedIn™ profile yourself. It’s a great place to network with other professionals and companies. However, like any other popular places on the internet, LinkedIn™ has also become a breeding ground for scammers.

I’ve maintained a professional LinkedIn™ profile for many years now and it has helped me greatly. I’m picky on whose LinkedIn™ connection requests I accept, especially because of scammers and spammers. However, it’s not always easy to determine whether a specific connection is a scammer or not. So sometimes when I’m not sure, I will accept the connection request and take it from there.

Recently, I accepted two LinkedIn™ connection requests and both of them ended up being scammers. I’m not sure if you’ve heard about the Financial Coordinator or Accounts Receivable Scams, but that’s exactly what these two scammers approached me with. Basically, these scammers create fake profiles on LinkedIn™ and pose as real people.

The goal of the scammers is to target anyone, whether you’re looking for a job or not. They approach you politely asking if you’d be interested in a part-time job while still working at your current job. The scammers say that their company is expanding in your country and they would like you to be their payment coordinator. They try to get your personal information, including your banking information. These scammers make it look real by picking actual and legitimate companies that are currently in operation, and pose as if they work for that company. Check the video below to see how the scam actually works.

Both these scammers that I encountered on LinkedIn™ approached me with the same scam, but for different companies. When they started corresponding with me, I immediately knew that they were scammers. So I decided to play along to just prove to them that they were scammers on LinkedIn™.

(Excerpt of Scam Email I Received on LinkedIn)

The above image is a an excerpt of one of the scam emails I received from one of the scammers. And further down the page, you can check my video on how I went about my correspondence with the scammers on LinkedIn™. You will also find out how the scam works and how innocent people have fallen victim to it and lost their hard-earned money.

Hope this was helpful. Stay vigilant and be careful with whom you connect with on social networks, be it Facebook, LinkedIn™, or any other online networks. I’ve even seen these kind of scam emails via spam email in my inbox. As I said earlier, this is just one type of scam.

There are many other types of scams around all over the world wide web. You can check my article on The Black Book of Scams, Canadian Edition, to learn about different scams that are being used to target innocent Canadians.

Credits: LinkedIn, the LinkedIn logo, the IN logo and InMail are registered trademarks or trademarks of LinkedIn Corporation and its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries.

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