LinkedIn scams

Outsmart LinkedIn Scams in the UK

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PUREVPNOutsmart LinkedIn Scams in the UK

It’s just another beautiful day. You’re sipping your morning coffee while scrolling through LinkedIn: Networking, making connections, and maybe you’ve even found a new job opportunity! But wait! Before you dive headfirst into that tempting offer, could it be one of those dreaded LinkedIn scams that everyone’s talking about?

Like our favorite storybook monsters, LinkedIn scams have been lurking around corners, waiting to pounce on unsuspecting victims. Don’t worry, dear reader! The following guide will serve as your shield, arming you with the knowledge to keep these monsters at bay.

Decoding the dreaded LinkedIn scam

“Monsters? On LinkedIn? Are you serious?” Here’s a quick reality check: According to cybersecurity experts, the first half of 2022 saw a whopping 5.5 million more fake accounts on LinkedIn compared to the last six months of the previous year.

So, what makes LinkedIn such a fertile hunting ground for these cyber villains? Steven J.J. Weisman, a well-known identity theft and cybersecurity expert, points out that scammers love LinkedIn because it’s all about trust, and we naturally tend to trust our professional connections. Mix in LinkedIn’s vast pool of 810 million members, and you have the perfect cocktail for digital deception.

Common LinkedIn scams to keep an eye on

A wise person once said, “Forewarned is forearmed.” To battle these digital demons, you need to know their tricks. Below are some common scams and how to avoid them:

  1. The too-good-to-be-true job offers

Picture this. You’re job hunting, and you suddenly receive a job offer that triples your current salary. The only catch? The recruiter demands a finder’s fee upfront. Sounds fishy, right? That’s because it is! Legitimate recruiters won’t pressurize you with high-stakes tactics.

  1. The phantom Tech Support

This scam features a person pretending to be from your company’s tech support, aiming to trick you out of your passwords or other sensitive information. Here’s a tip – if your company’s tech support contacts you through LinkedIn instead of your work email, that’s your cue to become suspicious.

  1. Phishing mayhem

This scam involves fraudsters sending sketchy links that could potentially hack your account or download harmful malware onto your system. The golden rule here is simple – never click links from people you don’t know.

Tell-tale signs of a LinkedIn scam

While scams may come in various shapes and sizes, they often share certain traits. These red flags could help you spot a scam and save yourself from falling into a trap:

  1. Generic messages

Pay close attention to the messages you receive. If the language seems too generic or impersonal or includes many grammatical and spelling mistakes, it could be a scam.

  1. Rush tactics

Scammers often try to create a sense of urgency, pressuring you into making a hasty decision. Genuine professionals will give you time to make informed decisions.

  1. Suspicious links or attachments

Scammers commonly use links or attachments to spread malware. Be wary of unexpected links or files, even if they appear to come from a connection.

  1. Requests for personal information

No legitimate job offer or networking connection will ask for sensitive information like your Social Security Number or financial details over LinkedIn.

  1. Profile inconsistencies

Scammers usually have minimal connections, incomplete profiles, or professional experience that doesn’t quite add up. Be sure to scrutinize profiles before engaging.

I’ve been scammed! What now?

In case you find yourself a victim of a LinkedIn scam, here’s a simple course of action you can take:

  1. Report it to LinkedIn: LinkedIn has a mechanism to report suspicious activity. Make sure to use this to alert them of any scams.
  2. Contact your bank: If you’ve shared any banking details or made any payments, contact your bank immediately to block transactions and protect your account.
  3. File a complaint with your local law enforcement agency: While this might not always lead to the scammer’s apprehension, it’s crucial in building a case and possibly preventing others from falling victim to the same scam.
  4. Alert your network: By informing your connections about your experience, you can help them stay vigilant and prevent them from becoming the next victim.

How PureVPN can boost your LinkedIn security

With the rise in scams, enhancing your security measures is more important than ever. One way to do this is by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) like PureVPN.

Incorporating PureVPN into your cybersecurity regimen can enhance your online safety on platforms like LinkedIn. A VPN encrypts your internet connection, adding an extra layer of protection against prying eyes who may be seeking your personal information. 

As an added bonus, PureVPN provides advanced features like Internet Kill Switch and IP Address Masking to further secure your data and identity.

Internet Kill Switch: This feature prevents your IP address from being exposed during sudden connection drops, protecting your data and anonymity.

IP Address Masking: This hides your real IP address, making it hard for cyber criminals to trace your online activities.

With a VPN, you can also access LinkedIn and other online resources securely from public WiFi networks, which hackers often target due to their lower security levels.

Final words: Your cybersecurity is in your hands

Though LinkedIn works diligently to protect its users from scams, a 100% safe online environment is a mirage. As users, we have a significant role to play in maintaining our cybersecurity. With the right knowledge and tools like PureVPN, we can guard ourselves against the plethora of threats lurking on LinkedIn and other networking platforms.

Remember, your professional journey deserves an attentive co-pilot—your cybersecurity awareness. Spot the scams, steer clear, and sail smoothly on the high seas of professional networking. Stay safe out there!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you tell if a LinkedIn message is real?

Trust your intuition; if a message feels off, it probably is. However, beyond gut feelings, scrutinize spelling, grammar, and the general tone. Authentic LinkedIn messages are typically professional. If it’s a job offer, check the company’s LinkedIn page and cross-verify the sender’s details. Be wary of unexpected requests or offers, especially those that demand immediate action.

How can you tell if someone has a fake LinkedIn account?

Several red flags might signal a bogus account. Look out for low connection numbers, incomplete profiles, generic or stock photos, and employment history that seems inconsistent or implausible. Also, fake accounts often endorse each other, so a pattern of connections with similar dubious accounts can be a telltale sign.

Why do hackers set up fake LinkedIn accounts?

Their intentions vary, but usually, it’s to gain trust and exploit it. Scammers often impersonate recruiters or professionals to conduct phishing attacks, steal sensitive information, or spread malware. They may also use the credibility associated with LinkedIn to promote questionable business deals or investments.

Can I get fake connections on LinkedIn?

Absolutely, you can. LinkedIn is a professional network, but it’s not immune to false profiles. Fake connections may try to interact with you for malicious reasons. Always do a quick background check before accepting any new connection requests.

Is there catfishing on LinkedIn?

Catfishing does happen on LinkedIn. It’s less common than on social or dating platforms, but the professional guise can make these attempts more deceptive. Be skeptical of overly personal messages or requests coming from professional contacts.

How do I hide myself on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn lets you browse in “private mode”, which hides your identity when you view others’ profiles. To do this, click your profile photo at the top of your LinkedIn homepage, select Settings & Privacy, and then click Visibility. Under Profile viewing options, select the mode you’d like. Just remember, you won’t be able to see who’s viewed your profile when you’re in private mode.




June 14, 2023


1 year ago

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