Do you have a LinkedIn account? The social media platform for business and professionals is not immune to scams and identity theft. Similar to other social media, imposter profiles can be created and phishing attempts are made to commit identity theft.
Better Business Bureau serving the Northwest and Pacific wants to make you aware of common scams and remind you to use these scam and identity theft prevention tips.
Fake member invitation email. It is common to be invited by other LinkedIn members to connect with them or join LinkedIn. This usually comes in the form of an email you receive from LinkedIn. Be on the lookout for these messages and take a close look at the email address it is coming from. The email will look like an authentic LinkedIn email and many include the LinkedIn logo. Be sure to hover over any links in the email to view the URL they are directed. If the link is very long or does not include the official LinkedIn domain it may be directing you to a compromised website that will download malicious software onto your computer. Beware of look-alike website domains that include a variation of the LinkedIn.com. Consider avoiding links in emails and going directly to the real site.
Phishing scam. This email scam tactic is common. These fake emails claim to be from the LinkedIn administrative team asking you to confirm your account login credentials or suggest your account has been blocked because of inactivity. Again, you will be asked to “click here” to confirm information. Many times the link is directed to a look-alike LinkedIn website page asking for your email and password information. Be sure to look where the email originated from and hover over the link to see where they are directed.
Invitation to connect and InMail message scams. Like any social media network you want to be mindful of who you interact with on LinkedIn. Platforms targeting business networking can be a bit more difficult because people are looking to grow their contacts. Scammers know users may not take as much time or investigate members before they accept invitations to connect. If you don’t know the person, it is important to look at their profile carefully. Warning signs include a very brief profile with a limited amount of company and job information. Investigate the contacts you have in common. Be careful if you receive an InMail message from a contact you are not familiar with, especially if they make unusual requests. It is common for scammers to send direct messages to their targets and engage them in a one-on-one conversation that can lead to dangerous links and fraud attempts.
If you receive a suspicious email from LinkedIn, forward it to email@example.com. LinkedIn is making efforts to include a security footer in their authentic emails to reduce scams. For additional scam prevention information visit bbb.org. Anyone who feels they may be a victim of a scam should report it to their local law enforcement and with BBB Scam Tracker at bbb.org/scamtracker.
Emily Valla is the marketplace director for Better Business Bureau Northwest: Idaho and Western Wyoming. Contact her at 208-523-9754 or byemailing firstname.lastname@example.org.