This is an update to the article about identifying LinkedIn scammers when they request a connection. In that article, we listed six ways to identify fake accounts:
1.Look at that URL. If it indicates that this is a new account (anything over 300 million right now) be very suspicious. Other than your kids do you know anyone professionally who has not had a LinkedIn account for at least a couple of years (less than 100 million)?
2.The name does not include capitalized initial letters. I suspect that scammers have written scripts to generate these accounts and it is simpler not to capitalize.
3.They have fewer than ten connections. Why would someone from Ghana pick me out of 300 million people to connect to on practically the first day he gets on LinkedIn? I am often the first person they reach out to. Conversely, if someone has 500+ connections that is a very good sign they are a real person.
4.Picture is of a really good looking person. We all know how honey traps work. Don’t fall for a pretty face (or more).
5.Profile is incomplete. Look for complete work history, education, and the number of people who have provided those “endorsements.”
6.No recommendations. Recommendations from real people are the best indicator of a real person. Obviously, a sophisticated attack from a determined assailant would go to the trouble of creating fake recommendations. I have not seen that yet.
Within a week of posting these tips, I started to see much more sophisticated attempts….