LinkedIn Scams: Don’t be a victim

Straight off the bat, I am not saying LinkedIn is scamming you, I find it an incredible network to be able to connect with colleagues old and new, share ideas, and learn, but more increasingly I am seeing scammers leveraging our commitment to building professional networks as a way to get you.

Sometimes I do a quick scan on my Junk e-mail, because there are times where an overaggressive junk email filter has made me miss emails from my children’s school or an old acquaintance, and there was an email that caught my eye from LinkedIn, indicating that people were searching for me on LinkedIn. The email pictured below that companies like American International Group, Cardinal Health etc were searching… I was interested as to why, so I was about to click on the “See all searches” button.

“Hold up there Hardman”, I thought to myself, “… there is a reason that this in junk mail.”. The sudden self-realization that my own curiosity had dulled my senses to the fact this was an email scam, or more commonly referred to as Phishing. The Phishing.org site has some direct examples where spoofing LinkedIn emails and communications, and many others for that matter can be seen Phishing | Phishing Examples (don’t worry I am not phishing you here, but glad you are skeptical!) as pictured below:

Phishing | Phishing Examples

As a general rule, if it’s in your junk email folder, it’s there for a reason, it is probably bad, but here are some of the things to stop and check before being overly curious and clicking that link.

In comparison, they did a pretty decent job, as you can see in the image (I am not going to download the images they have though).

So, what are some of the tell-tale signs to look for? Let’s look more closely at that email again…

  1. Obviously not a LinkedIn Email address, Videotron @ ca has nothing to with LinkedIn, always start with looking at the email.
  2. All these links do not point to LinkedIn, in fact after scanning past the protection that SafeLinks offers in Microsoft’s email protection (Advanced Outlook.com security for Microsoft 365 subscribers), they all point to a non-LinkedIn site, which I wont post here for safety.
  3. The LinkedIn address they put in is for the US HQ, but for international users it actually should be an address in Ireland. (My US friends can confirm what it should be if you are a user from the US)
  4. One area here not shown, is that every time this email refers to you, it will use your email address, and not your LinkedIn Profile name, whereas a LinkedIn email, will refer to the details used on your profile.

In closing, don't be suckered into the curiosity that people use as bait, junk mail is junk mail for a reason, and keep your LinkedIn interactions safely on their site, or their app.

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Matthew Hardman

Matthew Hardman

The thoughts of a technical professional who works across APAC, having the opportunity to see and do a wide range of roles from strategy to people leader.