Linkedin Spam! Invitation to connect which is a little worse. As you may have experienced or heard, LinkedIn invite to communicate via spam affects many LinkedIn members and these spam invites often maps into a fraud trap. Some cases may involve receiving only contact invitation emails that appear to come from LinkedIn, however, they do not affect LinkedIn accounts. In this type of criminal case, the recipient is required to click a link within the email to accept the invitation or to view the LinkedIn profile of the person requesting the connection invitation.
The links within these emails are often directed to another website potentially residing outside the country, which could potentially harm your computer with embedded malware. When you receive these emails, the best thing to do is to delete the email regardless of whether the email is legitimately coming from LinkedIn and one of its legitimate members, which I will explain shortly.
The reason why I suggest deleting the LinkedIn contact invitation email is that you can log into your LinkedIn account and see the invitation in your inbox and review the sender profile and decide whether to accept the invitation or not. If you don’t see the invite in your LinkedIn inbox, you should be glad you deleted the email without clicking the link. And if you see the invite on your LinkedIn account, read on.
We have another type of LinkedIn spam invite to connect and it’s a little worse. In this case, the criminal actually creates a LinkedIn account with profile details including a nice picture and job title like bank manager. If you ask yourself if the photo is the actual person, this is a great start when evaluating whether or not to accept a LinkedIn invite. However, if the profile is a fake LinkedIn profile, the photo is not the person.
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After creating the fake profile, the scammer then starts sending out a LinkedIn spam invitation to connect with other members which will now appear in your LinkedIn inbox making the request less suspicious especially if the criminal has succeeded in communicating with a few other people who might You know them or they may be part of your contact list as well. This is where critical thinking is required to decide whether to accept or decline an invitation. For one thing, don’t assume the pretty picture is the person if you don’t know the person. If the LinkedIn spam invite message is public and doesn’t mention anyone you can contact and confirm, you should click the ignore button.
This way, you avoid receiving LinkedIn reminders about the invite and the person will be put into a problem group and prevented from sending future invites to others. Otherwise, make sure the profile is fake and that you don’t want to connect before pressing ignore because you could put a legitimate account holder at risk if that person is flagged as a Linkedin spammer.
Interestingly, scams are taking over social media where there are a lot of fish out there, and while it’s hard to imagine these scams can fool LinkedIn professionals, there are certainly some success stories. For example, in one case, after a LinkedIn member accepted an unsolicited LinkedIn invitation to connect because she had seen a shared contact, she quickly received an email from the person who indicated he was a LinkedIn bank professional. The email was explaining the usual nonsense about having a bank account with the exact victim’s last name and that they needed a shipping address and money to send the check.
Now, if you have already accepted the invitation of a criminal, don’t worry and just remove it from your contact list. And while they may still have your email address, there is no chance the criminal will use your connection as a phishing bait to send a LinkedIn spam invitation and communicate with your contacts.