Saturday, July 20

Tips to Spot a Fake LinkedIn Profile – Shahzad Subhani

In this exclusive article for CyberCentric, Shahzad Subhani from Bank Albilad highlights the value of network connections on LinkedIn and how to spot the fake profiles.

Most of us are using LinkedIn for our professional network and each of us wants to increase its connections and get the best out of our network, however lately it has been observed that LinkedIn is flooded with a lot of fake profiles. Though such profiles are pretty obvious to spot however they are still able to deceive many people. Purpose of this short article is to alarm those who do not notice such profiles and feel flattered or obligated to accept every connection request.

Another reason is the fact that whenever you get such a request, you also find 20 to 30 mutual connections. This means that other people in your professional circle did not do due diligence and accepted those requests and that’s how the scammer was able to reach you. Most of these scammers are looking for potential customers for certification exam dumps or offer them to provide CISSP, CISA or similar high value certificate without actually taking any exam. In some of these cases, once the person pays the amount, they no longer hear from them again thus ending up losing money.

In order to discourage such scammers and make LinkedIn as a safe place, we need to review our connections and clean them up.

Here are four quick tips on how to spot a fake LinkedIn Profile:

Fake Name

Some people use fake names or use names of lesser known actors or actresses so do a Quick google search with the profile name. You can use allintext:<Name> search and see the results that are returned.

Fake Profile Picture

Most fake Profiles will have a very charming profile picture of a lesser known actor or actress. Some even use pictures of other real people. To analyze, have a close look at the Profile Picture and do a reverse image search on Google. If you are not familiar with it, here is how to do it.

  1. Save the Profile picture OR Take a snapshot if you are using your mobile.
  2. Open Google search on your PC ( use desktop mode on your mobile)
  3. Click on Images in Top right corner.
  4. Click on the Camera Button and Upload the picture.
Google Image Search

Once you get the results, you can analyze different links where same image is used. Based on the results, it will be pretty easy to find if the person is real or a scammer is using a random picture from internet.

To write this article, I did a quick search for two profiles and found that one of them was using a picture of an actress Ananya Pandey and another was using a random picture from Instagram. The Sad part is that these profiles had 500 plus connections and they were shown under People also viewed.

Suspicious Job Title

The above steps alone should be enough to spot a fake profile however additionally, Job Title will be very generic like consultant, manager, digital marketing analyst, training coordinator, researcher etc. If the job title doesn’t make any sense, do not accept the connection request. Besides this, the organization name will either be hidden (set as confidential) or it will be mentioned as freelance.

Fake LinkedIn Profile

In the above example ,the scammer is using picture of Actress Ananya Pandey and original picture can be seen here .

Work Experience

In a fake profile, education or professional work experience will not be mentioned clearly. It will not match with job title or experience history. In one such case, the profile showed a job in a UAE government organization in the same year of graduation which is not possible as a certain experience is required to work in UAE or Middle east in general.

I do hope that this short article will be helpful for you to watch out and stay away from fake LinkedIn profiles. It will be good for you and your professional network. Instead of having low quality and even fake connections, the ideal way to use LinkedIn should be to build a high-quality network.

I strongly suggest that whenever you come across a fake profile, report it to LinkedIn. Click Report/Block to file the report and provide the reason. It will help keeping LinkedIn as a safe networking platform for you and your valuable connections.