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Is that LinkedIn Invitation Real or Fake?

It's on the rise again ... this is an update of a post from 2014

Authors: Danielle Moser + Renee Zung

It seems that LinkedIn has become a breeding ground for fake profiles. So, how can you tell when if an invite’s legit or not?

Here are some hints on how to spot a Fake LinkedIn profile:

  • A picture is worth a 1000 words, and the photo is usually the first give away. If it looks suspicious it probably is. Does the person look like a model or is the picture just too good to be true?  Is the background a bit off? In other words, does it look like a stock photo?
  • Are you being pitched? The background is another give away. Does the LinkedIn background look like an advertisement?
  • Is the work experience limited? Often there will be only one role. Or there will be no content under experience listed.
  • Does this person have a premium account? Most spammers won’t spend the money on a premium account.  
  • Does the profile have endorsements? That can be a quick give-away.
  • Are they following just a few companies? If not, look more closely.
  • How many connections do they have? Not always, but often a give-away is if they have very few connections, +/- 100. 
  • Does the profile have recommendations? If no one has gone on record, look more closely.

If you answered NO to more than 3 of the criteria above, we recommend using Google and searching the web for the image / photo. (If using Chrome browser, do that by right clicking the photo to search the web for it.) We’ve discovered many fake profiles by searching the photo alone.

Still not certain? There is still no need to connect; click the X (Archive Invite) which ignores it. Or select the X (Archive Invite and the option of Don’t Know this Person OR Report as Spam.

Here is another great blog with a lot of great detail.

Which is your favorite tip?

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