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LinkedIn: How to Spot a Fake Invitation or Profile

By Danielle Moser + Renee Zung

This month, the recurring inquiry seemed to be centered around LinkedIn's Connections -- or invitations from connections and how to know if they're real or not.

Scenario One: "A recruiter contacted me and offered me a job after one phone interview. It was a work from home opportunity with great pay. After working for two weeks my pay check never arrived when I tried to contact the person who hired me the phone number was disconnected and email address no longer existed.”

How to avoid this. Research the company and remember if the job and pay sounds too good to be true it is. Never provide personal information over the phone after one interview. Ask for an offer in writing.

Scenario Two: “I received a connection invite email from another member with a link in it, is this real?”

When you are asked to connect you simply have to click the check box in LinkedIn and connect. If you have to click a link to connect this is a scam and if you click you can be susceptible to malicious malware

Scenario Three: “I received a message in my inbox to upgrade my account in LinkedIn. Is this real?”

LinkedIn will send you an email to your primary email outside of LinkedIn for your free month. To protect yourself, never provide personal information in an email. This type of message is phishing.

To protect your account credentials against scammers, make sure that you treat emails from people you don’t know with caution. In particular, do not click on any suspicious links or open any unknown email attachments.

What next? If the person seems too good to be real or the offer too good to be true -- trust your instincts.

We also recommend that you conduct research:

Google Image Search: Right click on the person's profile picture select Copy Image Address. Open a browser, and in the URL bar type: and paste the image address into the search field.

Review their profile: Most fake LinkedIn Profiles share the same characteristics:

· Fake profile photo

· Name oddities

· No recommendations

· Ivy league education

· Implausible work experience

For an oldie, but goodie: Check out a similar post from 2014 (or copy this link:

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