Recognise scams on LinkedIn

There are a number of common scams doing the rounds on LinkedIn according to Dean Seddon so recognise them and take action.


3Plus saw a post on LinkedIn by Dean Seddon CEO of MAVERRIK outlining the number of potential scams that exist on LinkedIn. The list was such an eye opener and so disturbing, we thought it was worth sharing. Even if only 1% of 740 million LinkedIn user profiles are fake, then that would be more than 7 million fake accounts. Process that!

How they work

Scammers looking to target groups of professional users may impersonate an ex-colleague, a fellow employee, a legitimate organisation, a  recruiter, or even someone from LinkedIn. Take the following measures and proceed with caution:

  • Look at the email address of the sender and avoid anything with a non-LinkedIn domain.
  • Check each hyperlink in the email to see the link’s URL. If the link is not to a LinkedIn webpage, you know it’s a scam.
  • If you are at all uncertain about the validity of the email, log into your LinkedIn account. If the email is real, you will have the same notice in your message folder in LinkedIn.
  • Anyone asking for personal information beyond your email address is spam. Anyone asking for passwords, credit card or bank accounts is fraudulent.
  • Any email asking you to install software or open an email attachment is spam.
  • If an email contains bad spelling or grammar, it is likely a scam.

How to recognise these scams on LinkedIn

Here are some of the common scams doing the rounds according to Dean.

1. The Scrape

This is a totally made-up and fake profile set up specifically to scrape your data.

2. The Honeypot

An attractive person of the opposite sex made up to con you into talking with a sales rep. Yes – in 2021 this happens. Sexualised to sell.

3. The Prospect

Reaches out to you as a prospect, gets you on a call and tries to sell to you.


scams on LinkedIn

4. The AI Fake

This is a profile used for various purposes, but mainly an attempt to get connected to decision-makers who would decline normally. They use a mix of Honeypot and AI generated profile pictures and frequently pretend to be a senior corporate executive who then goes on to cold pitch you.

5. The Hack

Someone sends you a pdf in a message about a proposal, you open it, they steal your account. Simple!

6. The Sketch

This involves big promises  with a very vague backstory, using personal charm and gaslight marketing to trick people. They usually talk a lot about six and seven-figure monthly earning figures which you can achieve if you subscribe to….their  service, training, master class etc.

7. The Sales Fake

Fake profile set up specifically to hard pitch LinkedIn members to avoid putting their own, real account at risk.

8. The Scam Fake

This is the individual who poses as a prospect, then tries to persuade you to part with cash.


scams on LinkedIn

9. The Crypto Fake

This is a fake profile set up to promote Crypto trading or Bitcoin.

Even though some of these strategies are for legitimate business, they use deception to trick you.

What action to take with scams on LinkedIn.

Dean recommends “always check their connection numbers, past engagement and posts, I also check to see how much employment history, gives me a good steer if they are a real person or not.”   The problem is these tactics undermine legitimate businesses who want to raise their profile and do the right thing and make every deeply suspicious.

Dorothy Dalton also suggests checking their profile photo. “If you see only an egg or a logo – I would advise moving swiftly on.”  

Read more tips on “How to spot a fake LinkedIn profile” 

Report, report and oh…. REPORT.

Follow these instructions from LinkedIn to find out how you do it.

You can flag inappropriate or fake profiles on LinkedIn (i.e. profiles that contain profanity, empty profiles with fake names, or profiles that are impersonating public figures).

To report a profile:

  • Click the More icon on the member’s profile.
  • Click Report/Block.
  • Select Report this profile in the What do you want to do?   pop-up window.
    – Select the applicable reason for flagging the profile in the Tell us a little more pop-up window.
    – Click Submit to proceed or Back to review your options.

Make LinkedIn safer

Make LinkedIn safer for everyone by reporting any dubious activity. This includes dodgy or fake profiles, explicit sexual content, hate speech, harassment, and bullying. It also raises the question if you see anyone posting inappropriate content should you also report anyone who has willingly engaged in the content. Their action also serves to embed bad practices. So worth thinking about.


Check out: How to make the most of LinkedIn for career and business success.

3Plus welcomes any writers to join 3Plus as a Staff Writer. If you are an expert in Leadership and Competence Building or just want to share your experiences, contact us! We would love to give you a voice!

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