LinkedIn fake profiles more advanced now

Recently, an unusual high number of fake profiles at LinkedIn contacted me and asked me to add them to my LinkedIn network.


The classic tips for identifying a fake profile (e.g. stated here) are not really valid anymore. They got more sophisticated ;) Thats how such a request looks like:

Quite often

  • the name looked realistic (no lower-case names, no dots in front of the last name)
  • only a handful of groups were joined
  • they have a significant amount of connections (e.g. when I first checked, it was around 80, five minutes later the profile had 110 connections) and some of your colleagues are in the list ...
  • the location was Austria (not suspicious)


Whats still suspicious:

  • there is no information about the professional history of the person
  • no or a stock photo as profile image
  • its almost always a senior management position which makes you feel flattered
  • just the generic "Hi Michael, I'd like to connect with you on LinkedIn." message


What I do about it

  • check back with your network
    Often, you have shared connections. Use them and ask about the profile - if its a real contact, how they know each other etc. If you get back "I don't know this contact and he/she never contacted me", you probably know enough. 
  • reject
    I mostly reject contact requests of profiles that does not include a real request or question they have. "Human" requests almost always include a topic they want to discuss with me - and thats for now the only distinguishing property. "Aim for a small(er) but high(er) quality network" as a friend of mine said.
  • report or block
    if you are sure about a fake profile, you can block or report it to LinkedIn:

So, everybody out there who wants to contact me via LinkedIn: include your intention or you probably will get rejected ;)


Whats your experience with LinkedIn and faked profiles? I would like to hear from you!

Posted on September 19, 2014 and filed under social networks.