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:
- 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.
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!