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Scam Alert: Scammers Use Bogus Connection Requests on LinkedIn

Just as job hunters use LinkedIn to connect with former colleagues and potential employers, scammers are using the networking service to find their next target. If you have a LinkedIn account, watch out for suspicious “recruiters” and job offers. 

A Noblesville woman reported to BBB Scam Tracker that she went through a rapid interview process and was hired immediately after applying for a virtual assistant position on LinkedIn through a recruiter. After a week of working in this role, she asked about a paycheck and was ignored. She then refused their request to open a bank account in her name to book a conference. The company’s website domain later appeared to be suspended.

How the Scam Works:

You get a LinkedIn message from a supposed recruiter encouraging you to apply for a job. You check out their LinkedIn profile, and it looks real. You may even have several connections in common!

From here, the scam works in a couple of different ways. Sometimes, the message contains a link that appears to point to an online job application. You are supposed to upload your résumé and provide personal information, anything from your address to Social Security number. Other times, you respond to the message and are “hired” for the job. Then, you are asked to pay upfront for training and/or other expenses.

No matter the details of the scam, the job never materializes. The scammer takes the money or information and disappears. Victims who share personal details are at risk of identity theft.

How to Spot a LinkedIn Scam:

Here are some tips for dealing with job scams on LinkedIn.

Set your LinkedIn privacy settings. You can limit which LinkedIn users can send you messages or connection requests.

Don’t accept every request you get. Check out the user’s profile for completeness and correct grammar. Just because you have several connections in common does not mean they are real. Scammers frequently create a large network to look more legitimate.

Ask to talk on the phone. If a recruiter contacts you through email, ask to speak by phone. Scammers will try to dodge this with excuses, such as being out of the country.

Check out BBB Tips: Many job scams use similar techniques, see bbb.org/employmentscam for more advice.

For More Information

Read more about employment scams at https://www.bbb.org/article/tips/12261-bbb-tip-employment-scams.

If you’ve been the victim of this or a similar scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker. Your report can help educate other consumers by raising awareness of scammers’ tactics.

The Better Business Bureau has empowered people to find businesses, brands and charities they can trust for over 110 years. In 2021, people turned to BBB more than 200 million times for BBB Business Profiles on 6.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 25,000 charities, free at BBB.org. Local, independent BBBs can be found across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central Indiana, which was founded in 1916 and serves 46 counties.