Connecting with a scammer: Avoid LinkedIn relationship fraudsters

Last Updated: May 9, 2024By Tags: , , , , ,

Romance scams have been making the rounds even before social media, but now there’s a “business relationship” bait angling for the contents of your bank account and your personal data — and the scammers are using LinkedIn as the conduit.

If you’re on LinkedIn you often receive email notices from the app informing you that another member would like to connect with you. Seems innocent enough, right? But there may be a wolf hiding behind that sheep exterior. The scammer opportunist might tell you that they’re just starting out in business and they need a mentor to help advise and guide them. Naturally you’re flattered that this business newbie considers you an experienced and knowledgeable colleague. The thought that you’re dealing with a fraudster never enters your mind because you are connecting via a legitimate and professional environment. As the online relationship progresses, you lower your guard. This is when the fraudster suggests that your continue your conversation via a personal device (text, email). Now you’re prepped and ready to be lured into a scam, whatever it may be.

What you can do to protect yourself

The major tip-off that you’re about to be scammed is the request to continue your business chat on a more private channel, sans the guardrails that a legitimate platform like LinkedIn might provide. Another tell, their talking extensively about cryptocurrency. LinkedIn might flag requests to go off-platform as it attempts to remove fake accounts. Any suggestion that you carry on the conversation outside of LinkedIn should trigger a red alert in your mind. Just end the conversation/connection and block the scammer posthaste.

More information from Tech.co:

LinkedIn is a business social media platform that gives workers a space to connect, find new opportunities, and sometimes, humble brag about professional achievements. However, with an audience of 930 million and growing, the network is also attracting the attention of a different kind of opportunist — cybercriminals.

Common LinkedIn scams include email phishing, recruiter, romance, Chinese pig butchering, and technical support scams.

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Advice from BCI Business Insider on LinkedIn:

In the digital age, social media platforms have become a breeding ground for various scams, and LinkedIn, the professional networking site, is no exception. While LinkedIn serves as a valuable platform for connecting with potential business partners and colleagues, it has also become a target for scammers seeking to exploit emotions for financial gain. At BCI, we are committed to safeguarding your personal and professional endeavors. In this article, we shed light on the rise of LinkedIn romance scams and provide essential tips to help you stay safe and secure in your online interactions.

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