Fraudulent Accounts: The Signs of Fake or Exaggerated LinkedIn Profiles

LinkedIn has become one of the most popular mediums to use when sourcing candidates. With this rise in activity, the prevalence of fake LinkedIn accounts has also become a significant issue. For those employers that are trying to find top talent, this can pose some serious concerns and setbacks. Some accounts are completely fraudulent, while others are overly exaggerated.

How to Tell a LinkedIn Profile is Fake

Fake LinkedIn profiles can seem so real but if your clients are aware of the red flags, fraudulent accounts can be easier to recognize.

Unusual Invites

If there is an unusual increase of invites from people from the same company, this is often a sign of fraudulent accounts. Quite often, scammers use well-known companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, Bank of America, etc. Another common sign is getting many requests from people with very similar and generic headlines.

Suspicious Profile Image

Receiving an invite with a profile photo that looks like a stock photo is a very likely indicator of a fraudulent LinkedIn profile. You may even want to do a Google search for the image. While there are many real people that use logos as their image, a generic picture, such as a flower or another random object, can also be a warning sign. If a celebrity image is used, that is pretty much a dead giveaway.

Lack of Information

Does the profile lack any real personal information about that individual? Or are there mostly generic statements without specificity in the “Summary” and “Experience” sections? These are sure signs that their profile is fraudulent.

Profiles by real people often include a mix of personal details such as volunteering, interests, education, recommendations and the use of the first-person writing in the “Summary” or “Experience” sections. Not that profiles written in the third person are fake, but profiles written in the first person are less commonly found to be fake.

Work History

Fraudulent accounts often have work histories that do not add up. A quick scan through someone’s work history can help check for natural progressions in their career or if there are unexplainable discrepancies. Look for:

  • Huge employment gaps
  • Random jobs
  • Questionable promotions
  • Generic job descriptions leaving you wondering what they actually did

Connections and Engagement

LinkedIn is primarily used to connect with more people within professional networks. A genuine profile will have a well-balanced mix of individuals among its connections. If all the connections look suspicious as well, there’s a good chance it’s a fake account.

LinkedIn is all about engaging with others and the content that is found relevant and interesting to each individual person will vary. However, it is smart to keep in mind that profiles by real people will tend to reveal their interests and if the account lacks any real conversation or interaction with other profiles, then it is a likely indicator of a fake account.

About World Wide Specialty Programs

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