Couple of weeks ago one of my clients ask me for a help with one interesting profile on LinkedIn. The client of mine was looking for an investor and he was contacted through LinkedIn by a very well known worldwide investor.
Pretty amazing don’t you think? Yes, that was exactly what my client thought and he was very happy that finally someone was so interested in his project and is willing to invest. Finally the use of LinkedIn will pay off.
Don’t take action before research
Before any action the client asked me for a help, he wanted me to check out the investors profile on LinkedIn just to be sure that everything is OK.
At the first glance the profile looked fake to me so i did a little background check about that person/investor. The Google results were very general (Wikipedia, News portals and of course the LinkedIn profile Google listing). What caught my eye was another LinkedIn profile listing with the same name but written in small letters. After that i checked the company web page that was listed on the investor’s profile.
The web page was looking very neat but still suspicious because i was not able to find any information on Google or LinkedIn about listed board members. The other thing that was bothering me was that i could not find any information on “whois” (query and response protocol that is used for querying databases that store the registered users of a domain name).
Other fishy thing was that my client was contacted directly by an investor but not by his lawyers or financial advisors. Worldwide known investor would probably have people working for him on such matters.
I advised my client to ask him for some documents about the investing company that would prove that it really exists. After that there was no more communication from the investor’s side.
So the question is: How to spot a fake LinkedIn profile?
Here are the 10 most used ways to spot the fake LinkedIn profile:
- Profile name is written in lower case. For example: dejan gostimir. Writing your name in lower case is strange; any person who knows how to write will write their name with the first letter in upper case, right?
- Profile name is written in UPPER CASE. For example: DEJAN GOSTIMIR
- Profile name is written in a way that the name is in lower case and surname has first letter in upper case. For example: dejan Gostimir.
- Profile name is only initials. For example: D.G
- No profile picture. You always put your picture on social networks that you use, so why there is no profile picture on LinkedIn?
- Stock photo for profile picture. Fake profiles usually use the profile pictures from stock photo services like: istockphoto.com or shutterstock.com. Those photos are very professional with beautiful models on it.
- The persons profile is minimally filled with information with membership in large number of groups. In groups the fake profile owners are looking for e-mails so that they can spam.
- The fake profile will have generic company name.
- The name of the fake profile will be rhythmic. For example: James Jonson, Andy Anderson, Ivan Ivic etc.
- Fake profiles will use the names of well known persons or managers, CEOs etc. And will be fiiled with information, pictures and links. The information on the fake profile in most cases will be copied from the real profiles.
If you receive an invitation from what it looks like a fake profile, mark it as a spam. If enough users mark that profile as a spam the LinkedIn will suspend that account.
Here are some examples of fake profiles:
If you know some other example of fake LinkedIn profile i would be grateful if you share it with us. Please feel free to share this with your network so that other LinkedIn users can be aware of this.
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Dejan Gostimir is Professional LinkedIn® Profile Writer, Professional Coach and Speaker for using LinkedIn®. Read more of his work on his website www.linkedin-superstar.com