Wednesday, February 11, 2015

More Thoughts on Fake LinkedIn Invitations

This is a follow-up to a blog I wrote yesterday entitled:

LinkedIn Fake Profile Alert...Fake LinkedIn Profile Invitations

After the Chief Compliance Officer of a financial firm in Salt Lake City called me to follow up on a call I made to his sales department earlier in the day, I received another fake LinkedIn invitation.  The Chief Compliance Officer appreciated my call to his company and as a result has asked someone at LinkedIn to do something about the fake LinkedIn profile that shows his company's name on it.

Google Image Search

I went back into my invitations and saved a couple of the photos connected to invitations that I had determined were fake.  If you don't know how to do this, you can go to and upload an image from your computer.  Google will look for images on the Internet that match the image you've uploaded.

In all three of my test cases, Google produced numerous images connected to numerous websites.  In one case, I found the real identity connected to the photo I uploaded and I'm now in the process of letting this person know that her photo has been stolen from her business website so she can go directly to LinkedIn to hopefully have the false profile that has her photo on it removed.

The Latest Fake LinkedIn Invitation in my Inbox

I'm going to share this invitation and the associated photo simply to demonstrate what I've been receiving in my Inbox.  The photo shown below appears from my Google research to belong to a hairstyle model.  As far as I can tell, she has done nothing wrong.  Her photo appears to have been hijacked and used in the false LinkedIn profile that shows her photo.

Here's the LinkedIn Invitation

Here is the top portion of the associated LinkedIn profile

What Do Fake LinkedIn Profiles Look Like?

From my experience, this is what a typical fake LinkedIn profile looks like with the exception of one thing.  

  • Most fake profiles I've see have less than 100 direct connections.  
  • One of the common traits of most fake profiles is that they have very little content in the summary section and in the text below the person's employment.  
  • More often than not, the photo associated with the fake profiles I've received is a very good looking man or woman.

Here's a different twist

  • The fake profiles I've received with Salt Lake City, Utah area locations all had more than 500 connections.
  • The summary and work experience text was full and robust.  
What caught my attention is the similarity of 15-20 invitations in a row from Salt Lake that all had professional looking photos.  

Don't stop building your LinkedIn network but be careful about accepting invitations.  The most recent false invitations I've received are well-done.  They look like highly sophisticated Phishing emails that I suspect most people would accept if they're trying hard to build a large LinkedIn network.

Jeff Snyder's,, Security Recruiter Blog, 719.686.8810's Security Recruiter Blog