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47% of organizations became a victim to LinkedIn Scams – here’s how to protect yours

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In today’s digital landscape, the online realm is plagued by a surge in scams that prey on unsuspecting internet users. While scams have permeated various online platforms, the one that has witnessed a staggering proliferation is LinkedIn.

LinkedIn, a globally renowned professional networking platform having over 930 million members, has become a perfect place for social engineering and a multitude of other fraudulent activities. The sheer popularity of LinkedIn, coupled with its emphasis on establishing professional connections, makes it an alluring target for scammers seeking to exploit its vast user base. This not only raises concerns from a consumer standpoint but also presents an intriguing issue for businesses.

Popular LinkedIn scams

While it serves as a social networking platform for connecting and discussing industry topics, LinkedIn’s primary focus on career-building makes it susceptible to specific types of scams.

One prevalent scam involves fake job offers, taking advantage of the platform’s massive job application volume to trick users into sharing personal information or making payments.

Another common scam is LinkedIn phishing, where fraudsters impersonate reputable companies or professionals through fake profiles to solicit sensitive information.

Additionally, scammers exploit the culture of connecting on LinkedIn by initiating conversations and sharing links with malicious content.

NordLayer Research on LinkedIn scams impacting the business sector further confirms the prevalence of these fraud types among respondents.

LinkedIn scams trends

According to the research, 77% of respondent organizations said that they have a profile on LinkedIn. Astonishingly, over one-third of them were aware of multiple LinkedIn frauds using their organization name.

Small companies appeared to be the least targeted by scams, with 52% of respondents reporting no experiences within their organization. This could be attributed to the fact that smaller companies may have fewer LinkedIn company profiles, resulting in less exposure to scammers.

In contrast, 47% of respondents indicated that their organization had encountered scam attempts. Interestingly, this trend aligned with companies demonstrating advanced cybersecurity maturity.

Among the types of scams, phishing attempts and fake tech support scams were more prevalent among medium-large companies with advanced cybersecurity maturity, accounting for 52% and 45% of encounters, respectively.

This suggests that larger and more mature companies may have a heightened awareness of cybersecurity issues but also face challenges in managing outsourced assets and complex networks, making them prime targets for scammers.

Furthermore, all companies frequently receive invitations to connect, with the frequency varying across approximately 40% of organizations.

Medium-sized businesses encountered a higher percentage of scams related to non-existent or fake products/services (34%), fake lotteries (30%), and dating/romance scams (28%) compared to small and large enterprises.

The US reported lower LinkedIn scams than UK and Canada

Scam engagement rates are comparatively lower in the United States than in Canada and the United Kingdom. Only 38% of respondents in the US reported being contacted by a fake LinkedIn profile or experiencing multiple scam attempts, while the figures were 43% for Canada and 44% for the UK.

Analyzing the scam tendencies in each surveyed country, the United Kingdom is primarily targeted by fake job offer scams (63%) and fake get-rich-quick schemes (43%).

In the United States, there is a high incidence of receiving connection requests with suspicious links, with 47% of respondents confirming such encounters. Additionally, 29% reported receiving invitations to participate in fake surveys.

Canada, on the other hand, experiences LinkedIn scams focusing on offering to purchase non-existent or fake products/services (36%) and falling victim to dating/romance fraud schemes (30%).

scams in countries

Impact of LinkedIn frauds on organizations

Small businesses bear the brunt of cyberattacks, facing greater impact compared to larger organizations. They are highly susceptible to financial loss (67%), theft of intellectual property (58%), and operational disruptions (58%). Furthermore, half of the surveyed organizations reported damage to their reputation.

Mid-sized enterprises face significant challenges, including reputation damage (47%), theft or damage to data, and customer contacts (43% each). Additionally, they are more susceptible to infrastructure damage compared to businesses of other sizes, with a rate of 25%.

Large organizations are most affected by reputation damage (41%), compromised data (40%), and financial loss (40%). Furthermore, 37% of all organizations experience disruptions to their business operations.

aftereffects of LinkedIn scams

How to stay wary of LinkedIn scams?

Verify Legitimacy:

Before diving headfirst into any job posting or business opportunity, exercise due diligence to ensure their authenticity. Conduct thorough research on the company or person behind the offer. A genuine LinkedIn profile will showcase consistent information and align with established companies or professionals.

Safeguard Your Privacy:

Take control of your LinkedIn experience by adjusting your account settings to fortify your privacy. Limit the visibility of your profile and messages by customizing your privacy preferences. This proactive approach allows you to regulate who can access your information and reach out to you.

The Telltale Signs:

Fake LinkedIn profiles often reveal themselves through distinct red flags. Watch out for the following indicators:

  • Inconsistencies and Sparse Details:

Authentic profiles generally offer comprehensive information about the professional history, education, and skills. Conversely, fake profiles are often scantily filled out, lacking crucial details, or missing a profile picture. Exercise caution when encountering such profiles, as they may be a facade for fraudulent activities.

  • Activity and Engagement:

Genuine LinkedIn users actively engage with the platform, participating in discussions, sharing insightful content, and connecting with professionals. Conversely, fake profiles tend to exhibit minimal activity or limited interaction. If a profile appears dormant or sends connection requests indiscriminately, it may be part of a phishing scheme.

  • Suspicious Offers and Messages:

Beware of dubious job offers, promotions, or messages originating from questionable profiles. Scammers employ these tactics to entice unsuspecting victims into their web of deceit. Exercise critical thinking and question the authenticity of such offers before proceeding.

By equipping yourself with the ability to recognize fake profiles on LinkedIn, you can navigate the platform with confidence, protecting yourself against scams and preserving your professional reputation. With these insights, you can make informed decisions, foster authentic connections, and navigate LinkedIn’s vibrant community with assurance.

Source: NordLayer

Read next: 6 million credit and debit cards stolen on the dark web: over 156,000 are from Mexico

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