Fraudsters Use LinkedIn to Steal Personal Data: Even Though LinkedIn is Good at Stamping Out Fake Profiles, New Ones Replace Them Quickly
PANAMA CITY, December 20, 2018 (Newswire.com) - Scammers do not target only emails anymore – they are now going after LinkedIn users as well. One of the most common ways for scams is carried out through fake accounts. And even though LinkedIn is quite good at cancelling fake profiles, new ones pop up quickly.
“LinkedIn is one of the top social networks for business professionals, and most people share a lot of personal information there,” says Daniel Markuson, Digital Privacy Expert at NordVPN. “Many of them open suspicious messages and click on links, expecting a job proposal or a new business opportunity. However, it might be just another phishing attack.”
NordVPN’s Digital Privacy Expert advises not to accept invitations if they look suspicious. If the sender is unknown, opening attachments or clicking on links is also not a good idea. And, of course, it is advised not to share confidential information. If someone unfamiliar invites to connect, it is best to ask why that person is interested and how both parties can benefit from this connection.
How fake LinkedIn profiles are used
Collecting emails and phone numbers. This is the most obvious one and the easiest to implement. Email addresses or phone numbers harvested from LinkedIn connections can be used in various ways, for example, spam letters.
Growing social circles. If a "friend of a friend" sends a request to connect, people are more likely to accept it, even if they don’t know that person. That is one of the most common ways to build credibility for fake accounts. What happens next? Fake account owners get their hands on people's emails, phone numbers, and other data.
Phishing messages and malware. This is perhaps the most dangerous one. As LinkedIn is a professional social network - people tend to open messages and click on links more often. Especially if those messages come from a "friend," and contains a link to a supposed job proposal. The truth is that it might be a phishing message and contain malware or some other way to steal sensitive data.
How to spot a phishing message on LinkedIn
NordVPN provides the most important tips for spotting a phishing message on LinkedIn.
Checking the sender’s profile. It is advised to check senders profile first. If it’s empty or information is not consistent, it is best to remove this connection and most importantly - do not click on the links provided in the message.
Grammar mistakes and greeting. Serious head-hunters and professionals don’t typically send out messages with bad grammar and basic spelling mistakes. They also usually address with a full name and never use a vague “Dear mister/madam.”
Never click on links – instead, hover a mouse on the link to see the destination URL. It is advised to check if it looks legitimate and, especially, if it contains the “https” part to indicate a secure connection.
For additional safety, it is advised to use a VPN, like NordVPN. Using a VPN when browsing can protect against malware and phishing that targets online access points.
NordVPN is the world’s most advanced VPN service provider that is more security oriented than most VPN services. It offers double VPN encryption, ad blocking & Onion Over VPN. The product is very user-friendly, offers one of the best prices on the market, has over 5,000 servers worldwide and is P2P friendly. One of the key features of NordVPN is zero log policy. For more information: nordvpn.com.