Social media is now recognised as a tool that can be used in business, but it is also recognised as a tool that is used by scammers and spammers. Linkedin a business-oriented social networking service with 332 million users is the fourth most popular social media network in the world which makes it a prime target. Everyday Linkedin is used to create new business, make new business contacts and used to find jobs.
Linkedin allows you to create an online C.V. with a major difference, you can add in any skills you have plus you can list all the jobs you have done. A lot of the networking on Linkedin is done in the groups that you can join. LinkedIn Groups provide a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts, and establish themselves as industry experts.
When you fill in your details in Linkedin you are giving away a lot of information about yourself as it can be used to get that all important business lead or your next job. Spammers and scammers may take a note of your profile if you have joined a group and replied to any discussions that are taking place in the group. You can stop this by hiding most of your details from view and only members that you are connected with can see your full profile.
Spammers and Scammers could also try to get your information and possibly money another way and this is done by posting everyday on group discussions. I have received emails daily from Linkedin telling me about the latest discussions in groups that I am a member of and some of these emails include posts by scammers and spammers.
Scammers and spammers have different ways of posting and in times where money is badly needed people may be drawn into their spider’s web. If you are one of the unfortunate ones, you will have handed over more personal information about yourself and also payment details as well as paying them money which you will never ever get back.
Two scams that are used require you to fill in a membership form and pay them some money. When you fill in the membership form they have a copy of your email address, your password and possibly your credit or debit card details which they can use elsewhere. They are also banking on human nature to kick in as often people tend to use the same password for multiple sites. The two scams used are the online survey scam and the social media job scam.
The online survey scam
You are told that you will get paid to fill in surveys online and to get the list of surveys that are available you have to become a member which includes you paying a onetime membership fee, and that you also can pay via PayPal. There are surveys to fill in but you will be very lucky if you earn more than 50 cents a month.
The social media scam
You are told you can get paid for messing around on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. You can also be told that you can get paid to do simple social media jobs on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Like the first scam you have to become a member paying a onetime membership and that you also can pay via PayPal. The jobs that are available leave you with a herculean task. You could be asked to upload a video and get ten thousand views in a day which is impossible in the time frame they specify. You could also be asked to get a page on Facebook to get one thousand likes in 4 hours again this is impossible in the specified time frame.
It is also possible that they can glean information from your Linkedin profile and your identity, which could allow credit and debit cards to be cloned. It’s also worth noting that at times the scammers and spammers may also have a link which when clicked can install malware and spyware on your computer. If they offer you the option of paying via PayPal they could also be taking a copy of your PayPal login details or they could be sending you to a fake PayPal page where they will harvest your login details.
After the article was published, a Linkedin spokesperson contacted us with a statement which you can read below.
“LinkedIn takes the privacy and security of its members extremely seriously. We will immediately remove profiles that are found to be spreading inappropriate content or engage in spam/phishing as soon as they come to our attention. LinkedIn always recommends that members only connect with people they know and trust and, as a further layer of protection, we recommend that members install and keep up to date well regarded antivirus/antimalware software on their computers.”
“Our Safety Center links to such security products from other companies that members can use free for the first 90 days. Lastly, we advise that members exercise caution before clicking links and opening attachments in email messages, as that is a common vehicle for distributing phishing sites as well as malware”.