According to the latest research conducted by NordLayer, a leading network security solution for businesses, LinkedIn has become a hotspot for professional scams.

The investigation has revealed the most prominent schemes employed by cybercriminals to obtain sensitive information about companies and their employees, and in some cases, extort money or encourage employees to leave their organisations.

Fake job offers, phishing attacks, connection requests with malicious intent, phony tech support, and other sophisticated techniques top the list of common tactics used by scammers.

Carlos Salas, a cybersecurity expert at NordLayer, commented on the findings, stating, “With the increasing growth and engagement on social media platforms, including LinkedIn, scammers have a larger pool of potential victims to target.”

The research further revealed that more than half of the businesses in the UK had their brands impersonated by scammers. This indicates that professionals on LinkedIn must be vigilant and proactive in safeguarding their personal and professional information.

Salas explained, “LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, and users often trust interactions with legitimate companies and organisations. By using a well-known or reputable company name, scammers can gain the trust of potential victims more quickly.”

To protect themselves from falling victim to LinkedIn scams, job seekers and employers should always verify the legitimacy of any communication they receive. This includes checking for discrepancies or inconsistencies in company details such as the company name, logo, and other information provided.

Prominent LinkedIn Scam Tactics Among UK Businesses

As LinkedIn becomes an increasingly essential platform for career growth and networking, understanding the various scam tactics employed by cybercriminals is vital. Carlos Salas outlined some of the most popular scam tactics that UK businesses encounter:

  1. Phishing messages – Scammers impersonate recruiters, potential employers, or business partners, luring victims to click on malicious links or download infected attachments. This can lead to fake login pages or malware installation. Nearly 47 percent of UK professionals reported experiencing this.
  2. Fake job offers – Scammers create attractive job postings to entice job seekers. Once interested applicants show intent, scammers request personal information, bank details, or upfront payments for processing or training. Approximately 63 percent of Brits have encountered such scams.
  3. Malicious attachments and links – Scammers send seemingly harmless documents or files that contain malware or ransomware, exploiting vulnerabilities in systems. Additionally, some may receive connection requests from unknown individuals with suspicious links in the message. Almost 37 percent of people confirmed receiving such requests.
  4. Fake tech support – Scammers pretend to be LinkedIn technical support representatives and claim that the victim’s account requires immediate attention. They then attempt to obtain login credentials or personal information. Up to 38 percent of respondents claimed to have experienced this.
  5. Get-rich-quick offer – Scammers promise high returns through cryptocurrency or foreign exchange trading, enticing users to invest money or sign up for dubious trading platforms. This was reported by 43 percent of victims.
  6. Invitation to participate in a fake survey – Scammers create fake surveys, quizzes, or contests to collect personal data from unsuspecting users, accounting for nearly 18 percent of scams.

How to Stay Safe from LinkedIn Scams

Carlos Salas emphasised the importance of education and critical thinking in combating social media scams. Staying informed about the latest scams, phishing techniques, and online threats is crucial, and regularly educating employees about common scams and how to recognise suspicious activities is highly recommended.

Additionally, Salas advises the use of strong, unique passwords for all accounts and implementing two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible to add an extra layer of security.

 

 

 

 

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Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.