LinkedIn can be a great way to network in your industry and to find new jobs. I know of a number of people who have been headhunted through LinkedIn and found great new jobs. But you have to be careful to not fall for any scams. Here are some common scams on LinkedIn you should avoid falling for.
Fake Job Offers
By far, the most common scam on LinkedIn is fake job offers. These can work in a couple of ways.
Sometimes, a person will reach out to you claiming to be a recruiter looking for someone with your skills. How they take advantage of you can vary in a couple of ways. Sometimes they will indicate that they require you to officially hire them as a recruiter – and pay a fee – so they can transfer your information over to the company. Obviously, recruiters need to get paid somehow, so this can make sense. But it’s not how traditional recruiting works, and these scam recruiters will absolutely make the job offer sound very time-contingent. You need to do this now so you don’t miss out on the job. They don’t want you to step back and think about how this could be a scam.
Other times, they will ask you to pay for some sort of an administration fee or training fee. They might ask you to front cash for equipment. You might even be sent to a very valid looking website where you can personally choose your new equipment, but your payment won’t be used to purchase that equipment. In any case, once you have provided your payment, the recruiter will disappear and you will realize that the job doesn’t exist.
Another common scam on LinkedIn comes in the form of phishing attempts. A “job opportunity” will arise and you will be asked to fill out a number of forms. These forms may ask for personal information including your drivers license number and your Social Security number. It doesn’t necessarily seem like a concern – jobs often require this information. But a scam job will be trying to get your personal information to try to steal your identity, open credit cards in your name, or use your information for other purposes.
A third common scam on LinkedIn is when people try to get you to download malware onto your computer. These often come in the form of links being sent to you. A fake recruiter will send you a message asking you to click a link to get to a particular job application, but that link will send you to a site that downloads something onto your computer. Apparently, some of these sites are sending you to ransomware, the sort of program that will lock up your computer until you pay the scammers a ransom to have your computer unlocked.
How to avoid scams
The best way to avoid these sorts of scams is to first ask yourself “Is it too good to be true?” Is the job being offered an absolute dream job? Are you being asked to communicate only through LinkedIn and not through an official email account with the company? How old is the LinkedIn account itself? How is the communication? Is the person using proper grammar and spelling? Do they seem legitimate? Are they rushing you to make a decision right now? These can all be signals that you’re talking with a scammer.
- Four Ways to Spot an Impersonator Scammer
- Five Obvious Signs of a Romance Scam
- Three Funniest Scams that are Too Obvious To Fall For
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.
Leave a Reply