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LinkedIn Scam: Be Aware Before Accepting An Invitation to Connect

By March 02, 2014 , , , ,

If you have a LinkedIn profile, you've no doubt received invitations to connect by people whom you've never met. Perhaps it's someone in your industry wishing to connect professionally, service providers or a recruiter who came across your profile and added you to their database. In many ways, the social media is a great platform for professionals to connect and share ideas. However, put it the wrong hands and this may happen:

Yesterday I received an invitation to connect from this gentleman (headshot blurred for privacy reason):

So, Mining & Management Consultancy? Perhaps we are in the same LinkedIn group? Maybe he is a recruiter in a mining consultancy firm? 

Without reading too much into the motives for the invitation (or even viewing his full profile on LinkedIn), I clicked on the "Accept" button. 

5 minutes later, I received this message in my inbox:

Perhaps Steve, or Michael here has mistaken LinkedIn for Tinder, RSVP or OK Cupid. But at this point, alarm bells are going off in my head. This man has sent the email above to a dozen or so women, and I am aware of that because he did not conceal all recipients' email addresses. Furthermore, what is his motive? I feel like my privacy has been compromised. 

However, this is not the man's worst move. In his email, he mentioned about some pictures of himself. Here they are:

Not bad. But if you look closely, the first photo is George Clooney gazing into the camera from his super car. In fact, all four photos are actually different people! Now compare it with Michael Steve's LinkedIn profile picture (Again I blurred out most of his face and his staff ID tag...because I am nice like that):


So, perhaps Michael Steve is shy and not confident that his looks will attract the ladies. While he has certainly lied to everyone who received the email, I guess I can find it in my heart to put that aside. But, upon closer look, I am not even sure Michael Steve is Michael Steve anymore. Have a look at his email address:

Who is raymondgordon2014?? 

That is some spooky/ creepy stuff there.

By now it is clear that this is not a case of a lonely man seeking love. This is quite possibly a scam email. As it is my first time receiving an email as such, I am quite shocked to see that LinkedIn, like all other social media and much of the digital word, have succumbed to the hands of scammers. 

But this is a lesson learned, perhaps to treat LinkedIn the way I do Facebook and be more wary of who I connect with. 

Have you had experience with internet scammers? 

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  1. Ah, the neverending level of creepiness you can experience over the internet. Honestly, I get messages on social networks all day long from weird guys, most use fake pictures and although it says 500 times on all my profiles that they are for work only, no one seems to get the message.
    I read about this website recently that actually pays girls per message to chat with men. My first reaction was like wtf???!! But now that I think about it, maybe it's really a good thing. Because no one should be harassed with these creepy emails while they work (even if its online) and it's nice that there is now a designated place for them!!

    I guess the worst scam I ever encountered over the Internet was a letter notifying me my brother (who lives in a different country far away from me) won the Green Card (a lottery for a visa allowing permanent residency in the US). We've been applying for him to get it for over ten years. To receive that letter and find out it was fake was heartbreaking...
    But, that's the Internet for you..


    1. Yes! I've received those Green Card lottery scam emails too. Sadly, the internet is like the Wild Wild West hey...