Fake LinkedIn Accounts

As an open networker I tend to receive anywhere from 100 to 150 invitation requests each week. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed some suspicious items about many of these invitations:

  1. Either no profile photo or a stock photo
  2. Use of the words “Independent” or “Student”
  3. Or no title at all

As I began looking at the profiles it was clear that these were basic accounts with little more than name and title. On about 50% of the questionable account there were three urls included but not much else.

I can’t say with 100% certainty that these are fake accounts but they look suspect. In the video I show about 8 of these accounts, and since I’ve screen captured these I’ve noticed another twenty or thirty similar accounts that I received invitations from.

What this means

If you are a closed networker, not much. If you are an open networker though you’re going to need to look a little more closely at the people you connect to. I currently look at every profile that I receive a request from. Its time consuming but if I want to continue to be an open networker than I need to avoid connecting to as many suspicious accounts as possible

Why do people create fake accounts?

I can think of two immediate reasons:

  1. To connect and then spam their connections through the messaging system
  2. To build links back to a site (for those that include the three url’s)

I’m sure there are many other reasons.

Watch the video and be sure to keep your eye on the people that you accept connection requests from.


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Published by

Sean Nelson

Sean has been a Keynote speaker at Norvax University, conducts social media workshops and webinars, and has released three books on LinkedIn and written several social media guides. Sean currently runs Social Media Sonar, which in addition to providing free resources, manages social media strategies and tactics for companies. He is also a partner in Surge Labs, a conversion rate optimization company, helping companies improve conversions and profitability through scientific testing of Landing Pages, Websites, Email communications, and Shopping Carts.