Many of the Linked Strategies members have asked about identifying a fake profile and what they can do about it. Let me share a few obvious and not so obvious tactics used by fake profilers!
The following are Red flags or Triggers for identifying fake LinkedIn Profiles:
1. Lower case first and last name
2. Stock photo
3. Minimally filled out profile with a large number of groups
4. Generic company name
5. Rhythmic names like Sam Smith, Joe Johnson, etc.
More complex fake profiles I’ve seen are pretty well filled out with real pictures, what seems to be real summaries, but they steal real peoples identities like the CIO of Bank of America that tried to connect with me. It was pretty bold, but obviously fake. I figured it out by cross referencing against the real person and I noticed many profiles requested connection with similar approaches. When I opened the profiles, I found all the websites linked to the same pages. Researching the owner of the pages, I realized the owners had no idea their SEO company was using this as a backlinking strategy without their knowledge!
Many lessons to learn form this, The main thing to know is once you are 100% certain you are looking at a fake profile is to Flag it for Spam just under the Public Profile URL on the bottom right.
LinkedIn will suspend the account after enough people flag the profile.
Please share this with your network and other groups so we can spread the word to other LinkedIn Members about this very challenging approach spammers continue to undertake.