As most of you know, I am a huge LinkedIn fan! I think that it is an invaluable tool and that EVERY professional should have an up-to-date profile on the site. That said, it IS a public forum and as such, you do need to be careful. LinkedIn scams DO exist. This one came to my attention last month and while I usually try to stay positive with my blog posts, I felt that this was an important topic to touch upon.
A young member of my community wrote to tell me about this incident. She asked that I not use her name but allowed me to pass along the story in the hopes that others will see, avoid and/or report inappropriate activities so we can keep the platform safe and useful. This incident took place in Brussels but it could just as easily have taken place here in the States.
The young woman was looking for a new job and had updated her profile to reflect this. She was contacted by a person who wanted to interview her for a position in her field. His profile was sparse and did not have a photo but she was interested in any leads so she was receptive to speaking with him. Things were going well until he requested that she meet him at a local train station. She thought that was odd. I agree. While a public location MAY feel safer than a private office, if you question the safety of any situation, opt to meet in a restaurant, library or someplace where you can easily leave, or where others will be able to intervene, if you do not feel comfortable.
He then requested that she wear a specific type of skirt. Another red flag. Unless the position is as a waitress for a theme restaurant (in which case you should meet AT the restaurant) or as a cheerleader, this sort of request could also be a sign that the ‘interviewer’ may not be legitimate.
Fortunately, she opted to decline the request to meet and after thinking about it further, went so far as to try to report the incident to LinkedIn but his profile had been removed. Hopefully he is no longer on the site.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a LinkedIn scam, please forward this post so they too can report the individuals involved. And if you are willing, please share your story below, so others can avoid falling victim to these LinkedIn scams. Be careful out there!