Scam of the day – November 23, 2013 – Phony LinkedIn job postings

LinkedIn is a popular social media website used by business professionals to network with other professionals.  More than 225 million people around the world are members of LinkedIn.  LinkedIn is used by these people to get ideas, explore opportunities and even to list job postings.  Anything with 200 million members is attractive to scam artists so it is not surprising that scammers are constantly trying and often successful in posting phony job offers despite the best efforts of LinkedIn to recognize and take down these phony ads.  Bitdefender, which is a maker of anti-malware software recently exposed a phony job advertisement placed by a recruiter who used the name Annabella Erica.  Scammers had managed to infiltrate and put her profile into the legitimate LinkedIn group Global Jobs Network, which has 167,000 members.   Scammers put these phony ads on LinkedIn and other social media in order to gather personal information which is then exploited for purposes of identity theft.  Other times the phony ads will contain links that if clicked upon will automatically download keystroke logging malware which can steal all of the information from your computer and lead to your becoming a victim of identity theft.

TIPS

The best place to look for a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.  Although LinkedIn and other websites that carry job postings try to identify and either prevent or remove phony ads from appearing on their websites, you cannot depend on these companies to fully protect you.  Certainly a little skepticism helps when you see a job posting for a job that sounds too good to be true.  In that case you should fully investigate the company before providing any information and should never click on any links or download any attachments until you have done sufficient research to make sure that the job offering is legitimate.  In addition, you should make sure that you not only have a good Firewall, anti-virus and anti malware software installed on your electronic devices, but that you keep this security software up to date with the latest patches and updates to help insure your protection.