Business Social Media Led Identity Fraud Scams

January 29, 2013 |  by  |  Linkedin Blog

As a working security expert I receive many enquiries from individuals and business owners who have been contacted by business cheats and scammers via Linkedin and through other outlets promoting their version of internet business scams and/or Nigerian scams.

Savvy organised criminals and terrorists have identified business social media platforms as their latest ‘victim hunting ground’, and guess what? Linkedin is the world’s most fertile and overstocked business hunting ground.

LinkedIn ManWhy?

Because is the world’s most professional online business social media network with nearly 200 million business members world-wide. I guess it was only a matter of time before Linkedin succumbed to the organised criminals and terrorists seeking easy prey.

Increasingly organised crime and terrorist bosses are targeting business owners Internally through Linkedin.

They set up bogus profiles and then once they have connected with people, they post them variants of the Nigerian scam e-mails which proliferate through cyber space.

An alternative method of communication received through internal Linkedin In-mails and conventional e-mails is from bogus female Linkedin members, who contact you because they have viewed your profile and want to strike up a physical relationship with you.

This is often based on the false premise that after reading your Linkedin profile they have identified you as a person they like and trust.

The bad guys also trawl through their new Linkedin connection list and copy the Linkedin members personal, or business listed e-mail address.

Guess what?

These e-mail lists are openly sold or traded between multiple organised crime and terrorist organisations.

The end game is exponential levels of spam related scam e-mails which are played out to the percentages game. i.e. From hundreds of thousands of scam e-mails sent out, a percentage of typically intelligent business people will respond, and a percentage of these responders will fall victim to the organised criminals and professional terrorists responsible for marketing these scams.

These crooks and terrorists are smart as they know people are far more likely to open up e-mails sent internally via the Linkedin platform, because business members feel a certain level of ‘misplaced trust’ towards Linkedin members who are in their 1st level connection base.

As a security professional, the very best advice I can offer to all Linkedin members who receive e-mails or Linkedin In-mails promoting these type of scams, is to immediately flag it as spam and report it to Linkedin’s customer services department or the Linkedin Risk & Privacy teams.

Never respond to these e-mails and never forward them to anyone of your business contacts. Why? Because this type of scam is a numbers game and if you forward it to anyone you are directly helping organised crime and or terrorist organisations by providing an unpaid marketing service for them.

But every security expert I know understands that the real reason you should not forward these communications to your friends or business associates, is because they might not be as smart as you, and personal greed might just push them towards responding to the scammers.

If they do, then guess what? GAME OVER!

Dr. Mark D. Yates

Dr. Mark D. Yates is a global #1 LinkedIn consultancy business growth specialist, LinkedIn speaker, LinkedIn Sign & LinkedIn training instructor & CEO of Link Business Marketing Ltd. If you need to hire a LinkedIn expert to help you gain profitable business growth, contact him. Tel: UK 0203 390 2013 Email:, connect with him on LinkedIn & Twitter You can view & download his dynamic independent LinkedIn training program at:

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