Knowledge is a core value at SCG. This weekly column highlights something interesting learned recently by one of our team members. We hope you find it intriguing, relevant and informative.
If you’re like me, you often receive emails seemingly from LinkedIn with a subject line that says you appeared in X number of searches this week. If you’re also like me, you never look too closely at them, but do appreciate knowing people were seeking you out directly or looking for someone with your skillset.
Except this week something different happened. I received six emails on Tuesday, all claiming a different total for the number of searches I appeared in. You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out this might be a LinkedIn scam, so I did a little investigating.
As you might have guessed, or perhaps already knew, some of these emails aren’t really from LinkedIn. They are phishing emails designed to capture your information, and pretty good ones too. In every case I saw, the sender appeared to be LinkedIn, the format of the email looked professional, and LinkedIn’s mailing address and an Unsubscribe option were included in the footer (requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act and usually a decent indicator of a legitimate email).
An example of a fake LinkedIn email. Note the incorrect grammar, bogus “from” address and scant footer.
A real email from LinkedIn for comparison.
So how can you be certain if emails like this are a LinkedIn scam?
- Look at the actual sender address, not just the “from” field. LinkedIn will never send you an email that doesn’t come from the @linkedin.com domain.
- As part of its security practices, LinkedIn includes your name and the title in the email footer. If that’s not included, don’t click on anything.
I hope this doesn’t burst your bubble. And there is good news. LinkedIn does send legitimate emails of this type. You can also see how many searches you appeared in, and who visited your profile, after logging in and viewing the Dashboard section of your profile. (How much information you can access depends on your membership level.)
If you want to fight back against these phishing emails, LinkedIn asks you to forward the entire email to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will investigate.
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