How to recognize fake Profiles on LinkedIn

Updated: Dec 21, 2020

I have published a video about fake profiles on LinkedIn. The video got more than 1400 views in less than 20h and a lot of people commented on this topic. One of the comments was “How to recognize fake profile”. So, here’s another video and article that tells a bit more about that. The post was trending under the hashtag #LinkedIn.

What are some of the signs of fake profiles on LinkedIn

In general, these are some of the signs of the fake profiles on #LinkedIn:

  • No profile photo, no cover photo.

  • Bad quality of a profile photo.

  • Children or cartoon faces on their profiles.

  • Their headline can also show their profile is fake.

  • Fake profile name. If you google search the name, you’ll get a better idea about it.

  • Their “about” section on LinkedIn empty.

  • In the “experience” part of their profile, you’ll often find that they’ve worked for only one company for 19y, 20y, 30y, or even longer. However, that company doesn’t have a company page or company profile on LinkedIn. So, the next sign for potentially fake profiles is no company page for the company they are working for.

  • A low number of their connections on LinkedIn,

  • Profiles with 500+ connections are treated somehow more seriously.

  • Even profiles with 17K, 20K or so, connections, can be fake. As a matter of fact, I’ve received a lot of connection requests from those profiles as well.

  • If the profile has a low number of connections, check their name on Google Search or on other social media channels. In some instances, people have a newly created profile on LinkedIn and less than 100 connections on it. However, if you check their Facebook Account, you’ll be able to see whether their name is fake.

  • You start receiving spam or personal messages on LinkedIn from fake profiles. There have been examples of people being spammed with “romantic or so” messages. This experience was shared both by men and women as LinkedIn users.

There are even false company profiles on LinkedIn. In one of my videos, I’ve given Kellogg’s company as an example. You can clearly notice that this company page profile is fake for a few reasons:

  • No cover photo.

  • Not enough of company page followers.

  • Usually, companies like this have hundreds of thousands of followers or even more than a million followers.

  • The number of employees. This fake company page has 88 employee profiles on LinkedIn. So, all of them are fake! If you click to view them, you’ll see a lot of red flags. A lot of them are also in a private mode and you cannot view their profiles at all.

  • No posts on a company page, or only one post with a little engagement on it.

The list goes on and on…

How to avoid fake profiles and what to do to increase the credibility of your profile

  • Create an “all-star” LinkedIn profile – all parts of your profile are fulfilled.

  • Have recommendations on your profile.

  • Showcase your skills and get endorsed for them.

  • Write articles about your field of work. It increases your profile credibility.

  • Be aware that all of your engagements on LinkedIn are public.

I just want to touch base “suspicious” profiles as well. For example, I don’t accept “suspicious” profiles as connections. These could have either one of these characteristics:

  • Thousands of followers or connections and no engagement, both from their side and from the side of their connections. These could be profiles with 15K followers or connections, but they didn’t post anything on LinkedIn or they didn’t write any article, or similar. Also, often you’ll find that they didn’t engage in other profile’s posts as well.

  • A low number of connections: 28, 55, 128, 245, etc. and profile that is not an “all-star” profile, no photo, no recommendations, no skills, suspicious experience, etc.

This is a very broad topic, but I just wanted to share with you some of the main indicators for fake profiles.

To learn more about LinkedIn, follow my #yourbizmentor or join my LinkedIn group "Digital Marketing Learn More".

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope it has brought you some new perspectives. Check out my other articles: