Fake LinkedIn Profiles: Why They Exist and How to Remove Them

fake phony linkedin profile layout

Employers of all sizes, are you periodically reviewing your own LinkedIn pages for fake employee profiles? Believe it or not, you should.

Take us, for example.

This person does NOT work at our company:

fake linkedin profile

… but earlier this month, we spotted her posing as a KaufmanIT employee – an IT Manager of some sort, in fact. What’s the solution? More on that in a minute.

First, why is it even important to keep an eye on the employees listed on your company’s LinkedIn page?

Because it’s a significant risk, according to the FBI… such accounts are used to collect email addresses, sell and offer services, run scams, create databases, offer fake jobs, spy on competitors, create fake candidates and to commit identity theft. The scam may not target your company, but instead your friends, followers, clients, etc.

Unfortunately, there currently appears to be no way to block phony accounts claiming to be employees. Try it out… start an edit of your own profile and you’ll see you could list your employer as Microsoft or any other company if you wanted to (just don’t save changes! 😂).

I think LinkedIn has a difficult decision: enforce business email confirmation, which helps protect companies, or don’t, which helps users more easily create their profiles — particularly the listing of past employers they can no longer verify.

Unfortunately, LinkedIn’s bias toward the ease of individual users allows for a LOT of scam accounts. Thankfully, they tend to be easy to spot. But it also means companies should review the people on their own pages regularly.

So, what’s the solution?

Pretty simple, actually.

Bookmark this page for future reference: https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/ask/TS-NFPI

There, you’ll find a simple form you can use to alert LinkedIn to phony profiles; due to a faster response time from LinkedIn, we’ve found it to be much more effective than the “Report/Block” feature under a user’s profile. Plus, we can track what’s happening with our reported profile (unlike the report/block button).

Removal can still take up to a week or so, but at least you’ll have the site’s full attention if you use that form. In our case, this lady was just one of three we had to report at the time. And two more have popped up since! We seem to be quite popular lately.

But at least she was removed. We know because this used to be the link to her profile: https://lnkd.in/dF9iash5

In short, LinkedIn does what it can to delete fake accounts but it needs our ongoing help. For the sake of both your own company and all of your LinkedIn connections, review your company’s profile and report any fake accounts to LinkedIn — both today and on an ongoing basis.

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