Fake LinkedIn profiles are used by cyber criminals to target your professional networks

Fake LinkedIn profiles are used by cyber criminals to target your professional networks

Fake LinkedIn profiles are used by cyber criminals to target your professional networks

Cybercriminals are using fake LinkedIn profiles to map out the networks of business professionals to scrape contact information and later use these to send spear-phishing emails, security solutions firm Symantec today said.

LinkedIn, which has over 400 million users globally, is a prime target for scammers looking to connect with professionals across a variety of industries, including information security and oil and gas, it said on its official blog.

Scammers copy information from real LinkedIn profiles to pose as recruiters and attract new connections, it added.

“Over the last year, we have seen a growing number of incidents involving fake LinkedIn accounts targeting members of the business-oriented social networking service. We worked with LinkedIn to take down some fake accounts that we had come across during our research,” it said.

Symantec said most of these fake accounts followed a specific pattern. They bill themselves as recruiters for fake firms or are supposedly self employed and primarily use photos of women pulled from stock image sites or of real professionals.

“We were able to confirm this by using reverse image search tools like TinEye and Google’s Search by Image,” it said.

The scammers copy text from profiles of real professionals and keyword-stuff their profile for visibility in search results, the blog added.

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