I received a connection request from Nathan Philippe yesterday. I always take a cursory look at any profile that wants to connect. The nature of LinkedIn is that we connect with some people we don’t know so taking the time to check out the profile is important with every request. I know so many people whose only criteria for vetting a potential connection is to see how many connections they have in common. But this is not enough.
So let`s take a look at this profile
- Take a look at how many connections the individual has. In this case when “Nathan” sent the request he had 22 connections. That is red flag #1 to take a closer look at a profile. It the sender is a young professional then it makes sense they may be new to LinkedIn and building their network. It is more unusual for an established professional to be joining.
- Take a look at where they are from and where they work. In this case “Nathan” stated he worked for Liberty Bank in Fredericton. Being Canadian myself I knew there was no such bank. But for the sake of due diligence, I searched to make sure my hunch was correct. Second of all when I clicked on the Liberty Bank Logo he placed in his profile, it linked to Liberty Bank in Tblisi, Georgia….a bit of a distance from Fredericton
- Take a look at their education. “Nathan” wrote that he attended the University of New Brunswick and received a BA of Law and then put LLB by his name. A BA in Law does not earn you the LLB and the University of New Brunswick does not offer law degrees.
- With the previous red flags I decided to run a reverse image search of his profile picture on tineye. The search came back noting that the photo was listed on a scammer site.
5. Go with your gut. If a profile looks iffy to you then it might be. It’s better not to connect at all then connect with someone who will mine your information and that of your connections.
Nejolla consults and teaches seminars in the area of Social Media Risk. Her website is http://www.interveritas.com