In the immortal words of Monty Python’s Brian, “A Lot” and it’s getting worse. Last year one of the Beers Blokes & Business podcasts was dedicated to LinkedIn. I came out on the side of it being a spammers/recruiters paradise which is great if you are selling stuff or looking for staff right? I also got vilified on the program by @lukemccormack & @sammartino for connecting to lots of people and then complaining about spam. My reasons for connecting with people I don’t know is that I am a big fan of random connections and expanding my network. My criteria for connecting with people on LinkedIn falls loosely into these areas.
- If someone is Melbourne based I will probably always connect with them
- If they write a nice personal invite to connect I will connect with them
- If they are in a slightly related industry i.e. SEO, SEM, Digital Marketing, Digital Agency I will probably connect with them
If they fall into one of these categories I will probably not connect.
- Indian based (lots of spammers in my exp)
I will rarely seek out people to connect with even if I have their business card. In that respect I am not an active player on LinkedIn. If others find it useful though I am happy to connect. Recently though I am seeing a disturbing trend. Not only is it becoming the refuge of spammers, it would seem that phishers are also finding it rich pickings.
A typical spammer.
I connected to this account because they were Australian and in digital marketing, then they try to sell me digital marketing services. Immediately I think the account is a bot or some poor slob slaving away in a third world digital sweat shop that hasn’t bothered to understand that we also sell digital marketing services.
Google Image Search
I love this tool. It looks for similar versions of the image you upload or link to. As you can see from this result our friend Andrea is quite popular.
Then I had a look at her LinkedIn profile and she has over 500 connections plus a recommendation from “Danielle Brooke” who looks like she also models in her spare time like Andrea does. Danielle of course reciprocated the recommendation as any good imaginary friend would. Interestingly they both worked at a company called Well Done Advertising, where they presumably shared many an imaginary latte.
Andrea Ferguson Recommendation
Danielle Brooke Recommendation
Danielle is very popular on the web as Google reveals.
The company Well Done Advertising that both Danielle & Andrea worked at, has a few employees on linkedIn but no Google presence. Danielle currently works at a company in NSW called Bodsquad, which is a real business. I have reached out to them on Twitter but have not heard back yet. They go by the handle of @fitfisher. I’m trying to work out if there are agencies out there selling LinkedIn spam as a real strategy..
In addition to the spam I had what I am assuming, would turn into a phishing attempt if I pursued it.
Craig Thomas Natwest Bank?
I quick search of his photo reveals the image is most likely that of a German, Martin Halusa .
On LinkedIn Craig is connected to a lot of other bankers… oh dear.