3 Tips for Spotting Fake LinkedIn Accounts

February 21, 2024

In 2023, LinkedIn removed 58 million fake accounts. What does this mean for hiring managers? You need to be extra careful to vet individuals before reaching out with an offer!

Finding the right candidate to fill your open position is hard enough; save yourself heartache and time (and potential security concerns!) by following these three guidelines for weeding out the bots and scams at the very start of your hiring process.


1. Examine any suspicious LinkedIn profile photos

Your first obvious red flag is a suspicious profile picture. Anything blurry or with extremely bad lighting, photos of celebrities, stock photos, or even generic symbols or inanimate objects should immediately cause you to take a second look. With the advent of AI, it’s especially vital to examine the authenticity of a profile photo that simply looks too good to be true! Make sure you are familiar with the hallmarks of AI-generated photos. Accounts with an entirely AI-generated profile image may not even belong to an actual human and someone who is searching for a job.

To help you detect fake account photos, one excellent tool is Google Images. This allows you to search the web for any other instances of the image on the open internet, revealing if it is connected to other suspicious accounts, used under multiple different names – or even stolen from a legitimate account!


2. Verify the presence of personalized & logical profile details

An authentic LinkedIn profile will generally have some level of personalized content, even if the individual isn’t consistently active. Check for inconsistencies, like dates or job titles that don’t make sense together. Positive things to look for include: job history that has been previously updated and is current, reputable education history, and unique posts or comments that contain human grammar or casual phrasing. Also check that their listed job history progresses in a logical, chronological order. A profile lacking personalized details or any activity at all may indicate the need for further investigation.


3. Investigate the companies linked to previously listed jobs

Real people will have both connections and some type of previous work experience displayed on their profile. Often, the companies are listed under each position the individual held and this helps to determine the validity of the job, and by extension the legitimacy of your candidate. Do some research on the company. Check for a website, Google reviews, and other online sources to make sure it exists. You can even consider reaching out to the organization to ask for a reference regarding the person you are evaluating. Ask if they were, at one point, employed there as they claim.

LinkedIn remains one of the most powerful platforms for networking and engaging in the world of business. In fact, 65 million people are using LinkedIn to search for jobs, every week. And 6 LinkedIn users are hired every minute! What if the perfect employee you’ve been searching for is waiting for you somewhere among all the fake accounts? While there are additional measures you should take throughout the hiring process to protect your company from the threat of deepfaked potential employees, these three tips should help you weed out the most obvious fakes in the early stages.

Better still what if you didn’t have to wade through LinkedIn profiles? We want to connect you with your next amazing hire!

Whether searching for the perfect executive or your next team leader, PS Partners can make it happen for you just like we’ve done for so many others. Reach out today!

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