Tech & The Web

LinkedIn Spam is Becoming a Bigger Problem


Spam is a fact of life for all websites. But LinkedIn spam seems to be growing and I’m getting a little fed up with its increasing prevalence.

Have you noticed an uptick in LinkedIn spam messages lately? I have, and the platform seems unwilling to do anything about it.

I’m not talking about the typical “spammish” sales pitches from people who work for companies who offer products they think you might need. You’ll always see a sales person trying to get you to try their product. Sometimes you’ll get requests in which they ask for “your thoughts” about their superior offerings.

I don’t ever respond to those; any such platforms I work with would have to be selected high above my paygrade. So to even engage in conversation would be a waste of my own time.

The two kinds of LinkedIn spam I see increasing

I don’t know what’s happening in Toronto, but I’ve had a few of these that happen to be from that particular city. They typically take the form of a connection request. The profile usually displays a young, attractive Asian woman who looks to be about 20. I’m not entirely certain that it’s not the same woman just wearing different clothes.

They all seem to be from the Toronto area, but I have received a few from other areas.

The connection request comes with a message most of the time. It begins with something like, “I read your profile and I think it’s very strong.” That might make you think they’re looking for a candidate for a job, until you see their workplace, which has nothing — absolutely zero — to do with your field. The message then goes on to explain that she’s looking for a good man.

Sorry, but LinkedIn is not a dating site. So I report those messages as spam and block the account.

The second is even stranger. I received one just the other day from a “deputy general manager of human resources.” The profile seemed to come from a north-central state but from a company I can’t find any record of. The profile belonged to someone named Geovani, showed a photo of what appeared to be a young man, but listed pronouns as “she/her.”

But this message wasn’t about dating. Instead, it took a different tack: “Hi. Nice to meet you.I have some business questions I would like to ask you, if you would like to. Look forward to your reply.” I didn’t respond, but I did allow the connection. A short time later, “Geovani” sent a follow-up message: “Hi! I know a good friend and your expertise might be of help to her. Would you like to talk to her?”

Why is a deputy general manager reaching out to me about “a friend” who has questions about my expertise? Why isn’t the alleged friend reaching out on her own?

Red flag.

I reported it to LinkedIn…here’s what they said

Most of these big platforms seem to thrive on laying off huge swaths of employees at once. That leaves them, from what I can tell, ill-equipped to deal with such complaints.

Recently, for example, I told you about an experience reporting spam on Instagram. After a couple of days, that platform notified me that because of the volume of complaints they receive, they weren’t able to review my report, so they were closing it.

LinkedIn’s response wasn’t quite as useless, although they put in a valiant effort.

Their message was more simple:

Thanks for reporting [Geovani’s] message. A member of our Trust & Safety Team reviewed the message and found it does not go against our professional community policies.

So they don’t find it odd that someone who represents themselves as a human resources professional would reach out to someone with zero mutual connections to ask if I’d like to talk to yet another person about questions that don’t pertain to my line of work?

That doesn’t ring some kind of alarm bells? It doesn’t seem suspicious?

Maybe LinkedIn — like Instagram — needs to hire a few more people in their moderation departments. Preferably, they should hire people with a bit more common sense.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep using that “Block” button.

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.