Yes, fake accounts exist on Linkedin too

Lately, I have been receiving strange connection request on LinkedIn that range from Ayesha Gaddafi (yes, the daughter of former Libya PM Muammar al-Gaddafi), Managing Director of a large multinational company, HR Director of RedMart and Director at Merrill Lynch.

While I have a fairly active profile on LinkedIn, I also know that it’s strange these people would connect with me given we have no business dealings and also do not belong to the same Linkedin group. A review of their profile usually indicate that they have just joined LinkedIn, have no profile photo and they have loosely filled profile with little or no real job experience other than their latest role.

I am sure like most social media outlet, LinkedIn is also subject to a decent level of fake accounts. Facebook fakes stand at around 8.7% (87 million) so I am sure if we apply similar trends to LinkedIn, we would likely get the same percentage of fake LinkedIn professionals masquerading as successful businessmen or senior executives.

While LinkedIn has been a tremendous outlet for business connections and job opportunities but like almost every single social media outlet, it has to be taken with a pinch of salt how ‘real’ these connections truly are and what’s stated in their LinkedIn profile.

Fast economic growing countries like Singapore and Middle East are inundated with the fake degree problems with people looking to creatively boost their resume in order to seek a better job opportunity.

Many of these same fake degree holders will also use social media to give themselves a better edge in seeking better job opportunities in the workplace including crafting a perfect fake LinkedIn account.

This article first appeared on Linkedin on Aug 6, 2014.