LinkedIn has been hit by sophisticated recruitment scams, as fraudsters seek to take advantage of the layoffs in the tech sector.
On the largest professional network in the world, con artists are taking advantage of job seekers by tricking them into participating in phony hiring processes so they may steal their personal and financial information.
“There’s certainly an increase in the sophistication of the attacks and the cleverness,” Oscar Rodriguez, the vice president of product management at LinkedIn told the Financial Times
“We see websites being set up, we see phone numbers with a seemingly professional operator picking up the phone and answering on the company’s behalf. We see a move to more sophisticated deception,” he added.
The warning comes as US officials warn of a rise in scams involving employment, and the Microsoft-owned social networking platform claims it has attempted to block tens of millions of false accounts recently.
InMail, LinkedIn’s direct messaging feature, was used by fraudsters to contact people in a scam that targeted job seekers and a dozen American organizations last month, according to cyber security firm Zscaler.
Scammers discovered companies, including enterprise software provider Zuora, software developer Intellectsoft, and Zscaler itself, that were actively hiring.
They then made “lookalike” websites with comparable job advertising and encouraged job searchers to provide personal information via LinkedIn’s InMail feature before doing remote interviews via Skype.
“To top it off, they also created Skype profiles with the picture of the [real] recruiter from the companies to conduct interviews as well,” said Deepen Desai, vice president of security research at Zscaler.
“Everyone who falls for it will 100 percent clear the interview with flying colours.”
To fight this, LinkedIn is adding cautionary, automatic notifications in InMail to warn users when they get dubious messages offering jobs or cryptocurrency investments, for example. These tools will let users know how long a person has maintained a LinkedIn profile.