LinkedIn helps people reach out to colleagues and potential employers and stay connected professionally. But wherever people connect and share personal information, you can bet scammers are there too. BBB Scam Tracker has received recent reports of personal loan scams using LinkedIn to target victims.
How the Scam Works:
You get a LinkedIn message offering you financing for a personal loan. It comes from someone who appears to work for a legitimate company. You check out their LinkedIn profile, and it looks real. You may even have several LinkedIn connections in common. Some scammers will also set up a fake company website.
After receiving the message, the scam can take a couple of different approaches. In some cases, scammers ask you to fill out a loan application with sensitive personal information and a copy of your ID and signature. The goal here is to steal your identity. In a different version, you are easily approved for the loan. However, first you are asked to pay a processing fee by wire transfer. When you pay up, the scammer takes your money and disappears.
How to Avoid a LinkedIn Loan Scam:
To avoid falling victim to a loan scam on LinkedIn:
- Set your LinkedIn privacy settings. Use your privacy settings to limit which LinkedIn users can send you messages or connection requests.
- Don’t accept every connection request you get. Check out the user’s profile before connecting. Incomplete profiles and poor grammar are red flags. Remember, just because you have connections in common, does not mean they are real. Scammers frequently create a large network to gain their victims’ trust.
- Get loans from reputable establishments. If you need a loan, it is usually best to go through a company you know you can trust. Ask your bank or credit union what you need to do to qualify.
For More Information
Read more about how to spot fraud on LinkedIn’s blog.
If you’ve fallen victim to this type of scam, help others avoid being scammed by filing a report with BBB.org/ScamTracker. Learn more about specific kinds of scams and how to avoid them at BBB.org/ScamTips.