Today I was ask to connect with someone by the name of Jodi Smith. The introduction was professional and they were looking for synergies between our companies. I was intrigued and asked probing questions.
There first mistake: Signing off as someone else, instead of Jodi. Screen capture below, you’ll see they’re a LinkedIn member instead of their name as I’ve blocked, reported portrait image and reported as not being a real person.
This is their profile, I have 5 mutual connections that I’ve redacted and I’ve already warned.
My gut instincts told me to dig a little deeper – I downloaded their profile photo and uploaded to Reverse Image search tool called TinEye, this service let’s you search where this image may have originally existed all over the web, great way to check if your image/picture has been plagiarised.
Here’s the original search I did – TinEye Search. Below is a screenshot for your convenience.
It reveals that they used a generic photo from ShutterShock where you can purchase stock images, typically used by publication, marketing or web designers.
As soon as I’ve seen that their profile picture is purchased I immediately informed 5 mutual contacts and created this post as a warning to you all.
The following are potential risk of connecting to such individuals:
- Security – they could potentially use the connection to gather information about yourself, your business and affiliations to potentially use what’s called Social Hacking
- Connecting – when you connect you potentially allow them to access your contacts and network within LinkedIn
- Trust – I was blindsided by 5 mutual contacts who was connected, so I immediately had trust; allowing this fake person to be trusted in your inner circle has many risks
This is something we need to be more vigilant about and I urge you to share this with as many as you can so we can all remain aware.