Category Archives: Fraudsters

Motivational Self Belief Speakers or Snake Oil Salesmen

images (1)Yesterday I was offered a complimentary ticket to attend a show by a world renowned Motivational Speaker and Author. I use the term show to describe the event because I simply don’t know what else to call it. If it’s anything like the Tony Robbins gig I attended about 20 years ago, show is the appropriate word. The only things missing on that occasion were Elvis Presley costumes and knickers been thrown at the stage, although I do recall we got to see some Kung Fu and Karate moves.

I’m curious though. This is BIG MONEY. There are summits, shows, seminars in the recruitment industry that charge upwards of £1,000 per day per delegate to attend. There is no Gala Dinner or Hotel in that fee either. But for throwing a huge chunk of money at some guy who recruited back in the day when we were all carrying Rolodex and your clients had the number for your local pub, they’ll tell you how to explode your potential. I’m not sure Michael Page or any of the founders of the UK’s leading listed recruitment organisations or their current CEO’s ever attended this kind of event, in fact I’m pretty certain that they didn’t. But they still sell these gigs out, a bit like the Rolling Stones I suppose, you know that what you are going to get is a dusty book jacket, but just maybe there will be that one amazing rendition of a wonderful song that will become legendary like Coldplay performing Fix You at Glastonbury. As a recruiter you just want that one snippet of information, that nugget of gold that will elevate you to the summit of recruitment excellence.

The truth is, if you ain’t got it, you simply ain’t got it. Harsh but true. We are not all destined to be multi-millionaires from this industry and we shouldn’t all want to be. Of course monetary reward plays an important part in what we do, that is fundamentally why most of us go to work. But for me passion for the industry, a love of your job and what it offers you in terms of emotional and psychological reward are just as important. Are you proud of what you do and how you do it? If the answer is a resounding Yes, then just keep doing it until it becomes a No.

In the meantime if you really want to see a Motivational Speaker – there are loads on Youtube for free. Gather the office around and check out my absolute favourite: Kevin Nalts –

From Russia with Love, via Atlanta and a Dodgy Reflexology Business in London – Fake Profiles 2

From_Russia_with_Love_game_coverI’d like you to meet Kerrie Bartley. Kerry works in Human Resources for First Job in Atlanta and attended Georgia University. Kerrie is also looking to meet an eligible wealthy man and marry him under her alternate ego as a Russian Mail Order Bride. In pursuit of this dream and in a bid to keep shipshape and beautiful for her knight in shining armour, Kerrie also masquerades as Caroline Dobsen and attends regular reflexology sessions at a provider called Reflexions in Bayswater, London. A busy girl indeed and you have to admire her professionalism. In fact with 3 different personalities, possibly 3 different nationalities and activities across the globe it is probably fair to say that Kerrie / Caroline should really be meeting up with James Bond sometime soon in Hong Kong.

Kerrie Bartley or is she?

Kerrie Bartley or is she?

The fake profile issue on LinkedIn just keeps getting deeper and deeper. The good news is that thanks to Kerrie Bartley – Profile here and a quick Google Image Search I now also know that a business called Reflexions – website here is using images from a Russian Brides website – here – on their own website as customer testimonials.

Now I’m probably on dangerous ground here in many ways. Reflexions is based in London and they provide state of the art reflexology which is apparently an ancient healing technique. So what we actually have here is effectively a fake profile which leads to a fake Russian Brides website which leads to a business in London offering what in my view are very often fake treatments using fake photographs of fake customers to try and convince unsuspecting members of the public that what they do is legitimate and above board.

A word of caution here if I may. Before you visit a reflexology healer just check the customer profiles are genuine. Cross reference them with a few Russian Brides Websites or even better and probably easier is to see if the image is on LinkedIn anywhere. Similarly if you are thinking about marrying a Russian Mail Order Bride I would just check their backgrounds out as well. Otherwise you may find yourself living with a schizophrenic who loves crystals can’t remember her name….

I doubt that any of these organisations or scam artists are LinkedIn (sic) anyway, surely if they were that would mean that all this faking was some form of organised crime…

LinkedIn – The fake profile issue is just getting ludicrous

scams on linkedYesterday I received a LinkedIn connection invitation from a chap called Ahmed Mensa who apparently lives in Ghana and the Principal Architect for the Ghana Ministry of works. Interesting I thought primarily because I love doing business in emerging markets and actually consider it one of my real key strengths and USP’s. So I accepted it out of curiosity.

 

In less than 5 minutes Ahmed demonstrated just how keen he was to do business and his overwhelming generosity with the following email:

“I write to request your co-operation in my desire to find a foreign partner who will assist me in the relocation and Transfer of some amount of money in excess of Us$24 Million which i have made available for investment purpose abroad in other to secure the future of my children after retirement.”

Suffice to say I immediately blocked him and reported this to LinkedIn. Simple enough to do, so the guy at the other end has my email address and my phone number, little harm in that.

This morning I received another invitation to connect from a chap in Vietnam called James Hoang (click on his name to see the profile) –  This guy had taken an entirely different approach. When I went to view his profile I was immediately struck by the remarkable likeness of his photo to none other than the legendary Italian footballer Andrea Pirlo. In fact so remarkable that when I did a quick Google Search using the image URL it was indeed Andrea Pirlo who came up in the search results.

So why is Andrea Pirlo masquerading as James Hoang in Vietnam? Why does Ahmed Mensa have millions of dollars to invest in the UK and why does he want to lodge it in my bank account?

LinkedIn is becoming a rather dark and dangerous place and as an organisation they really need to sort this particular problem out and quickly. There is plenty of evidence of fake profiles being utilised to spread trojans and malware – read this example from The Guardian some 3 years or so ago – The Guardian So my advice is to be careful, look for recommendations, look for activity and regular status updates and always do a basic google search on the profile photo itself at the very least.