Category Archives: LinkedIn

Move along, it’s just another Gurustation…

Who are you looking at?Is it just me or does anybody else find LinkedIn a little creepy these days? I’m not referring to the crappy mobile apps which essentially make LinkedIn entirely useless for pretty much anything you would probably want to do on a social media channel. Nor am I referring to all those ‘Anonymous’ views which, I know many of you become almost apoplectic about. No I’m talking about all those creepy recruiters who just keep popping in and out of your profile. They sneak in, have a quick nosey around, lift the bed linen and check under the bed, open the fridge steal a bit of cold chicken and then sneak back out again, usually kicking the cat and rattling the dustbins as they go.

It’s weird. I know what many of you will be thinking now. I should be flattered that generally as a rule almost 40% of the people who view my profile are recruiters. But I find it unnerving. Firstly I really don’t like the vast majority of the recruitment industry. Don’t misunderstand me, I love what I do and I know some truly remarkable people across every aspect, I’ve worked with many and know quite a few I’d love to work with if the chance arose. Secondly I genuinely don’t give a monkeys hairy arse about what the industry, my peers or anybody else within it is doing, fundamentally because it’s truly bloody dull and far from awe-inspiring. Usually the most exciting event is a collective online masturbation or Gurustation over some self-proclaimed ‘guru’ who spouts nuggets of wisdom that resemble the kind of stuff you would expect to get from a very cheap Fortune Cookie.

So if the last person I would probably ever consider viewing on LinkedIn is a fellow recruiter, why are they all looking at me? The old move along, nothing to see here adage works for me. I want to be viewed by the people I work for, my current and prospective customers and my target audience and chosen networks. Not a bunch of creepy recruiters ferreting through my underwear every day and kicking my cat.

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.

LinkedIn adopt a Facebook tool that is long overdue and an abundance of LIONS!

Maybe I am behind the curve here and this facility or option has been available for a long time. But until today I didn’t realise that LinkedIn now had an option to block people from viewing or interacting with your profile.

Now maybe it is just me that has the occasional stalker on LinkedIn, but regardless the ability to block them from ever being able to see my profile or my activity ever again is actually rather satisfying.

Let’s be honest about this there are a whole multitude of people who have intentions which are far removed from doing honest business, from enhancing their sector or professional knowledge and essentially contributing to what is undoubtedly the worlds premier professional social network. I know that the many of the spam and phishing emails I receive come as a result of the openness of my contact information on LinkedIn. On average I receive about 25 invitations to connect from fake profiles. I know this because I use an online image checker to verify the authenticity of their profile image.

Those LION (LinkedIn Open Networker) Groups are partially responsible I am sure, anyone can join and anyone can message the group. I realised a long time ago that LION generally means multilevel marketing, work from home scams and all the other detritus of the world wide web.

On a more serious note almost all of my female colleagues and associates tell me they get marriage propositions and similar from suspicious characters all over the world. So I am sure they will be relieved by this option greatly.

Now I’m just waiting for them to introduce an option whereby I can restrict pictures of Lions, Word Puzzles, Maths Conundrums and other general pollution from my timeline.

I am a huge fan of the natural world and having seen Lions in the flesh sleeping in trees and prowling the bush in places such as Uganda and Rwanda I think that is where they belong. Either that or with some soothing and intelligent voice over courtesy of Sir David Attenborough. Not all over my LinkedIn profile.

So I toast LinkedIn on the introduction of this facility and look forward to even greater safety features in future. Deleting all the fake and duplicated profiles would be great. But considering that the families of the bereaved find it almost impossible to get their relatives profiles removed I won’t hold my breath for too long.

“Liking and Sharing isn’t participating or contributing it’s just lazy”

One of the most disappointing things about social media is the sudden realisation that the vast majority of people seek recognition for doing basically nothing. BlankWherever your social media lounge is based it is usually littered by a profusion of repetition. People rarely if ever post anything original, express a sincere, profound view or even have the courtesy to comment. It is about time people got their fat backsides off the social media couch and started paying their way.

As a blog writer and some one who initiates debate, plays devils advocate, lays my soul out there in cyberspace for all to see sometimes I would like to feel others are as involved as me. I want them to read, support and criticise. When I open up about all areas of my life from my first love The Arsenal to my professional passion the recruitment industry right or wrong I like to think I am participating in this huge collective called Social Media and the World Wide Web. Yes I share things I have read but I usually add some form of comment as to why I think it is worth sharing, what it means to me or what it doesn’t for that matter.

Yet everywhere you look there are observers, hangers on, freeloaders who just seem to take take take. Let us consider LinkedIn groups for example. I haven’t studied this but I am pretty certain that in most cases less than 10% of any group is actively participant in the group discussions. Even less actually start discussions. You can ask for help a hundred times as I did recently and not one single response or offer of insight or advice. So what is the point of having them? What is the point of being a member of one?

My LinkedIn timeline is often full of people re-posting stuff again and again. Littered with nonsense, proverbial sayings, theological, ideological, philosophical garbage regurgitated again and again like some self sustaining waste recycling system with no comment, observation or indication as to why they thought it was worthy of sharing anyway?

If you can't name a country without the letter A in the name your are an imbecile.

If you can’t name a country without the letter A in the name your are an imbecile.

I’ve taken to ‘hiding’ people who post crap on my LinkedIn timeline. If you don’t know how to ‘hide’ them then just follow these instructions – to the top left of the actual post if you hover over the corner a ‘hide’ button appears. It is bliss trust me. Never again will you have to see someone post the picture Professionally rubbish