Tech on Tuesday: LinkedIn Loan Scams

Another day, another scam to warn you about.

LinkedIn is a great resource for colleagues and job seekers to connect professionally, but it also can be a great resource for scammers looking to collect your personal information.

Recently, the Better Business Bureau has received reports of personal loan scams using LinkedIn to target potential victims.

Let’s break down how this scam works. 

A scammer sends you a message on LinkedIn offering you financing for a personal loan. You check the scammer’s profile, and it looks real. You look at the profile of the company the scammer claims to work for, and that looks real too. In fact, you might have a few LinkedIn connections in common.

Once you receive the message, there’s a couple different approaches scammers take.

The scammer might ask you to fill out a loan application with your personal information, a copy of your ID and your signature. This is used by the scammer to steal your identity.

Alternatively, you might be easily approved for the loan. First though, you are asked to pay a processing fee via wire transfer. Once you pay, the scammer takes your money and runs.

Here’s a few tips from the Better Business Bureau to help you avoid falling victim to a LinkedIn loan scam:

Check your LinkedIn privacy settings. You can use your settings to limit which LinkedIn users can send you direct messages.

Be careful about who you connect with. Don’t automatically accept every request you get. Check the user’s profile first. Profiles that are incomplete or include poor grammar are big red flags. Scammers typically try to create large networks to gain victims’ trust.

Only apply for loans from reputable establishments. If you need a loan, it’s best to go through a company you know you can trust. Check with your bank to see what you need to do to qualify.

If you believe you are a victim of this type of scam, make sure you file a report with the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker.

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