LinkedIn scam preys on job hopefuls - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

LinkedIn scam preys on job hopefuls

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
ST LOUIS, MO (KSDK / NBC) -

With more than 400 million members, there's a good chance you or someone you know is connected to the professional networking site LinkedIn.

One woman learned the hard way that the social networking site contains more than just job seekers.

It came without warning, but it was welcome news. One of Sara Wade's LinkedIn contacts reached out with a job opportunity.

"It told me to provide my name, my number and address, and resume--which already has all that information on it--to a certain email address," Wade said.

According to the message, a research company was looking for someone to inspect medical products and evaluate customer service at local pharmacies.

Wade happily sent her information and crossed her fingers that she'd land the job.

A few days later, that same LinkedIn contact sent a mass message out saying his account had been hacked.

Wade was shocked.

"It's LinkedIn and it's professional networking," Wade said. "I've never been scammed through it before. I've never heard of any scams going on through LinkedIn."

But they happen enough to warrant a warning from LinkedIn on its website.

Not long after Wade sent her resume to the fraudster, she received a check for more than $2,500 in the mail. She found instructions in the same letter that brought the check.

"To deposit into my bank and then go to the store and get a pre-paid card and upload the money onto the card and then send it to them," she said.

That tipped Wade off. She realized it must be a scam, so she contacted authorities and set out to alert everyone she could to help them avoid getting scammed.

"Finding a job can be difficult. Someone trying to take advantage of your trust or your situation--because you're vulnerable--in order to make a quick buck definitely makes me upset," she said.

The company whose name appeared on the fake job offer does actually exist. It's called Smerud Research, based in Norway.

The company's president confirms that offer is a fraud. He said he's reported it to LinkedIn, but with no results.

LinkedIn said it has measures in place to protect members and quickly remove fraud to prevent re-occurrence.

Copyright 2016 WMC Action News 5 and KSDK. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly