You’re rushing to work and while you’re on the subway/metro, bus, or taxi, you think “Hey, why not kill a few minutes and accept some Linkedin invitations?” You open the app and start clicking “accept” on every one. Two days later, you get a Linkedin message from someone whose name you don’t recognize, offering you SEO services. “How did I get connected to this person?” you think. And your next thought is “How do I get rid of this person?” Assuming you don’t respond, it may take you anywhere from a minute to a few minutes to remove the connection. This is not an efficient use of your scarce time, and by following a few simple rules you could have avoided this situation altogether.
- Rule #1 – Never connect with someone you don’t already know (optional). This one rule will keep you from getting connected to fake Linkedin spammer profiles, and if it’s the right fit for you, there’s no reason to read any further. I, however, do not abide by this rule, nor do I recommend it for anyone who is serious about using Linkedin for anything other than the minimal benefit of having a profile out there that others can see.
- Rule #2 – Read the connection request message. If they have used the default message, they may be legit, but they may be fake. If they use a customized message that proves they know you or know something about you, then this let’s you know they’re for real. This also means when you’re connecting with others, you should always customize the introduction message unless you already know the person.
- Rule #3 – Check mutual connections. If this person doesn’t know anyone you know, that’s a red flag. Again, they might be legit, but you’re quickly building a case.
- Rule #4 – Check how many connections they have. If the request comes from someone who has 0 or just a few connections, they may be new to Linkedin, but more than likely it’s a spammer.
If the request comes with the default message (or even a customized message that is generic in nature), you have no mutual connections, and the person initiating the request has few or no other connections, then there’s a 99.99% chance you’re being contacted by a Linkedin spammer and should not accept the connection. You can check all these things in seconds on your phone, and will save yourself many minutes per spam connection later on. That’s a good ROI.
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