Brent John Nathaniel de Guzman
Cybercriminals target anyone and everyone that they think will get them a huge payoff - and there's no bigger potential payoff than high-ranking professionals in LinkedIn, the social network centered around creating connections amongst such individuals. We recently discovered a scam targeting that very same demographic.
The spammed message comes from a certain 'Alfred Olottu', asking the recipient to add him to his network.The mail itself seems legitimate, from how it's formatted and the links embedded in it (all non-malicious). Analyzing Alfred Olottu's Linked profile upon receiving his invitation, we saw that he only had 7 connections. Only two days later, we received a follow-up notification for his request - and checking his profile again, we see that his number of connections has ballooned to 156 connections.
We accepted his request, and immediately upon doing so, we received another email - this one bearing the subject,'Your Opinion Please', as well as an offer to help manage his lucrative investment. In the offer, 'Alfred' also asks for the recipient's personal information - confirming that this is indeed a scam. Using reverse Google image search on 'Alfred''s profile picture also proves this further - with the gentleman in the picture confirmed to be of another identity.
While social networks do allow us to connect with other people all over the world, they can also expose us to threats. Users should always be aware of whoever they come in contact with, and treat all messages with skepticism. Always verify first.