Beware of Fraudulent LinkedIn Recommendations

Last Updated May 2, 2010 11:49 PM EDT

LinkedIn is increasingly a social hub for business networking and online references. But whether you occasionally give recommendations to acquaintances and former co-workers, or you rely on reading recommendations as part of hiring decisions, there's an insidious exploit on LinkedIn that you should be wary of.


It turns out that there's a simple way to misrepresent yourself on LinkedIn. After you get a recommendation, you can access your profile and then edit your title and company. You were a sales associate at OmniSales, Inc? Well, make yourself the CIO of Nabisco. Why not?

Sure, you're saying -- obviously, you can edit your work history in LinkedIn. Everyone knows that; what's the big deal? Well, if you have a recommendation in connection with that job, the recommendation remains, and it looks like you have a recommendation in your new, fictional position.

That's bad. As a hiring manager, there's no easy way to know if any LinkedIn recommendations you see are legitimate. And as a peer recommender, your good name is potenially being used to endorse a fraudulent resume entry.

The fix? If you give recommendations, include the title and company in your recommendation. Otherwise, this glitch will be a potential exploit for unscrupulous job seekers until LinkedIn patches the hole. [via Download Squad]