Criminals are pretending to be famous persons in order to scam people. Fraudsters use famous people such as Sir Richard Branson’s identity to trap social media followers in cyber scams, such as “get rich quick” schemes and bogus investment schemes that appear to have been endorsed by the famous people such as Sir Richard.
Linkedin members are also being targeted by fraudsters who have been hacking into legitimate users accounts and sending victims what appear to be genuine emails and messages from victims known trusted contacts or celebrities. The messages/emails ask the victim to view a document via onedrive, and display’s details of a hacked US celebrity’s website. Once the link is opened it redirects the victim to a Mexican website and the victim’s username and password is obtained by the fraudster.
Other LinkedIn members are being approached by individuals claiming to be an employee of a particular company, when in actual fact, they are not.
What to look out for: -
· Mocked up online news articles featuring the rich and famous that lure people into making bogus investments.
· Messages and emails from genuine contacts within you’re linked in network, which ask you to open a document which has been shared on one drive.
· An example of the message is shown below: -
How to protect yourself
· Celebrities such as Sir Richard Branson will generally not direct message you on social media platforms.
· If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
· Don’t click on the link offered on the pop up add.
· Check if the company has an official website and social media accounts.
· Check on Action Fraud and the Internet search tools to see if any scams have been reported.
· Limit the contact information on your linked in profile
· Ensure you turn on LinkedIn’s secure browsing mode
· Be cautious when applying for jobs via LinkedIn
· Never accept connection requests from people you don’t know.
· Ensure your operating and security software are up to date.
· Ensure your passwords are “strong” and change them regularly.
Concerned you have been scammed?
· If you have lost money, report it to An Garda Siochana on https://www.garda.ie/en/crime/fraud
· If you have provided financial information such as banking or direct debit details, contact your bank or building society immediately.