Email Phishing Alert: “Invitation to connect on LinkedIn”

If you are a LinkedIn member, please be aware that Invitations to Connect may be phishing attempts. We’ve seen a few of these LinkedIn scams lately.

Details of the LinkedIn phishing email scam

  • The email appears to be from LinkedIn with a spoofed email address of
  • The subject line is Invitation to connect on LinkedIn.
  • The links embedded in the email do not go to LinkedIn’s website. Instead, they point to a strangely named website using the top level domain (TLD) for the country of Vietnam (.vn). (Note that this can change!)

Hovering over the Accept button exposes the link URL as demonstrated in this image (taken from Outlook):

LinkedIn Phishing Email

The first clue in this message was that the footer of the message referenced someone other than me, the recipient. In this case, the message came to me, but the footer claims that it was intended for Lindsay Nelson. Note that it very well could have had my name in the footer if the sender was using software with a greater level of sophistication.

The lesson for me, now, is to never accept LinkedIn invitations to connect by clicking on the Accept button in an email. Instead, open up a browser and type in or select it from a bookmark. Once you’ve logged in, legitimate invitations it will appear in the Messages area on LinkedIn. New Messages also display an icon in LinkedIn’s header bar.

linkedin message bar