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 SCAMMERS

Apparently the scams continue. Recently I had the pleasure of being contacted by the CEO of a major multinational Japanese corporation to connect on LinkedIn. In looking over the profile, it looked very complete, with an article on LinkedIn Pulse, and one recommendation from an attorney in New York. Still, I thought it was a little strange for him to be reaching out to me. After some consultation with a few business associates who also looked at the profile and thought it looked alright, I went ahead and accepted the invitation.

Then suddenly the next day I was asked by this person if I could handle a $650K claim! Naturally, all alarm bells went off and it didn't take long to realize that I was the focus of a potential scam. If I and my business associates would have looked at the profile more closely, we would have seen some very telling signs that even before I accepted the invitation to connect, things were just not right. Here are a few of them:
  • In looking over the the 260 or so connections that he has, almost all were commercial collection and bankruptcy attorneys here in the US. It is not likely that those would be the primary business contacts for the CEO of a Japanese corporation.
  • Why would the CEO of a major multinational Japanese corporation be reaching out to ME?
  • Instead of incorporating the company name into the domain of the email address, the email address was a gmail account.
  • The content of the profile was cut and pasted from the company’s website. After getting the collection request, I contacted a good associate of mine who has business in Japan to do more research. He tried to call the numbers listed and as expected, they did not go through.
The upshot is that we have to always be vigilant with whom we’re connecting on LinkedIn. If someone is just too far out of our circle, profession and industry, that by itself should probably be a huge warning sign to ignore the request. The sad part of this scam is that a real CEO's profile appears to have been hijacked without his knowledge; and this type of situation makes it more difficult for legimate international clients to make the contacts they need. Whenever possible, I make the connection with our listees and our international forwarders personally; or at least they use my name or reference ALQ as the introduction..

Click here to learn more about how to report a suspicious profile on LinkedIn.

Thomas W. Hamilton




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Want to get a business owner's attention? Tell us how we can increase our cash flow. Yes, we have passion, commitment, love and belief in what we do. But in the end we're doing what we do for cash. And anything that helps us increase our cash flow is something we want to know about. So here are five technologies you should know about if that's what you're interested in doing this year.
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5 secrets to managing your business while traveling
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Traveling the world and running a business at the same time seems like a glamorous lifestyle: You can work from anywhere you want, make your own schedule and be your own boss.
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3 common lawyer trust account (IOLTA) mistakes
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Mismanaging a trust account can have terrible consequences on a lawyer's career, even sometimes to the point of disbarment. Yet law schools do an abysmal job of training law students on how to handle an IOLTA trust account.
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 Thought of the Day

"With a wonderful business, you can figure out what will happen; you can't figure out when it will happen. You don't want to focus on when, you want to focus on what. If you're right about what, you don't have to worry about when." — Warren Buffet


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— Michael Zdancewicz, Attorney, Windtberg & Zdancewicz PLC, Phoenix, AZ


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