Since June, the RCIPS has received a number of reports of attempted scams conducted using the social networking site LinkedIn. These scams generally involve an account impersonating a public figure which sends a request to connect and initiates communication in a professional context. Eventually an attempt is made to obtain sensitive information such as banking details, or to seek money directly.
Persons reported to have been impersonated include Dame Barbara Woodward of the Foreign Commonwealth Office. The RCIPS FCU has received over 15 reports of such cases since June, a significant increase from the number of cases involving LinkedIn that had been reported previously.
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Barrow said, “We are reminding the public to exercise caution and diligence when using any social media platform, even including those with a professional focus such as LinkedIn, and to be wary of requests from public figures which seem suspicious.”
Any suspicious connection requests or messages on LinkedIn or any other social networking site can be reported to RCIPS Financial Crime Unit at 949-8797.