Here’s a screenshot of an email message I got the other day (click to enlarge):
There are a total of five links within this message, all of which lead to a different website and none of which lead to a page hosted at LinkedIn.com. The links were located in these places:
- The yellow “Accept” button
- The white “Ignore Privately” button
- “Marva Leonard”
- “Learn why we included this”
Of course, the real issue here is that this looks like it could be a real email from LinkedIn (and hey, the VP Operations from Allstate wants to know you, wow!). But look what happens when I hover the mouse over the “Unsubscribe” link, for example (detail):
I’m not sure what’s on that site (I didn’t click to find out), but I can promise you it’s not a real LinkedIn page. Most likely it’s a hacked website that will attempt to infect your computer with malicious software.
If you’re a LinkedIn user, it’s important to be careful with email messages that appear to be from the network. Hover your mouse over any links before you click. Better yet, just visit the site directly and log in to your account; if you’ve got pending invitations, they’ll show up.
Also, most email clients these days don’t display embedded images unless you manually tell them to (note the red “X” and the word “LinkedIn” in the upper right corner of the message). There’s usually a box or a bar that says something like this:
Unless you know who the message is from and what it contains, never click on that box.