While LinkedIn may be an excellent platform for business professionals to network with like-minded individuals and for B2B businesses to market their services, LinkedIn has been struggling with a persistent issue – fake accounts.
This problem is not unique to LinkedIn, as Facebook and Twitter have also encountered similar issues over the years. Yet, it has become a significant problem on LinkedIn in recent years. So much so that between January 1st and June 30th of last year, LinkedIn said they removed over 21 million fake accounts.
Some more good news: LinkedIn is taking measures to improve its verification capabilities and strengthen its ability to detect fraudulent profiles to ensure that users connect with genuine people. Recently, LinkedIn announced that it is introducing new ways to verify users’ identities and places of work, thereby securing the platform and authenticating users – and unlike Twitter and Meta, LinkedIn’s new verification measures don’t require paid subscriptions or blue checkmarks.
So, if you’re looking to build authentic connections, expand your professional network, and grow your business, LinkedIn has got your back. This article will give you everything you need to know about LinkedIn Verification.
What is LinkedIn doing to improve verification of users?
LinkedIn has been on a mission to improve user authenticity and tackle the issue of fake accounts for quite some time now. In October 2022, they introduced new verification options to help users confirm their identity and detect any fraudulent activity. And now, they’re taking things to the next level.
Last week, Microsoft-owned LinkedIn announced three additional ways for users to verify their identity and workplace:
American users can authenticate their identity on LinkedIn using CLEAR
LinkedIn has partnered with CLEAR to offer identity verification services to its members based in the United States. With the secure identity platform CLEAR, LinkedIn users can now authenticate their identity on the platform. From this month onwards, American users can display their CLEAR-verified status on their profiles. You will need a U.S. government-issued ID and a U.S. phone number to complete the verification process.
It’s important to reiterate that this feature is only available to LinkedIn users in the United States, as CLEAR only operates domestically.
Verify where you work with your company email
For non-US members, getting verified using your work email address may be easier. This option is currently only available to 50 million members around the world. With over 4,000 eligible companies, this feature provides another means of showcasing the authenticity of your profile. However, it is worth noting that this feature is not widely available yet. Over time LinkedIn will gradually expand eligibility and roll out the feature to more companies, allowing more businesses to verify their employees.
Verify where you work with Microsoft Entra
LinkedIn and Microsoft have joined forces to empower organisations to utilise the Microsoft Entra Verified ID platform to freely distribute digital workplace IDs, enabling workers to display the verification on their LinkedIn profiles. The feature is set to launch at the end of April and will be available to dozens of participating companies, reaching over two million LinkedIn members. LinkedIn plans to expand availability as more companies join the Entra program, further amplifying its reach and impact.
Once verified, profiles will be marked with a green and blue check to indicate the verification status.
What is the reason for these new measures?
Every major social platform – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. – is grappling with the issue of fake profiles. However, advancements in AI have made it increasingly challenging to identify and delete such profiles, as many of them are designed to appear genuine. The proliferation of fake profiles poses numerous problems for LinkedIn and its users:
- Running scams: Fake profiles may run a variety of scams, such as job offers or business opportunities that request the target to click on a link or download an infected attachment.
- Identity theft: Some users have reported the existence of fake profiles using their personal details to run scams. These scams could lead to scrutiny and potential legal problems for the target.
- Gathering confidential information about competitors: Some fake profiles may befriend individuals to gather the information that could be used against a competitor.
- Targeted product and service sales: Fake profiles can sell information to other organisations, making it easier to target specific products or services to potential buyers.
- Harassment: Some fake profiles exist for harassment purposes, such as requesting phone numbers or unsolicited friendships, which can lead to dangerous situations.
- Social engineering: Once a fake profile connects with a target, they may have access to personal information that can be used in social engineering attacks to penetrate other accounts.
How can these changes benefit businesses?
There are several ways in which these changes can be beneficial for businesses.
Trust and credibility
Firstly, verification can provide you with credibility and trustworthiness. If a potential customer visits your profile and notices a blue or green checkmark, they will immediately know that you are a verified LinkedIn user and trustworthy to conduct business with. The same is true for your employees. If verified, they can network and connect with prospects who can sleep easy knowing they are dealing with a trusted professional. This may, in turn, lead to more potential leads and sales opportunities for your business.
Prospecting and lead generation
The pervasiveness of fake accounts on LinkedIn is a considerable frustration when it comes to prospecting. Many sales teams use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to connect with a prospect, generate leads, and, ultimately, drive sales. Sales Navigator boasts an impressive set of search capabilities, improved visibility into extended networks, and personalised algorithms to help you reach the right decision-maker at the right time.
Yet, fake accounts using identical job titles and keywords can easily thwart these efforts, wasting resources and precious time and even exposing sales professionals to the risks discussed above.
LinkedIn’s new verification tools make it easier for salespeople to identify real prospects and avoid wasting resources on fake accounts. The blue or green checkmark on a LinkedIn profile once it has been verified, provides a level of confidence in the authenticity of the account.
By leveraging LinkedIn’s verification tools, sales professionals can streamline their prospecting efforts and focus their attention on verified leads with greater confidence, saving valuable time and resources. The verification process also helps protect against potential risks associated with fake accounts, giving sales professionals an added layer of security and peace of mind.
In addition to improving the prospecting experience for sales professionals, LinkedIn’s verification tools also offer advantages for businesses seeking to recruit top talent. If you come across a promising job candidate on LinkedIn, they will feel confident that a legitimate job opportunity awaits them rather than a potential scam.
Job seekers are increasingly wary of potential job scams and fraudulent recruitment practices, and the presence of verified accounts on LinkedIn can help alleviate these concerns. If you come across a promising job candidate on LinkedIn, they will feel confident that a legitimate job opportunity awaits them rather than a potential scam.
Furthermore, verified accounts on LinkedIn can help businesses stand out from the competition and attract high-quality candidates. In a crowded job market, candidates are often overwhelmed by the sheer volume of job postings and recruitment messages. A verified account can help businesses cut through the noise and differentiate themselves as reputable employer, potentially increasing the likelihood of attracting top talent.
The verification changes currently in the early stages offer a range of benefits to businesses, sales teams, and recruiters across all industries.
Though not yet widely available, these changes have the potential to bolster trust and credibility, enhance recruitment efforts, and create additional sales opportunities.