Has someone hijacked your LinkedIn site by creating a false account?
Here are three tips to fix it.
Linkedin is a powerful business networking tool that is highly valued by search engines such as Google as well as by business users.
However, when someone—a competitor, disgruntled ex-employee, or dissatisfied client—hijacks it by creating a false account under your name, the results can be disastrous for your business, personal lif, and your online reputation.
I came across this issue recently.
Smear Campaign by Ex-Client
A business owner came to me saying someone (probably an ex-client who was dissatisfied with the results), was creating an extensive smear campaign waged against them for many months. They created a series of negative reviews on industry specific web sites, local search sites, business sites, and most importantly, on LinkedIn. This took some time, effort and energy on their part.
One of the more damaging links was the creation of a false LinkedIn account under the name of the business owner. The ex-client posted a series of negative headlines in the profile section, including adding false and damaging previous employers (such as working at a strip club) and uploaded altered images (including one holding a sign saying “I am a crook”). Obviously, these were blatantly false and particularly malicious.
Damaging False LinkedIn Profile Shows Up In Google
The results, unfortunately, were very effective and damaging to my client’s online reputation.
Many of these negative links, including the images and the LinkedIn account profile, showed up prominently on the first page when searching for my their name on Google. This, by the way, was a double blow to their online reputation because their name is their business.
As a result of this one false LinkedIn account, they saw their business leads diminished substantially, and, as a result, their sales dropped by half.
What can be done?
Here are three tips to effectively repair your online reputation if someone creates a false LinkedIn account:
1. Contact LinkedIn and Have Them Remove the Account
Email email@example.com and include all the pertinent information, such as the link to the false profile. Note that LinkedIn might not reply back to you, but in my case, the site was taken down after about two weeks.
2. Report as Inappropriate
Go to the fake profile and next to the “Send Inmail” button/link, click on the down arrow revealing a drop down menu showing “Report as inappropriate.” A small dialog window will appear with options, including “misrepresentation” and “inappropriate picture.”
Report the profile both as “fake” and as having “inappropriate picture.”
Again, this could take several weeks to be resolved.
3. Submit Notice of False Profile to LinkedIn
Follow this link https://help.linkedin.com/app/ask/path/nofp to complete a Notice of False Profile on LinkedIn.
This requires details about the false or inaccurate LinkedIn profile such as the URL or screen shots, how you know that the profile is false, as well as your signature declaring the information you provide is correct.
With a little perseverance, it’s possible to get a false LinkedIn account removed, and this could go along way to repair your online reputation.