Today I had an invitation to connect via LinkedIn. That is not unusual, but this request came from out of the blue from a person I’d never met. The person lives in the UK (I live in Texas) and does not belong to any of the same groups I belong to.
I was a little cautious. I occasionally get an invitation from a spammer and we all have to suspect that there are malefactors out there who are hatching schemes to defraud people via LinkedIn. They have just not hit me yet.
However, doing a little “due diligence,” I noticed that he was a “second degree” connection. He is LinkedIn with two British guys I know very well who ran a company in a small town called “Milton Keynes”. OK…if you happen to be familiar with Milton Keynes and it turns out to be a “village” instead of a “town” or it is actually an industrial park and not a municipality or you object to my characterizing it as “small” I would like to apologize up front. I have only been there twice and then, only briefly.
Now that I have done my disclaimer…back to this mysterious person. It just so happens that this mystery LinkedIn guy lists “Milton Keynes” as his “location.” Mystery solved…a friend of a friend is good enough for me. I accepted the invitation.
Tonight, however, I received another invitation to connect via LinkedIn from another guy I have never met or communicated with. Doing the due diligence, I have come to a few conclusions.
He uses the default LinkedIn URL to point to his LinkedIn profile.
Instead of setting up his own customized LinkedIn URL:
Conclusion: he is not very savvy about LinkedIn.
He has fewer than 50 connections, his profile is very terse, he belongs to no groups so I conclude he is new to LinkedIn. That all makes me a little more inclined to accept his invitation. It could be that he is just very shrewd…but I am reserving judgment.
We have no common background. I market semiconductors. He is a Canadian insurance salesman who insures fleets of cars. That makes me wonder why he would want to connect with me but it does not make me suspect him as a spammer. If he were a web developer or a “social media guru” or an SEO expert….that says spam to me. This guy insures fleets.
He is a third degree connection, not a friend of a friend. But that brings up a problem that makes me pause. He must have my email address to send me an invitation. There is no other way to invite me. Now I am all cautious again.
He used the standard LinkedIn invitation to invite me to connect… “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” No additional information about why he wants to connect with me, how he found me, why I might want to connect with him….nothing.
I mulled this over for several hours trying to decide, “Do I connect or do I reject?” Four hours after I got his invitation, I checked his profile again. He’d gone from less than 50 connections to almost 150…in four hours!
Either this person is new to LinkedIn and trying to populate his connections quickly..and fairly indiscriminately (not at all unusual for a salesperson) or he is up to something. I decided to ignore his invitation.
All this mystery and drama could have been resolved with a few extra words. Tell me why you want to connect with me. “Hi James, met you at Texas Motor Speedway over the weekend. I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”
Mystery solved….unless I was NOT at Texas Motor Speedway over the weekend…