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How We Present Ourselves + Phishing Scam (A Two-fer!)

Hello, Groupthinkers! It’s been so long since I’ve posted, but two things happened yesterday that really got me thinking and I wanted to share the experience and get your thoughts. Oh, and I’m also here to warn you about the most intricate phishing scam I’ve seen to date...

First story:
I signed-up for consulting services with a small, but well-known company with a very good reputation. My chosen consultant was supposed to reach out to me to schedule a call and I hadn’t heard from her, though I paid for this service five days ago. I contacted the company to ask when I could expect to hear from said consultant. I received a fairly prompt response from the CEO, which I really appreciated. However, the first sentence of her email had a significant typo and glaring grammatical error. And she misspelled her own first name in the closing of the email.

Now I know we all get rushed. Or use our voice-to-text option on our phone and it’s less than accurate. I get it. But when you’re the CEO, isn’t incumbent upon you to make the best possible impression on a first-time client?

The bigger question I’m asking: do people care about how they present themselves digitally, or are we in such a ‘casual’ age that grammatical errors and misspellings and typos are just par for the course and not worthy of note? To me, these errors are very telling. But maybe my expectations are too high and need to be adjusted for how people communicate now?

Second story:
Holy cow, people! Maybe this is common knowledge to most of you, but this was a Brand New Experience for me. A couple of days ago, I was contacted via LinkedIn about a job opening that looked interesting. I checked-out the profile of the person who posted the job, read the job description—which was posted on LinkedIn, googled the company to read more about them and then replied to the LinkedIn message. The original poster asked me to send my resume to his Gmail (which didn’t strike me as odd at the time, because I’ve had that request before) and then said he’d be in touch. Yesterday, I get an email telling me I’m being considered for the position and I should reply to the another employee, the head of HR, to set-up an interview on Google Hangouts. BRAKE SCREECH!

Yes, I’ve communicated on all manner of video chats with clients, but why would I need to contact HR instead of HR contacting me to set-up a meeting? Also, Google Hangouts for an interview just seemed...off? Anyhow, I look-up the name of the HR person on the company website. He’s listed, but not as HR; he has a different title. Go and check out his LinkedIn, he’s listed as HR. Hmm...

Pick-up the phone and call the company directly this morning, “Hey, weird question...is there a chance that your company is unintentionally involved in a phishing scam?”

Yes, yes they were. The woman who answered my call said that they’d been contacted by two other people with the same story and they’d been in touch with LinkedIn to have the job post taken down, but the two “fake” employee profiles are still up on LinkedIn. I say fake in quotes, because those two employees really do work for the company, but their profiles were spoofed by this scam.

Be careful and pay attention out there on the internets! Until yesterday, I thought I was pretty savvy about scams and phishing and the like, but this was so elaborate and well conceived that I came ‘thisclose’ to thinking it was legit.

In conclusion...

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