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Beware of these Fake Job Postings on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great place to search for all kinds of jobs, however it’s not without its share of issues in this regard. For one, the platform has lately been overrun by a peculiar case of similar fake job postings.

These are, however, not your run-off-the mill job scammers that LinkedIn has always to some extent harboured. The scale and the elaborate job descriptions suggests that this is not the handiwork of a person out to rip-off of a few desperate jobseekers, but rather that of an entity using the platform for a much extensive objective.

As to the particular features of these jobs, they all seem to be writing related, remote (freelance) and use the Easy Apply option. The main give away of these jobs, however, is that the “recruiters” send the same exact message to the applicants’ inboxes informing the applicant of being shortlisted and a request to submit a previous work samples to a particular email address. – The Common Thread

Now here it’s where it gets interesting: all these jobs are using the same domain, namely, for this email address. The only difference is the alias, which in all cases is the name of the fake “company” doing the hiring.

Here’s a sample message that I got after applying for one of these remote writing jobs:

We are pleased to inform you that your application has been shortlisted. As the final step in the application process, we are asking shortlisted applicants to send a previously written sample or link to one of your published articles to [email protected]. We will then reply to your email with the next steps if you are accepted for the position. For any further questions, please direct them to the aforementioned email address.

By the way, this particular job posting is still live on LinkedIn. You can view it here, or check the archived version in case it’s taken down.

All the replies from the “recruiters” of these jobs are word for word as the above message; just replace johnswiftproductions in the email address with the name of the company that is supposedly hiring.

As to the status of the top-level domain, is active but loading it redirects to the homepage for Bamboo HR (, a recruiting software or what I’ve recently come to learn is called an applicant tracking system (ATS).

This redirect gives the email address an air of credibility as it implies the recruiter is using the Bamboo HR ATS. However, it should be noted that anyone can redirect a domain they own to any another domain. For instance, I could easily redirect to without Google’s explicit permission.

Simply put, there’s nothing stopping anyone from setting up redirects to domains they don’t own. This is certainly a grey area with legitimate uses but also ripe for abuse, as it’s the case here.

On the other hand, a WHOIS lookup on who owns the domain ( is a dead end as the names have been redacted for privacy. The only useful information we can glean from there is that the domain was registered first in 2021, suggesting that this scheme has probably being going for a few years now.

The AI Connection

Interestingly, the “recruiters” that send these messages seem to be unique and all give the impression of being genuine LinkedIn profiles. Supposing these are not fake profiles, which seems more probable, then it’s likely these accounts have either been hacked and are being used as some form of “recruiting botnet”; it’s either that or the individuals behind the profiles are in on the scam in one way or another.

The regularity and large influx of these jobs, however, indicate undoubtedly that this is all automated. For one, the elaborate job descriptions have the tell-tale signs of having come from an AI Text Generator like ChatGPT.

This would explain for instance why the fake companies appear to be real based purely on the information provided about the company in the job descriptions.

The reason for this credibility is from the fact that the AI uses information about real companies from the data it has been trained on from the internet. It then simply tweaks some minor details (a la “hallucinates”) to give the impression of a legitimate organization.

In my case, for instance, a quick search online indicated that there was no media production company in Nairobi with the name of John Swift Productions. However, there are a couple of legitimate business with similar names including Swift Productions, an agency in the film and photography space and John S. Swift Co., a company offering print media services.

If one is not very keen on the details, it’s very easy to assume the fake company is in fact one of these real businesses.

What’s the objective behind these fake jobs?

The million-dollar question we now have to contend with is as pertains the specific motive behind these fake jobs.

As mentioned earlier in this post, the impression I get is that this is too wide scale to be a scam where the objective is simply to scam applicants to part with some money; usually some nonsense about paying application fees, a refundable medical fee or trying to get someone to pay some ridiculous amounts to cover job placements abroad and cover visa costs, contracts, job permits etc

At this time, however, I can only speculate. Probable motives that I could come up are as follows:

  1. Data Harvesting: The jobs are an elaborate ploy to harvest personal data from the applicants. This is because the Easy Apply wizard that the job uses does require the applicant to attach their CV/Resume, which typically contains sensitive data like full names, date of birth, phone numbers and personal email addresses.
  2. Harvesting LinkedIn Followers: An elaborate scheme for harvesting followers for the “recruiters” (and or their “companies”) since many applicants would be favourably inclined to follow them as a show of interest in the company, for follow-up on this particular job or to get updates of future opportunities. Chances are this might be a product (a package) being sold in some online black market, not so different from how YouTube followers, views, likes and website back-links are peddled. On the other hand, a LinkedIn profile with many followers (much like Twitter) come with benefits (web cred) which can be exploited for various uses. For instance, the profile once it has amassed many followers can either be updated to that of an actual company or sold to a legitimate business trying to fast track the growth of their web presence. Case in point, John Swift Productions (archived version), while entirely fictitious, has as of this writing already amassed close to 3000 followers despite having no about information or any associated members on LinkedIn.
  3. Training AI: Somebody has found a way to amass authentic CVs/Resumes to train an AI bot. Unlikely, but not impossible.
  4. LinkedIn Ennshittification: A strategy (perhaps by a competitor?) out to destroy LinkedIn’s reputation as a reliable job board for people to find work opportunities, in particular remote ones. While Microsoft doesn’t need any help towards this (promoted content?), the long-term effect is the gradual ennshittification of the LinkedIn ecosystem with the influx of fake jobs which will prompt users to seek out better, alternative platforms.

Yes, I realize I am overreaching with the final motive, but this seems to be the general trajectory of many online platforms that start out as being incredibly useful. There’s no reason to think it won’t happen to LinkedIn (if it hasn’t already begun for you personally).


It’s telling that this scam has been reported to LinkedIn (see references 1 & 2 below) for a few months now, and no action seems to have been taken by LinkedIn.

On one of these threads, there’s a comment by a user who apparently reported these fake jobs to LinkedIn, only to be told by support that the jobs weren’t doing anything that’s against their policy.

If that’s the casual way they handle reports relating to such serious incidents, it’s perhaps safe to assume (if it wasn’t obvious already) that one bears all the responsibility for whatever jobs one chooses to apply via LinkedIn. This fact is probably buried in legalese somewhere in their User Agreement as is the standard practice of the big tech industry.

So what does that mean for you as a LinkedIn user? Well, it simply means you have to be very keen on what jobs you choose to apply on and via the platform and more importantly, what information you choose to share with recruiters.

Always do a background check on the hiring company to confirm it’s real and, secondly, that the company is in actual fact accepting applications for the advertised posting. This will not only save you precious time but also spare you the needless worry of losing your private data as well as high hopes of landing what are in fact fictitious jobs.

References | Similar Cases


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Julius G. Evans

Julius is a business writer that specializes in the marketing and technology segments. He is especially keen on topics that help small businesses navigate and grow their enterprises online through incisive articles on various internet marketing trends.