Avoiding the New Pig Butchering Scam on LinkedIn
Attractive Asian women want to be your friend. What’s the catch?
Recently, I’ve received a rash of connection requests on LinkedIn from attractive Chinese women.
Because I’m an active angel investor, I get a lot of founders reaching out to me every day. A quick glance at their profiles usually describes the startup they’re working on. But not always, especially if they’re just getting started as a student or moving from Asia where LinkedIn isn’t used much.
As long as they don’t look crazy or fraudulent, I’m happy to connect. No reason not to expand my own network as well.
But the LinkedIn profiles of these attractive young women, mostly Chinese, seem off. Not the usual startup entrepreneurs. Though they live in Toronto or Los Angeles, they’re independently wealthy as a shareholder of a Chinese company or owner of a chain of beauty supply shops. Hmmm. Not sure why they’re connecting to a climate tech investor like me.
I’m a little suspicious, but a quick reverse image lookup doesn’t show a repurposed photo.
The profiles include a degree from a major university in China or Taiwan, and proficiency in Chinese accounting standards or experience as a board member of a major charity like Red Cross. Quite impressive.
So I connect to see what happens.
Within a few minutes, my new connection, let’s caller her Lina, sends me a friendly message: “Hi DC. How are you?”
I understand that in some cultures, you don’t start a new relationship with an aggressive pitch like, “I’m looking for investors for my battery technology. Can we set up a call tomorrow?”
So I reply with a curt, “How can I help you?”
Lina answers quickly. “I just started using Linkedin, I hope to make more friends in the field, I hope to learn from you.”
“Learn what?” I can’t help asking.
“How to be a successful business person like you.”