More than 250,000 fake Apple jobs yanked from LinkedIn to fight pro spam

tim Cook on stage
(Image credit: Apple)

LinkedIn has reportedly purged more than 250,000 fake Apple employees from its database of professionals as it continues to wrestle with a growing number of imposters on its platform.

While LinkedIn is yet to confirm that it took action, numbers shared in a new report have a huge number of accounts, all claiming to be Apple employees, disappearing earlier this month. Notably, the same also seems to have happened to employees claiming to work for Amazon — almost 400,000 of them.

If you're wondering why that mysterious job offer at Apple Park has suddenly evaporated, you might want to check you were ever talking to the real Tim Cook...

Fake Tim Cook

According to numbers collected by developer Jay Pinho (opens in new tab) and shared with Krebs On Security, LinkedIn purged the accounts between 11:06 am and 11:02 pm on October 10. There were previously more than 576,000 accounts claiming to work for Apple, while the number fell to just 285,000.

It was a similar story for Amazon, also on the same day. The previous number of 1.2 million employees fell to less than 840,000 within a matter of hours. While LinkedIn isn't admitting that it deleted fake accounts, the fact that both of these numbers fell at the same time suggests something was done. Neither Apple nor Amazon commented when asked to by Krebs on Security. LinkedIn simply said that it constantly works to clear out fake accounts.

It isn't yet clear why these fake accounts exist or who is creating them, although one Cybersecurity firm previously told Bloomberg that some North Korean hackers have been faking profiles in an attempt to get themselves jobs at large crypto firms.

Another suggestion is that people are using impressive-looking LinkedIn accounts as a way to lure people into scams, particularly those that get unsuspecting people to invest in cryptocurrencies. Whatever the reason, it's easy to see why LinkedIn might want them gone.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.