In the past 24 hours, I've received a half-dozen or more spam requests to connect on LinkedIn.
No, I'm not talking about the typical LinkedIn news stream spam, nor the random requests to connect from people whom I don't know. These are more like Twitter spam - photos of attractive young women with sparse profiles.
In this case, all of them seem to be tied to the media/content/technology industry. So, at the surface level, they seem legit. But, a quick click on any of the profiles shows them to be fake. Beyond their model-like appearances, each seems to have 4 years of professional experience at companies like Elle, People or Playboy, attended a small college in the Los Angeles area and doesn't include a single description of their job, other than a title, employer and dates. As with Twitter spam, they occasionally select interesting names - a shout-out to my new friend Natalie Portman. Here's the typical profile - this one for a Sofia Anderson:
This is just one more reason why you shouldn't randomly connect to strangers on LinkedIn. I keep my LinkedIn network pretty clean, only accepting connections from those whom I've had a business relationship with. That keeps the value of my network high and allows me to confidently refer those in my network to others as appropriate. LinkedIn has never been, and should never be, simply about growing your connections. Spam quickly devalues all of our networks. If you're randomly connecting to strangers or spammers, I don't want to be connected to you, as it simply dirties the data and makes LinkedIn less useful as a biz dev tool.
So, don't accept the request from that beautiful stranger who just reached out to you on LinkedIn. She's not real.