Spam on LinkedIn

It should come as no surprise that our modern day ability to communicate involves some communications that we might find disruptive. Spam is a reality. Generally, it’s not a big deal. It’s easy to spot and easy to ignore. Sometimes there’s enough of it that you want to do something about it.

Yesterday there was enough of it that I felt something had to be done.

Among my other completely normal LinkedIn messages I had 3-4 spam messages inviting me to pay for training that would lead to professional certifications. The messages are usually pretty formulaic. Here’s an example:

Hello How are you?

welcome to my LinkedIn Family 😊

would you like to go for PMP, Six Sigma, Scrum Master, CAPM, ACP ITIL Certifications? or any other Training and Certification?

I do try to treat spammers as though they’re real people. I want to take up their time (so they don’t go after those less gullible) but if I ever met the person on the street I don’t want them to have feelings of wanting to beat me up.

Most problems in a workplace are caused by miscommunication, so I’ve found it fun to intentionally miscommunicate with spammers. The other thing you have to do is help make it easy for them to spot that something isn’t right–like asking for a larger amount of money than normal. In the case above they were inviting me to attend training. I responded as if they were inviting me to teach training. I also claimed I would need more money than they probably budgeted for a guest speaker.

I’d be happy to assist with any of your classes (if it’ll work into my schedule).  I’d like to be up front.  I expect 2x the government per-diem rate in addition to my normal hourly fee. Please let me know locations, dates, and times you’d like me to assist and I’m sure we can try to work something out.

If they write back I can’t wait to tell them about my hourly fee and travel expectations. Normally I fly coach, but for these people I expect to fly first class.

What’s your best story of dealing with spam?