I like to think I’m too sophisticated to get scammed. But today, I almost fell for a LinkedIn scam. Until my intuition kicked in and saved the day.
When you make a practice of using your intuition daily, every now and then something happens to make you realize just how much of a superpower you really have.
Sometimes you just know things you don’t want to know, such as that your boyfriend is cheating or a loved one is dying. But other times, your intuition kicks in and keeps you from doing something you might just regret. When your intuition is working on all cylinders, you have a built-in lie detector, bullshit meter and opportunity identifier all rolled up into one.
Why I was vulnerable
As a full-time freelance writer, I make my living writing articles and other content for a broad range of clients. I’ve recently been unable to work because of an illness, but now that I have recovered, I’ve been getting back into the swing of things and working hard to rebuild my bank account. I’ve also been saving money to pay off the mounting medical bills I’ve had to deal with.
So when this guy reached out to me via LinkedIn, telling me he was in desperate need of a writer for a project, I was intrigued. I told him I wanted to know more about the project and suggested we schedule a phone call where we could discuss more details about the project. I wanted to know: What exactly was he looking for? When would he need the work completed? And most importantly, How much was he willing to pay?
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Instead of agreeing to schedule a call, he sent me back this super-long DM, telling me the topic — he wanted me to write about addiction. He also said he was willing to pay $1 per word, which is a decent rate, for a 6,000-word article. He said he would need this article in three to four weeks.
While I’ve had steady work for the past few weeks, after this week, my calendar begins to lighten up. So I knew I had time to work on the article, and as I said, the rate is pretty good for freelance writing. Sure, I have some clients that pay more than $1 per word. But the sheer length of the product ensures that I would enjoy a nice payday when the project was completed. But I had this little nagging feeling that something was not right.
I couldn’t put my finger on it…
Now on the surface, this sounded like a good gig. And it would fill up my work calendar for the next three-to-four weeks. I could definitely use the money, and I had no idea if other clients would have work to keep me busy over that same period of time. So it was a no-brainer. Take the gig. Yet I hesitated.
Instead of getting back to the man about the offer, I procrastinated. I worked on one of my projects. I went to a physical therapy appointment. I came home and worked on another project. I recognized that I was putting off responding to this guy. And I know very well that procrastination is often one of the ways that our intuition lets us know something is not for us. We keep putting it off because on some level we know this isn’t right.
I asked myself, what is the holdup? Why aren’t you jumping at this opportunity?
I went back to LinkedIn and looked at his message. Something about it bugged me. Yet I didn’t know what it was. I googled the man’s name and nothing came up. The thought popped into my head that it might be a LinkedIn scam, and I even went so far as to google the man’s name with the word ‘scam,’ half expecting to see something come up showing he was, in fact, a scammer. There was nothing.
There was nothing to suggest this man was a scammer, and nothing to suggest that I shouldn’t do business with him. So if I wanted to run a successful business, I needed to accept this assignment and be grateful for the abundance, right? Yet I still felt a nagging desire to walk away from the opportunity.
Flexing that trust muscle
One of the most difficult lessons I’ve learned when it comes to using psychic abilities is that you have to trust them. If you don’t trust your intuition, what is the point in having it?
So I’ve worked on following my intuition even when I have no proof that it is right. I’ve worked on following it even when what it’s telling me defies what my eyes see. So I took a deep breath, went back onto LinkedIn and emailed the guy, letting him know I didn’t have the availability to work on the project in the timeframe he was looking for. I thanked him for reaching out and wished him luck on the project.
And that’s when things got a little weird
I had gone back to my other work when something made me want to look at that man’s email again. I recognized the nudge and the strong desire to go back to the email as my intuition. I knew there was something I needed to see.
When I logged back onto LinkedIn, I saw that the email was gone. I expected to see the email showing our back and forth. That’s what I see when I log on and look at all of my other exchanges. But there was no trace of this email, nor could I find the man’s name again when I searched for him via LinkedIn.
I didn’t understand what that could mean so I did a little research. I learned that an email will disappear on LinkedIn if the person who sent it blocks you or if that person deleted their account.
I didn’t think the former made sense. I mean I turned his project down, but I was nice about it. Why would he block me simply for being unable to work for him. However, I immediately thought of my earlier musings about whether he was a scammer. I also know that sometimes thoughts that pop in our head are actually intuitive insights.
I would imagine a scammer would delete a fake LinkedIn profile and move on to a new fake profile for a new mark.
Was this a LinkedIn scam? I wondered if LinkedIn scams are prevalent and found an article that explained that they are. One theory is that LinkedIn users are professionals and they trust others on the network because those people are assumed to be professionals too. Scammers find that to be too good of an opportunity to pass up.
I also read about a LinkedIn scam in which someone offers a user a job and later in the interaction requests money for an application fee or some other bogus charge.
While I know I wouldn’t give someone money for a job that I did, I would be very frustrated if I spent my time working on a project only to learn that I had been scammed and wasn’t getting paid.
While I don’t know for certain that this man was a scammer or if it was a LinkedIn scam — I may never know — I’m ok with that. Because I trust my intuition, I know that agreeing to work with this man would have been a monumental mistake.