I have received a number of inquiries in the past weeks from clients and friends asking me if an Inmail or a LinkedIn message is real.
So I say, if it smells funny, it must be rotten.
If someone sends a message to you and it feels wrong, ignore it, or report it if you are uncomfortable with what the person is asking or offering, feel compromised, or worse, verbally assaulted. LinkedIn has a process for handling these. Refer the message tot he Help Center and they will investigate.
Don’t give your personal email address or phone number to them. Even if they ask. Just don’t. Someone I know, who should have known better, wishes he didn’t.
There are more than a few decent people who just do not know how to ask for something legitimate without it seeming odd.
Then there are many more no-goodniks who deliberately have ulterior motives.
Educate the first group. Denounce the second.