In late 2015 I received a lot of spam LinkedIn invitations, many from people who listed their positions as “Research Associate at Self-Employed.” It’s a weird title for a self-employed person.  As I wrote at the time (How many self-employed research associates does it take to change a light bulb?) I think it was some kind of phishing attempt. In particular, the aim seemed to be to build an impressive network and gain access to contact info and credentials. Maybe it was related to the 2016 election. The profiles were pretty bare and obviously not of real people, if you bothered to look. But I noticed that quite a few of my contacts were connected with these accounts.

I haven’t heard from any self-employed research associates in a while, but I got a message recently that reminded me of those days.

This one was a little more clever. It said, “We have done some truly path-breaking work in Healthcare using AI and Machine Learning which has resulted in significant savings and benefits for Healthcare Institutions. Would love to share more with you. Please let me know when we can talk.” The invitation came from Sonu Gandhi, listed as a “Manager” in Albany, NY.

Screenshot 2019 04 18 07.31.07
Screenshot 2019 04 18 07.31.07

This message is similar to legit ones I received, usually pitching story ideas for my blog. But something seemed a bit off.

LinkedIn gives two options in the email: View profile or Accept. I clicked “view profile” and saw that this is a nothing person –no photo, no current or former employer, no education, but a member of several healthcare related groups and someone with 237 connections, including with 8 of my connections.

Screenshot 2019 04 18 07.31.23
Screenshot 2019 04 18 07.31.23

Sonu, if you’re out there for real I’d love to talk. And in any case I have access to several self-employed Research Associates in search of a Manager.

By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group.