Blood Diamonds on Linkedin?

Sounds like part of the plot to a thriller doesn’t it? Makes you think of Leonardo diCaprio and the movie that claimed “it will cost you everything” But it may actually be going on.

Africa, dictators, war lords, social media, blood diamonds, Linkedin, spam, conflict diamonds, Ivory Coast, Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, Leonardo diCaprio
Would you buy conflict diamonds? Or make your purchase from someone hiding their identity on social media?

Now with restrictions in place to stop conflict diamonds financing wars and dictators it looks like social media unfortunately has become an outlet for blood diamonds.

Came across the following out of context comment in about ten different discussions in Linkedin groups. If it was discussions about diamonds, investing or any subject of relevance to the comment, I would have understood. But that was not the case: “i am the most individual effective diamonds seller in sauther africa region.My primary market are individual buyer, I also assist new buyer who want to explored the market of diamonds in Africa. Diamonds is the most profitable business which an individual can earn so much money with few stone you purchse.” Followed by a yahoo email address, a name and a different name for Skype.

The member had no photograph or information on his Linkedin profile. The only enlightenment was that he is a member of numerous Linkedin groups.

Desperate way of selling diamonds

Why would someone selling diamonds resort to the kind of tactics deployed by for instance people desperate for a job who, post their CV:s as comments in discussions? A reputable dealer would definitely not act like that. So if he is genuine, I strongly suggest that he stops behaving like a spammer to make people trust him. His current behaviour gives the impression he’s a person under pressure to sell the diamonds. If not, why would someone be that desperate to sell a valuable commodity that’s in high demand?

Would you buy diamonds from a spammer?

Who in their right mind would buy diamonds from someone that resorts to guerilla tactics to sell them? Few, if any. So what makes someone employ such methods? What immediately comes to mind is conflict diamonds because it’s difficult to sell them through normal channels.

Illicit diamond trade funding Ivory Coast conflict?

Can’t help wondering of the origin of those diamonds and which war lords the sales will fund? The conflict in the Ivory Coast comes to mind. But groups in, for instance, The Republic of Congo, The Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola are also selling diamonds, for instance to Ivory Coast groups, to finance their insurgencies and fighting. If so, his desperation makes sense. He is most likely under pressure to sell a certain amount or he is in trouble with his bosses.

Or maybe the Linkedin seller isn’t from Africa at all but working for, say, an Afghan war lord? Difficult to prove where someone posting on social media actually resides, isn’t it.

Social media – outlet for blood diamonds?

On social media networks we are already inundated with “Nigeria letters”, beggars and all kinds of shady deals. So it makes perfect sense that peddling conflict diamonds is also going on.

Spammers illegally selling Viagra send out millions of emails daily since one sale only generates massive profits. And you don’t have to be Einstein to understand that one sale of illicit diamonds generate much more money than a sale of Viagra.

Make sure you buy diamonds certified by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme

We should all join forces to make it difficult for people to deal with blood diamonds on social media. If not, we help fuel conflict and keep tyrants in power. So I hope you make sure any diamonds you buy are certified by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. By doing so you will at least know the origin of the diamonds you buy. Can’t understand why, but diamonds from Zimbabwe are now cleared for sales on the international market. But is it really a good idea to buy diamonds from there? Don’t forget that by doing so you help keeping Mugabe in power.

Do you believe social media has become an outlet to sell blood diamonds? Have you also come across diamond dealers hiding their identity on, say, Linkedin, Facebook or Twitter? Would you consider buying diamonds from them just to make huge profits? If not, what do you suggest should be done to stop them from using social media networks to sell their goods? Let’s face it, if peddlers of conflict diamonds succeed in selling their goods on social media networks it will, as the movie pointed out, cost quite a few people everything.

photo: jenny downing – flickr

40 thoughts on “Blood Diamonds on Linkedin?

  1. Hi Catarina, I love your blog, and know that your informative posts have a positive impact on the world.

    I was shocked to learn that some of the people that are forced to do this work – were not only taken from their land, but were also forced to give up their rights to the land and the minerals below. I have to admit that I love diamonds, but it is very scary and sad to think that this was the way that they were found/harvested. Thanks again for your insight!


  2. Thank you for posting this article. This will open the eyes of so many and make them think twice before they engage with any dealings in diamonds especially when money is involved. Better be careful than to be sorry later!

  3. Diamonds are girl's best friend! But for me, they are just one of my fantasies. I could never afford such one. Seeing a diamond inspires me to work harder and earn more. But there are a lot of needs which I need to answer first. I don't know how could I have a diamond. Maybe, only in dreams.

  4. This is outrageous. No I would never buy diamonds like that. I had no idea these practices were going on. Thank you for your research and the knowledge I have gained this morning!

  5. Hi Catarina, First of all, I would never buy a diamond online!!

    I do understand the message in your post though. There are many unethical businesses, (or people behind them) that do not deserve or should be supported, and as you say, not only because of scams, but the 'shady' groups behind them.

    It is a shame that social media is being taken advantage of for unethical and inhumane ways. Although it should be stopped… I see this as being a very difficult task to be honest.

    I think posts like yours do heighten awareness though.

    Thanks so much for your insightful post and sharing what needs to be recognized.


    My recent post Missed the Boat on Starting an Online Business

  6. Similar things happened by the time. Some years ago, I received time to time fax from somebody explaining that his father just died, and he had to transfer funds out of the country. He was asking you to open a bank account to transfer the money and was ready to give you 15% of the total amount. But in order to cover some transfer costs, you had to transfer an amount of money (10.000 euros) . There are naïve people wh never retreived their money.
    Always the same thing: make money and business is not easy as some people are thinking. It is too nice to be true.
    My recent post Trust- responsibilities and motivation

  7. True Leslie. Spam is difficult to stop. However, the important issue here is conflict diamonds being peddled on social media. And that's something we all have to join forces to stop. Those diamonds kill.

  8. It is becoming a job in itself dealing with spam. I run a small forum in my spare time and it is hard to believe the nonsense that people will post and think it will be published.

    Anywhere where people can talk to each other there will be this nonsense. I wonder if it works or if it is just new people coming along all the time and following leads that have already been set. It is hard to see how spammers can make money from these activities.

    My recent post A Day Out In Monaco

  9. Wow…I had no idea this was happening on LinkedIn. This makes me wonder about all the requests I get for connections with what is obvious not a real name and no company or other information that I typically just ignore and don't even look at. I will definitely lbe paying more attendion in the future. I would be curious to know ifanyone actaully falls for this type of spam and makes a purchase.

    Great blog!!
    My recent post Addresses on resumes

  10. Catarina,

    Crooks follow the path of least resistance. If social media users aren't on their guard they will be taken in by these guys. The only way to stop them, for us as individuals, is to not respond to their emails by blocking them. On LinkedIn and other sites we need to have the owners block them. Where possible the proper authorities should be notified. I have received in the past emails purporting to be from some reputable banks. I had never done any business with them so it was clear that it was a scam. I forwarded the info to the bank. We all need to do that. We need to recognize that if it sounds too good to be true, it isn't true. As Edmund Burke said, 'for evil to succeed, all that is required is that men of good will do nothing.'

    1. Agree with you completely Jim.

      However, chances of Linkedin and other social media networks being able to stop these people becoming members are slim. Once one of their identities is removed they will just start a new account in another name.

      The person I mention in the article is obvious. But it doesn't take a genius to figure out that there are smart guys out there that con gullible people into, without knowing it, buying conflict diamonds. Or pay for nothing.

  11. True Dave, but seriously you can't believe that peddlers of conflict diamonds should be allowed to use Linkedin to sell their commodities? If so, conflicts and war lords will be funded and people die as a result.

  12. I guess you can sell anything any way you want these days with the help of the web. Thanks for the information. I had no idea whatsoever. The whole diamond industry is one I feel doused in the blood of so many poor souls to being with. It makes me sad really. After buying my wife's diamonds for our wedding (from a trusted family jeweler) my diamond buying days are over for a few years. 🙂

    Thanks again for the great article, Catarina.

    1. My pleasure Dennis. Just hope that people selling conflict diamonds will be prevented from using social media. If nothing else, by members refusing to buy diamonds from them.

  13. I wonder if this person actually gets any hits because, as you say, his spamming style certainly breeds mistrust. But it makes me wonder how many other more clever people out there are actually getting funds for the Ivory Coast and other areas of unrest. Thanks for bringing this to our attention — awareness is the most important part!
    My recent post Waterless Days

    1. Samantha I really don't think this person will succeed on social media. But I bet you, as you say, there are smarter dealers of conflict diamond who are making a lucrative business on social media.

  14. Yes Keyuri, spam is steadyli increasing on Linkedin. So unfortunately it's not surprising. However, anyone buying diamonds that way get what they deserve since ithey are really stupid, or at least gullible.

  15. Interesting post Catarina. I ask the same questions – who in their right mind would bother getting in touch with a Linkedin diamond selling spammer? I suppose like attracts like and these spammers attract the worst sort of buyers. Linkedin has a good reputation in the business community – I wonder why they don't filter out these kind of inconsistent profiles.
    My recent post Your Website- RIP or ROI

    1. Agree with you Catherine. But they don't filter out these guys, for some reason. And there are an abundance of fake profiles. But this was the first one I ever came across trying to spam people into buying diamonds.

  16. Catarina,
    I finally made it over here to read this. WOW. You know, this nor anything else both positive and negative really surprises me. Social media is taking over traditional media and the speed with which you can process information through social media only heightens the good or the bad activity. This is just another example (and a very good one). You mentioned earlier to me that we all have to work together to stop this and I agree. The way you stop this activity is to wave a flag and cut the information off at the source. Some of this, of course, will be difficult to do, but there again, you have to "network" to accomplish it!
    Excellent article, Bryan
    My recent post Using Quality Reviews To Help Your Site Rank

    1. Thank you Bryan. The bad side of social media is, as you say, the bad activity. Spamming people by email doesn't work that well anymore so they have to find new outlets. Did flag his comments as inappropriate. But if his profile is banned he will just open a new one. So the only way to stop these guys is that nobody buys from them. But there are unfortunately gullible people out there.

  17. I have never heard or seen anyone trying to sell diamonds on LinkedIn. As people are trying to sell many things I guess it was only time that diamonds would appear. I would have seen it as a scam and the worry is some people may actually get taken.
    My recent post You Must Do This if You Want to Succeed

    1. Susan, it was the first person I came across trying to sell diamonds on Linkedin as well. And by posting spam, on top of it. But when you think about it, it really makes sense. It's worth while for him if just one person buys.

  18. Frankly, anyone buying diamonds via social media is asking for trouble and more likely to be relieved of their money than getting value for it. Diamonds are complex and you need expert guidance to determine size, colour, clarity, cut and the consequent value – otherwise you risk, at best, ending up with pieces of glass, crystal or cubic zirconium.

    We've never bought, nor would buy, blood diamonds and always insist on them being properly certified before we would consider purchase.

  19. Hi Catarina, the spamming on Linkedin does concern me. We expect it on Facebook – not that it is right there – but LInkedin we had all hoped would be more immune to these tactics. I wouldn't buy diamonds from anyone spamming on LInkedin but am also not buying diamonds period :). I received a marriage proposal in a message on from a man (I am assuming it was a man) in Malaysia. The Internet sure can be an interesting place.

    1. Glad we agree Julie. But there is a lot of spam on Linkedin, unfortunately. Love your marriage proposal. About three years ago I was for a short while a member of another business network on social media. Left because Asian men were sending me photgraphs of themselves standing next to cheap cars. Pathetic, and they wrote they wanted to get to know me. Seems we have the same experiences::))

      1. I thought it was kind of funny – bordering on scary! They could have sent you photos far worse that that LOL – Yikes – did I just write that? 🙂 I have also gotten spam proposals of devoted love from WOMEN! Strange world we live in!

  20. What an amazing story Catarina. Had I seen that post on a LinkedIn group, I would have skimmed over it, muttered under my breath and proceeded on. On the other hand, you took this as an opportunity to write a thought-provoking article to bring awareness to this global issue.
    My recent post Social Networking and Casting a Bigger Net

    1. Pleased you like my idea, Sherryl. Bblood diamonds is a huge problem in our world. Hopefully this article will prevent a couple of gullible people from buying conflict diamonds, or get conned on social media.

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