Home A Guide to Various Pinterest Scams, And How to Avoid Them

A Guide to Various Pinterest Scams, And How to Avoid Them

Earlier this month we wrote about a few of the Pinterest-related scams. Since then, there have been others reported. Over lunch today with my stepdaughter, who is in the process of learning how to use Pinterest, she asked me if the site was “safe for running my business.” I told her she was being a bit paranoid.

Yes, people can be fooled into revealing all sorts of information, as we reported with particular image-based phishing scams. But there are others that have been observed out there too, including enticing users to take surveys, sign up for subscription services, reveal personal information and even install unwanted executables on their PCs. Sigh. The Internet can be such a nasty place.

Symantec has a series of explanations on how the scams operate here, including a fancier version of the gift-card scam that we cited from the Trend Micro blog post.

There is also this post from The Daily Dot that shows how scammers have taken over contests on Pinterest. This is because you can’t remove pins that are put there by another contributor if you allow anyone access. “Some brands have already discovered a spam-free option for holding a contest. Instead of inviting users to pin to the brand’s board, it asks users to design and submit their own boards to the contest.” An alternative is to email the pins or tag them on Twitter with a special hashtag. Arrgh. The Daily Dot had an earlier post here that showed just by adding someone or some famous brand to your site as a collaborator could be used for evil purposes.

So be careful out there fellow pinners. Think twice before a link that asks you to download something to your computer is really necessary. Avoid dialogue boxes that ask you to enter any personal information. Don’t take any surveys from unknown third parties, or better yet, avoid surveys altogether. Don’t use your email address to sign up for anything that you didn’t initiate. And don’t click on something that sounds too good to be true, because it probably is.

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