Don’t be fooled by scammers on Pinterest
BBB warns Pinterest lovers to watch for con artists who access user accounts and pin scam products or websites
All markets – April 1, 2014 April Fool’s day is here and if you haven’t been fooled yet, you could be on your Pinterest account by a prank that isn’t funny at all. Better Business Bureau serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin warns that scammers are finding new and clever ways to deceive people. Just like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram before it, Pinterest is also becoming an outlet for scammers. Pinterest is a great way to find websites, tips and do-it-yourself ideas, but unfortunately it was also become a place for scammers to attempt to get your information or cause you to download harmful malware.
Common scam pins include celebrity and beauty photos, giveaway offers, before and after diet pics and even infographics. The images always have interesting captions that urge you to click. When you click these scam pins, you aren’t taken to an article or the real business’s website.
BBB advises users to be cautious of luring coupons advertising free or discounted gift cards to popular stores. These phishing techniques lead to a survey site, which prompts you to fill in personal information. It then asks you to re-pin the image to receive the coupon code or offer, spreading the scam to your followers. Other pins may simply be malicious and risk the download of harmful malware.
Scammers may also take advantage of security holes in third party applications that connect to Pinterest (such as those that automatically post your pins on Twitter) or insert malicious code into the “Pin This” button on other websites.
To keep your Pinterest account secure, BBB advises:
Report the pin. Spot a suspicious pin? Report it to Pinterest by clicking the flag icon at the bottom of the image.
Watch out for red flags. If pins use bad spelling, offer too good to be true deals, or is from an unknown suspicious site, those may be signs of a scam pin.
Change your password. If you suspect someone hacked your account or you used a malicious app, be sure to reset your password. Do this by clicking your name at the top of Pinterest. Then, click Settings. Follow the prompts to create a new, complex, password.
Log out of your account. Don’t stay logged into Pinterest when you aren’t using it.
Watch where you log in. Only log in on Pinterest.com and the official mobile app. Avoid look alike sites that use a similar domain.
Be careful about linking your account to other social media. If scammers get in, they can easily share scam pins on your Twitter and Facebook feeds too.
Check before you pin. Before you repin, take a second to hover on the image and check that destination link corresponds with the info on the pin. Scammers have been replacing the links in popular pins with links to websites housing malware.
To find out more about scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper.