As one of today’s fastest growing social media sites, Pinterest is generating a lot of interest. Because of all this interest it’s also getting some undesirable attention from cyber scammers. Its “click the picture” nature makes it easy to visit the latest fashion site but also makes it easy for someone to send you to a very unfashionable fake survey site or malware site.
The current fiendish fad is to whisk you off to a fake survey site promising the likes of a $10 Starbucks gift card or a chance to win a Coach bag. Their real goal is to get you to first, pin the picture to your board to help propagate the scam. Second, they may send you to a legitimate survey site for which the scammer will be paid a few cents or you’ll end up on a not-so-legitimate survey site where they will try to get you to enter personal information, account numbers, card numbers, passwords and anything else the criminals feels they can turn around and sell. Symantec estimates scammers running this little game are netting a few hundred dollars a day for their efforts. At $10,000 a month, it’s doubtful these will be going away in the near future.
How to protect yourself?
1. If you’re being promised something for free but are required to re-pin before you can proceed, it’s probably a scam.
2. Don’t ever enter personal information into any kind of “survey”.
3. Don’t download or buy anything based on a site you reached indirectly through Pinterest. If you see something you like go to the site directly. That way, you are sure to be dealing with the real thing and not a phony, cloned site designed to do nothing more than steal your credit card information.