As Pinterest continually grows in one of the largest and possibly the most popular of the image sharing social sites, it does have it’s share of scammers and spammers, just like any internet site that you could actually find yourself accidentally clicking on. But just like any email or web page you are asked to visit, you must always take precaution when proceeding to do so. That just makes best business sense to protect your computer and to protect others from becoming infected if you have unknowingly started a virus or you’ve shared your information without realizing your identity has been stolen.
Examples of Spam, Scams and Hoaxes
Spammers can set up bogus accounts, using an automated software, so they can follow you, in hopes of you following them back. They’ll pin what you think is interesting images, then you re-pin them, sharing them with others. Spammers can also hack your account, discovering what your password is, then taking over your Pinterest account and posting pins on your behalf.
Bogus surveys have made their way into Pinterest, creating a way for scammers to offer a free gift for someone that completes it. First, you’re lured into clicking on the free gift Pinterest image, then as part of receiving the free gift, you have to share the pin on your profile, thus providing a way for many more to access the pin so they can re-pin it. That’s where it can take off and become “viral” in a bad way.
After you complete the survey, you will be asked for address information and debit/credit card information so you can receive your free gift in the mail. The only gift you will receive is a big fat nothing!
As a photo sharing platform, you’re bound to run into fake images that have been altered or photoshopped to be considered as real images. Don’t fall for that. These are images created by your scammers. As I mentioned before, it’s best to practice caution when pinning or re-pinning images that look suspicious.
If you want to avoid the ugly side of scamming and spamming on Pinterest, here are three tips to remember when marketing and networking on Pinterest:
- Use caution when clicking on any image, even on friends’ sites and you should be just a bit wary about participating in surveys or re-pinning suspicious images.
- Never, ever disclose your password or provide personal information to a site you’re not comfortable with. If it sounds fishy, then it is most likely a scammer trying to lift your information and create an attack on your identity.
- Pinterest has been more vigilant in putting the right protection tools in place to avoid scammers and spammers to infiltrate their platform, but it helps for you as a user to abide by these simple rules to keep your account protected as well. If you feel you have found a board or a pin that is suspicious, then report the pin to Pinterest. In the pinned image itself, you can click on the grey flag located at the bottom of the pin, then select the reason for reporting it. See screenshots below.
Now that you’ve been equipped with the information you need to know to avoid spammers, scammers and hoaxes, pin on! 🙂
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