Wednesday, May 16, 2012

McAfee to Pinterest Users: Pin with Caution!

Don't bother me, I'm pinning!McAfee is advising Pinterest users to “pin with caution” to avoid falling for scams shared by cybercrooks looking to make a quick buck off of the pinboard-style social sharing site.

The scams are likely to resemble those shared on other social networking sites like Facebook:

  • A “free gift card” offer or “shocking video” is posted on the site.

  • Upon clicking it, the user is taken to another site that asks them to share (or “Pin”) the content before redeeming the offer.

  • The user is redirected to a site that asks them to complete a never-ending cycle of surveys or an e-commerce site where the spammer can make money through an affiliate program.

“Many of these scams ask users to complete surveys which require the user to fill in his or her personal details like name, email address and mobile number.” McAfee warned, “This information can be used in various malevolent activities like spamming, but in the case of mobile devices, this may lead to premium calling numbers where users are stuck with the bill.”

Protect Yourself Against Pinterest Scams

To avoid becoming a victim, McAfee offers the following tips:

  • Never share your password.  These tools make it very easy to mass-comment or post from any account.

  • If any page asks you to “Pin It” before you can see the content, this is mostly likely a scam. Do not click on the “pin it” button and leave the page.

  • If any page offers you a “free gift card” and redirects you to a survey, this is most likely a scam. Do not click on the “pin it” button and leave the page.

  • Be careful while clicking links that have catchy titles like “shocking video,” “you will not believe it,” ”free give away,” etc. Most of the time, these lead to scams.

What to Do If You Fall for a Pinterest Scam

If you happen to fall for a Pinterest scam, make sure that you:

  • Remove the spam pins that were posted on your account

  • Report any other pins related to the scam using the "Report Pin" feature.

  • Change your Pinterest password if you shared it at any time.

Have you come across any scams on Pinterest?

Photo Credit: Inkhouse

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