Spammers Using Pinterest Pics To Hide Scammy Links

Through the evolution of e-mail, the Internet and social media, most of the rules for identifying spam remained the same. The text of a scam e-mail sent on old school AOL isn’t that different from the spam links posted today on Twitter or Facebook. But photo-based social sites like Pinterest are giving nogoodniks a less-familiar way to trick people into clicking.

It’s incredibly easy to create a Pinterest page, then load it up with images people on which people will want to click. And it’s just as easy to have those legitimate-looking photos link back to less-than-legitimate content.

But what isn’t easy, is getting the problem resolved.

Bloomberg has the story of a jewelry maker who found that a photos of her products were being used to direct people to spam sites. She says she contacted Pinterest every day for 10 days before she was able to get the images with offending links removed.

But some damage had already been done, both to those who clicked and to the woman whose images had been swiped.

“I can’t gauge how many customers I lost,” she tells Bloomberg. “But I did have people messaging me asking, ‘Are you linked to spam?’ I was just distraught.”

Spammers Invade Pinterest-Era Social Media, Avoid E-Mail [Bloomberg]

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  1. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    2 rules of the internet:

    1. If it exists, there is porn of it.
    2. If it exists, it gets used for scams.

  2. Blueskylaw says:

    So if there’s a picture of a cute cat (not you Cat :-( on the website, why would you feel it is automatically safe to click on the link? There’s a reason they want you to click on it and it’s not because they are generous. People who aren’t new to the internet have no reason to complain if they fall for these “scams.”

  3. kethryvis says:

    i have noticed a huge uptick in spam on Pintrest over the last few weeks. They’re pretty easy to spot, out-of-place pins (running shoes, and plain clothing on the Everything:Geek board is what caught my eye), descriptions that are very plain jane, all of them pinned to a default board name, and all of them have links going to similar domains. i sent a message to Pintrest about a few of them and they were all removed, but it did take several days. Pintrest needs to figure out how to get a handle on this, and soon, before it becomes even more useless than it already is. (yes, i’m a woman and i don’t get Pintrest.)

    • valleyval says:

      Agreed, and in the past few days they have gotten increasingly sophisticated. Now the spam images match the category they are posted in. Apart from being incredibly annoying, they have made Pinterest unusable.

    • AtlantaCPA says:

      I read an article that said Pinterest is basically a spammer’s heaven. All the barriers to spam are non-existent on that site. Probably will get worse before it gets better.

    • nellybelly says:

      Yep. I used to love surfing the pinterest Kids section because it had great ideas for arts and crafts, projects, etc for kids. Now, it is, I would say, 75% spam. It’s pretty easy to spot once you get used to it (generic stock photo with generic title like “Toddler Feeding Tips For Busy Moms” or something but it’s totally ruined the fun of the site.

  4. Lyn Torden says:

    This is not really any different than comment spam on blogs. If you give them a place to put a hyperlink, it will get used … heavily … by spammers and scammers. It’s the opportunity to put a hyperlink somewhere other than their own site that attracts them. Take that away and they won’t come.

  5. You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

    I deleted my Pinterest account the other day because of all the spammers.

  6. gman863 says:

    Photobucket is almost as bad.

    Their pop-ups and spam ads are industrial strength, able to bust through both the IE9 security settings and ad blocking software.

  7. magnetic says:

    I occasionally get “followed” by Pinners who are apparently sexy young women who don’t pin anything at all.

  8. Caprica Six says:

    That is currently happening to me. Somehow some skeezoid liked a coupla of my photos then now I’m getting tagged on his/her Pintrest photos with incredible weight loss opportunities!

  9. bubbledumpster says:

    Don’t even try to search for the word “soup” on Pinterest.