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We all know that Pinterest is continuing to get bigger and bigger, and where there are millions of people online, there is a huge amount of nasty people trying to take advantage of this and make a quick buck. As Pinterest tops 20 million users, and businesses and marketeers are dreaming up imaginative and creative ways to push products and services, there’s probably a dark room full of spammers putting together the latest plot to target you – right now!!
As the web moves into it’s “visual age” and we rely more and more on images to keep us satisfied, spammers are starting to taking advantage, and Pinterest are going to have their hands full.
Viral marketing is not a new concept, and it’s not new to Social Media either, but viral images are a great way of spreading something quickly, and this is the problem. Images entice us, they get us drawn in immediately, and the simplicity of Pinterest allows us to forward these images unknowingly, at the click of a ‘pin it’ button.
Viruses, scams, and just about anything can hide behind our favorite pinned images, and this is where spinners (our interpretation of spammers and pinners) can be very clever or manipulative. URL’s of trending images can be edited and put out to circulation, and comments added to market a product or service.
What Scams Are Out There?
According to an interesting blog article by ModlandUSA, spammers are targeting original, copyright owned content, and adding comments to a re-pin before posting back out to the world. This particular blog writer had the following text added to his personally owned image. “Get 600 Place Concentrated Facebook Followers”. “…girls will do something for just some facebook likes”
Worse, spammers can change the hyperlink on a pin to forward a picture to a different website than was originally intended. Before you know it, you’ll be forwarded off to a random site selling Rolex watches, online dating, or a niche adult fetish. This article from GMA News highlights the use of diet scams that are appearing everywhere on the Pinterest site, and another blog article, posted by Business Week, gave an example of designer jewelry maker Michelle Espinoza being targeted by exactly this type of activity, highlighting the amount of customers that her business would have lost as a result.
The list is endless: Illegal music sites, dating, webcams, phones, and just about anything that we currently get into our email inbox every day.
What Can I Do?
Pinterest claim to be working hard to combat this potentially huge issue, and have recognised this is their blog post. They have included a “Report Pin” button on the site, but are, no doubt, spending heavily on trying to eradicate the problem It’s just that spammers and scammers are very clever and are normally one step ahead of us. Historically they have always found new way around any issues.
Here’s Pinterest’s tips on what to do to combat spam:-
- If you click on a link and the resulting page isn’t what you expect, return to Pinterest.com.
- Don’t click on a pin that promotes a free giveaway or looks like an advertisement. Pinterest doesn’t have any advertising and we don’t post surveys, giveaways, or other promotions. If an offer seems too good to be true, it’s very likely spam.
- Pinterest will only ask for your login and password details on Pinterest.com or on our official iPhone app. Don’t log in on other websites or on other apps.
- Pinterest.com is the only Pinterest website; other addresses containing the name “Pinterest” are not legitimate.
- Avoid interacting with accounts where their pins do not link to relevant content or their pins all link to the same source.
- You should choose unique, difficult-to-guess passwords for all of your online accounts, and you should update them regularly. Don’t reuse passwords across websites. If you’re ever concerned about your account, create a new password.
Be careful when you’re at home pinning anything that you can, use the report pin button, and always spare a quick thought for the bad people out there online.
Take Care Pinners!
The Pinterest News Team