Pinterest is the newest social networking site that’s steadily gaining popularity among users this year. Users can create their own “boards” where they can “pin” images or videos of anything they like. Users can “re-pin” images and videos posted by other users to their own boards or they can use the Pin It button to grab images from various sites or videos from YouTube.
Symantec experts noticed that the scam begins just as it would on Facebook or other social media networks. A post that advertises free gift cards for a popular establishment is presented, allegedly offered by Pinterest itself.
Once the link or the image is clicked, the unsuspecting users are taken to a third-party site that urges them to re-pin the offer in order to win the much desired prize.
By convincing users to pin the scams on their own profiles, the crooks ensure that a large number of people will see it, increasing their chances to fraudulently earn money.
After the Pin It button is pressed, the user is redirected to a classic survey page which offers more prizes in return for an email address and other sensitive information.
Experts believe that the scammers can earn up to $64 (48 EUR) for each user they dupe, which means that even if the number of victims is low, the cybercrooks can make a lot of money.
Internauts should be aware that these surveys don’t just steal their email addresses and phone numbers, but in many cases they sign them up for paid services and even install pieces of malware.
Symantec determined that the individuals that run these scams are not exactly programming geniuses, since they went through a number of iterations until they managed to make the sites work properly, in many cases requesting help from the customers of programming forums.
Users who already fell for these types of plots are recommended to un-pin the shady advertisements from their profiles to make sure that others are not tempted to click on them.