By Rachel Newman
Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media websites of the year. It’s not too much of a stretch to call it the Internet’s “it-thing.”
Consumers use the website like a virtual pin-board, sharing and commenting on topics from food & wine to weddings and fashion, just to name a few.
Users have joined the website in droves, and, as we’ve seen before, where consumers go, scam artists are sure to follow. Yesterday, McAfee, the security software maker, released a blog which outlined new money-making tactics scam artists are using to trick consumers.
McAfee reported that scam toolkits have become widely available on message boards across the internet. These toolkits are nearly foolproof and require very little programming knowledge to execute.
The first scam asks Pinterest users to unlock a webpage by pinning to their account. Once they do, the webpage redirects to Amazon under the scammer’s ID, thus earning them money from Amazon through the online-referral marketing program. As of now, this scam has not proven damaging for consumers.
Another scam affects those using Pinterest from their smart phones. Users who repin pornographic photos will begin a cycle of expensive phone calls that show up on their wireless bills.
The above scams are only a sampling of the burgeoning scammer and spammer market that Pinterest promises that it is quickly addressing. Here are a few of the BBB Golden Rules for online safety:
Be suspicious. You can’t be too careful online, and BBB says that if you don’t know where a link leads, don’t click on it.
Use caution when giving out personal information on the internet. Use software to keep information safe, and only give out your information if you trust the company. Check the BBB Business Review before buying from a company of which you have no direct knowledge.
Back up your information. Viruses can affect just your email, but, too often, they spread throughout your entire computer. While buying a new computer can be painful, losing pictures, documents and music can hurt even more. Once a month, once a week, even once a day, take the time to back up information that you can’t live without.
For more information about staying safe online, read the BBBlog on hackers, scams and viruses.