26.03.2012,

Author:  SB

Gift Coupon spammers now also aim at Pinterest users

More and more web 2.0 platforms get spammed with fake offers

There are various active spam campaigns spreading on the pinboards of Pinterest users, such as e.g. fake H&M coupons, an offer for a free coach handbag, fake Walmart, Ikea, Starbucks, Apple iPad, etc. Some Pinterest accounts have at least one whole album full of those dubious offers, promoting various brands:
Screenshot of a Pinteret account spreading various dubious gift cards

It’s the usual game: people visiting the website are asked to share the website on their Pinterest pinboard and then click the “final step” button to allegedly receive the promised gift.
Screenshot of a website announcing a free coach handbag

This final step includes a variety of websites on which the user has to take part in quizzes or online surveys but he/she definitely has to register and therefore give away personal data. Have a look at the variety of websites we’ve encountered and note the poor translations, most probably done with an automatic translation program:

Screenshot of a website showing up after opening a Walgreen coupon - Step 1Screenshot of a website showing up after opening a Walgreen coupon - Step 2
Screenshot of a website showing up after opening a Walmart coupon - Step 1Screensot of a website showing up after opening a Walmart coupon - Step 2
Screenshot of a website showing up after opening a Walmart coupon - Step 2

Many of these sites have already been part of similar Facebook scam attacks, as reported earlier. Don’t fall for such to-good-to-be-true promises!

What you can do to remain safe:

  • Use an up-to-date, comprehensive security solution with a virus scanner, firewall, http scan and real-time protection. A spam filter, to get rid of unwanted spam, is a must-have, too.
  • Do not enter your data on any of these websites! The data collectors will use this for further fraud and probably also sell the information to other crooks!
  • Do not click on links or download files if you received a message from a foreigner. The websites and files might harm your PC. Even if the message comes from a friend, but looks different from usual messages, you better ask him and reassure yourself that he willingly sent you this message.
  • Do not surf the Internet while you are logged in to services like social networks simultaneously in the same browser. Fraudsters can manipulate your browser session and use your social network account to spread unwanted messages, etc.
  • Always log-out after your visit in social networks. Especially if the computer you are using is used by several other people or is a public machine, e.g. in universities, internet cafés, etc.
  • If you have fallen victim to this scam and shared the link on your social network wall, delete it as soon as possible! Otherwise, your friends might be tempted to click it and therefore share it as well.


What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a relatively new social media platform for German users but it is growing. Founded in the US, it offers the possibility to follow other user’s visual posts on their virtual pinboard. The idea is to “pin” interesting, unusual, lovely, hilarious, advertising or simply any picture to the pinboard and share it with the online community.

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