Social Networks

Scammers Blur Lines Between Pinterest and Facebook

Fake free Pinterest Visa gift card giveaway on Facebook, linked webpage hosts unsafe content

A Facebook post announcing a limited-time Pinterest Visa gift giveaway prompts users to Share the news and Like an unknown page, then takes them to a webpage carrying potentially malicious content.

References to the 1030 remaining gift cards and almost 6.5 million people having already liked the unknown page adds extra spunk to scammers’ effort to persuade as wide an audience as possible.

Though it poses no real danger to Pinterest fans, this new scam variant strengthens the umbilical chord that seems to tie together the two major online social networks of the moment.  Yesterday, a sex-themed scam took online socialites from Pinterest to Facebook. Not so long ago, Facebook ads linked back to a Pinterest gift card scam. It is becoming clearer that scammers have decided to take very seriously their role as social network go-between.  We may well be witnessing the birth of a new entity in the classic scam-making scenario: the victim mule, which steals “impressionable” or novice users and carries them, even temporarily, from one platform to another.

Classic social baits such as leaked sex-tapes and gift cards have already proven to be not platform-dependant, but human-dependant, so that a joint Facebook and Pinterest plan to warn users against such e-threats might be necessary. For the moment, it seems social network security is dealt with as if each new virtual social playground that springs up is by default safe from the perils its elders have run up against. A more proactive and collaborative approach might save all online social actors, old and new alike, a lot of trouble.

This article is based on the technical information provided courtesy of Tudor Florescu, BitDefender Online Threats Analyst 

All product and company names mentioned herein are for identification purposes only and are the property of, and may be trademarks of, their respective owners.

About the author

Ioana Jelea

Ioana Jelea has a disturbing (according to friendly reports) penchant for the dirty tricks of online socialization and for the pathologically mesmerizing news trivia. From gory, though sometimes fake, death reports to nip slips and other such blush-inducing accidents, her repertoire is an ever-expanding manifesto against any Victorian-like frame of thought that puts a strain on online creativity. She would like to keep things simple, but she never does.

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