New Email Scam Targets Pinterest Users

A new email scam has surfaced, this time targeting the popular social network Pinterest –  pinboard-style photo sharing – and other popular social media sites like Foursquare, MySpace and LinkedIn. With most social sites, users receive email notifications when new activity has occurred on their page or profile. For example, if you have a new follower on Twitter or someone has posted something to your wall on Facebook, you’ll usually receive an email notification, unless you have this function disabled in your settings.

Because we’ve grown accustomed to receiving these types of notifications, we begin to recognize the sites they are coming from as trusted resources. So when a notification includes a link to a recommendation request on LinkedIn or a friend request on Foursquare, why would we hesitate to click on it? This is exactly why this new email scam is gaining traction. Pretty slick.

How it works

Victims receive an email notification from a trusted social site, with a link that leads to a website that has previously been found to engage in fraudulent activities. Here’s a breakdown of the scenarios that have been reported so far:

  • LinkedIn – recipients are asked to confirm their email address
  • MySpace – recipients are asked if they’d like to cancel their account
  • Pinterest – recipients receive a ‘pinning’ notification that contains a malicious URL
  • Foursquare – recipients receive an email alert, stating that someone has left them a message

It’s getting a lot trickier to recognize what’s a scam and what’s not, but the best thing to do to protect yourself is to note the email addresses you usually receive notifications from and delete anything else that looks suspicious. In the case of Pinterest, notifications coming from pinbot@pinterest.com are a-ok.

Have you seen this scam cross your inbox? If so, sound off in the comments and let us know!

In other news, are you following us on Pinterest yet?

Heather Magee

As a long-time lifestyle and entertainment blogger, Heather is just foraying into the land of internet security and online threats. An avid traveler, skier and obsessive advocate for all things social, you'll usually find Heather with an iPhone in one hand, macchiato in the other, tweeting up a storm.