HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — You may just be trying to find the perfect recipe for dinner tonight, but in reality, you could get a whole lot more than you bargained for. A new social media scam is going around and this time, it’s targeting Pinterest users.
“It starts off with an email, maybe it`s a message that says a friend has sent you a pin, that`s what you want to watch out for,” said Michele Mason, president of the Better Business Bureau of North Alabama. If it’s a generic message instead of naming your exact friend on Pinterest, watch out. If it’s a real Pinterest recommendation, the email will tell you which one of your friends wants to share it.
“What happens is you might click on the link and all of a sudden you`re on a different page than you expected to be,” said Mason. “It may even look like you`re on someones Pinterest page but behind the scenes, they could be downloading spyware or a virus on your computer.”
That`s where the harm comes in. At that point, you’ve basically opened the front door for the scammers and invited them in for a glass of sweet tea. Mason said it’s just the nature of the beast we like to call social media. “We`re just so used to sharing on Pinterest, it’s not unusual you see someone has shared something they want you to take a look at, you may not take the time to really pay attention to where it came from and you quickly click on that link,” she said.
As great as the sharing networks usually are, scams like this one are always going to be popping up. “Every new platform that comes on like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram has issues,” said Mason. “It just opens up more doors for scam artists to reach out to us and it’s just that one time we`re not paying attention they can really catch us off guard.’
If you worry that you are on a page that you shouldn’t have visited, go ahead and run your antivirus software and do an update. Make sure it looks for any activity that shouldn’t be on your computer. It may also be helpful to log out of your Pinterest account and change your password.