3 Ways to Identify and Avoid Pinterest Spam Attackers

Have you suddenly gotten email notices that a bunch of people you don’t know are  following ALL of your boards on Pinterest? Don’t just blindly follow them back! Here’s what’s going on…

Apparently since mid March, some unscupulous people out there are creating fake accounts, pinning one or two photos into hundreds of pin boards, and inking these pins to sites that launch a variety of money-making scams. Then, they go out and find people by the hundreds to follow – hoping you’ll blindly follow them back and click through on their pins which will make them a bunch of money.

I contacted the good folks at Pinterest when I started getting these ‘people’ following me and reported them. I got a reply soon after that said, “Thanks for letting us know! When I clicked the links, the accounts appear to have been removed already. We have automatic spam-detection features in place or someone else on the team may have suspended them – either way, if you come across others, please let us know. Again, we hugely appreciate your reports, thank you!”

Yay, Pinterest!

It’s unfortunate that this great web site is being attacked like this daily, but it’s awesome to know that they have a solution in place. Major kudos to Ben and the gang!

So, how can you tell if a new follower of your boards is one of these spammers?

1. When you get an email notice that someone (or a bunch of someones) is following you, click on their name to check out who they are.

2. On the top of the pinterest screen, do you see hundreds of boards, very few followers, and hundreds of people they are following?

3. Is there only one or two pins per board and sometimes the board title doesn’t even match the picture of the pin?

Most likely this is a fake person and one of the spammers. You can click through a pin to see where it goes, but that will usually earn them some money because they get paid everytime someone clicks on their links. Another problem you may run into if you click through…a virus may download onto your computer…ack!

My advice…don’t click. Just delete that email notice and get back to pinning!

Hey, you can follow me by clicking on the Pinterest logo in the sidebar at the right.

Pin ya later!

Comments

  1. Thanks very much, Nancy. I’ve recently had a group of Pinners follow all my boards that I was suspicious of. They are all pretty, 20 something women, from Berlin, all with a quirky quote on their home page, and none of their pins match their boards. I just couldn’t figure out what they could gain by doing this… so I searched for some info and found your article. I’ve reported these to Pinterest, thanks again.

    • I know…that’s what alerted me to do a little investigating. It’s important to spread the word to let folks know about these meanies and how to avoid enabling them. I’m so glad I could help!

  2. Thank you for posting this and make people aware this is happening. I just joined Pinterest 4 weeks ago and I started getting these strange followers. I keep getting emails every night saying this person is following me. I didn’t take me long to figure out this person is making a bunch of fake accounts and started following me. I know people wouldn’t normally do that for me unless I know them and they are my friend. Funny thing cause I just went to a assembly telling kids about identity theft and scammers. That just got me more paranoid in this situation. I reported this person and blocked all their fake accounts. I also keep changing my password on Pinterest. I could tell this person was making fake accounts because they never used a profile picture of a real person, just some random cartoon characters. And then the 7 fake profiles that followed me all had 4 boards about desserts/food, with 5 pins in each, all pinned two weeks ago. And their profile description about themselves was in the same writing style, just different things about what they liked. And it sounded suspicious. Not to mention they didnt like anything, they followed so many people. These are the fake profiles, so if anyone reads this comment and sees that their are being followed by these fake profiles; block them and report them. We don’t need people like this on Pinterest. They are Pam Kinsey, Pauline Ingram, Helen Renner, Imogene Green, Mary Fuller, Violet Furlong, and Donna Thomas. And there could be more, who knows. Its obvious its the same person behind those profiles. Please be careful who you come across on Pinterest. Thanks!

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