Seemingly overnight, Pinterest gained massive momentum, making cyber scammers sit up and take notice, then jump right in.
But the opportunities the site gives to those looking to make a quick buck are not open only to experienced scammers, but to novices as well, as Pinterest scam toolkits have been made available for sale.
“We have found that there are already lots of ready-to-use tools that make it easy for anyone to start Pinterest scams without much difficulty or technical skill,” says McAfee’s Hardik Shah. “These tools are so easy that many require only the attacker or scammer to change a couple of lines of code in the available kit. They can literally start a new Pinterest scam within minutes!”
Usually sold on underground forums, these toolkits contain a great number of helpful tools (click on the screenshot to enlarge it):
All actions needed to scam users are included and automated: from creating Pinterest invites and mass comments on posts, from mass creation of bit.ly links to scraping Amazon for products based on given keywords and then submitting them to Pinterest.
Pinterest scams usually work by luring people in with offers of free gift cards, and the offered links land them either on sites hosting survey scams, on Amazon or other sites (which results in the scammers earning money by referral), or lead them to premium rate Trojans (if the Pinterest visitor uses a mobile device to visit the site).