On sites like Facebook that have been around for a while, it’s usually pretty easy to spot a scam, as users are so accustomed to the particular look of messages and posts.
However, for growing sites users are often finding their way – possibly even experimenting with different ways to surf the site – making them prime targets for scammers.
So it is proving with Pinterest, the image-based network that has exploded onto the online scene in the last few months.
In a blog post, Symantec senior principal software engineer Nishant Doshi says the media attention Pinterest has garnered in the last two months has caused scammers to flood the site with enticing images and promises of free items.
"Most scam pages ask the user to fill in surveys, sign up for subscription services, reveal personal information, or even install unwanted executables,” Doshi writes.
"If an unsuspecting Pinterest user clicks on the link for one of the scam images, he or she is taken to an external website. That website states that in order to take advantage of the offer, they must re-pin the offer onto their own Pinterest board.
"This helps propagate the scam, as it now gains further credibility by being posted by a trusted source.”
The message, as always, is that if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Look out for more scam news next week as the Ministry of Consumer Affairs promotes Scam Awareness Week 2012.