GFI researchers came across a scam that’s making the rounds on Twitter, advertising a free $150 (112 EUR) Visa gift card in return for the users’ opinion regarding Pinterest, the latest trend in social media.
“Just tell us what do you think of Pinterest, and get a Free $150 Visa Gift Card now! [LINK]” reads the message posted on the PinterestDep account.
Experts noticed that more than 200 people already fell for the plot and clicked the link.
The link actually hides a shady page (billsweeps.com) that claims to offer $500 (375 EUR) in return for some information.
On the main page the unsuspecting victim is requested only to provide an email address, but once the user hands over the piece of information, another webpage is displayed, asking for other data, such as name, address, date of birth, cell phone, and home phone number.
On the bottom of the website the Terms and Conditions section reveals that the user must complete two reward offers from the “Gold” and “Silver” pages, and another six offers from the “Platinum” page. Also, the participant must convince three other friends to do the same.
In translation, this means that you not only hand them over information that the fraudsters can use to spam you via phone, email and even regular mail, but you also have to click on a lot of pages and banners that will most certainly earn them a lot of money paid by affiliate marketing services.
In the end, as in most situations, the internaut who blindly clicks on everything hoping to get the much promised prize money gains nothing.
This is why users are always advised to avoid contests and other promotions advertised with aggressive marketing techniques.
Fortunately, at the time of writing, our security software warned us about the site and even a Twitter alert flagged the site as being potentially unsecure. However, the site’s address can be changed at any time and the crooks can resume their normal activities.
Note. My Twitter account has been erroneously suspended. While this is sorted out, you can contact me via my author profile.