Pop star Justin Bieber naked, splashing in the ocean, his signature mop of hair covering his eyes, his private, not-safe-for-work parts obscured by the spray of a wave — the scene is many a tween girls' dream, and right now, it's the hook behind a new Pinterest scam.
A post on the social networking pinboard has been circulating showing the picture and a message that says, "Click the image Above. OMG I've Officially Seen it All! EXCLUSIVE J Bieber XXX Tape!!!" researchers from the security firm Bitdefender wrote.
Clicking on the racy image of the teen heartthrob takes users out of the Pinterest world and to a Facebook page promising an adult video of Bieber. But, as with most sex tape scams, like the ones that have used Nicki Minaj, Charlie Sheen, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus as bait, the Bieber scam tells would-be watchers they first have to fill out a survey.
There is no tape, of course, and completing the survey simply generates revenue for the scammers.
While the content on this particular scam is well-worn — "scams centered on sex and Justin Bieber have already gained a spot in the scam hall of fame," Bitdefender's Ioana Jelea wrote — this one is unique in that it taps into the captive audiences of both Pinterest and Facebook.
In recent months, Pinterest's rapid rise in popularity has made it an attractive platform for cybercriminals. In an email to SecurityNewsDaily earlier this month, a Pinterest representative said the site's engineers recognize that it is an enticing target for scammers, and the site is "actively working to manage issues as they arise." Pinterest, the representative said, is "revisiting the nature of public feeds on the site to make it harder for fake or harmful content to get into them."
If you find yourself face to face with this Justin Bieber sex tape scam or any other suspicious-looking Pinterest or Facebook post, do not click on any links or attempt to watch out download any videos. A little common sense on the Web, coupled with anti-malware software, can keep your computer out of trouble.