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Pinterest for Android Pins Spam to Your Notification Bar

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Pinterest for AndroidPinterest for Android is a poorly designed app, but worse than lots of crashing, it also brings along spam ads that are known to be full of tricks and potentially scams.

In case you aren’t aware, Pinterest is the latest social media craze, providing users with a fun way to pin, or share, their favorite websites, photos, recipes and more.The Pinterest website is interesting, and the iPhone app is easy to use, but the Android app is awful.

There’s a reason for that. The Pinterest App for Android isn’t really an app, and it isn’t from the people behind Pinterest. Look at the screenshots below to see examples of these ads in the fake Pinterest for Android app.

Pinterest Android App

If you install Pinterest for Android, you are simply directed to the mobile website, and you will soon get notifications telling you that you have won a free iPad 2 or prompting you to download MP3s for free. These ads don’t show up in the app, but rather in your notification bar as you can see above.

Free iPad Android notification spam

Sample of an "offer" from the fake Pinterest app.

 

This is annoying and potentially dangerous if you hand over your login information to a third-party or respond to these offers, which are at the worst scams or at the least designed to prevent you from getting anything of value.

Pinterest for Android Fake

This Pinterest App for Android is a Fake.

I used the Addons Detector from the Android Market, and followed this guide to finding out which apps are sending ad notifications in Android with a green plus sign in the notification bar. I found out that the fake Pinterest app was the culprit. Addons Detector found that this app was using AirPush and Leadbolt to send these annoying ads to Android phones, pretending to be from Pinterest.

Fake Pinterst App

If you are getting these notifications, the easiest thing to do is to uninstall Pinterest from your Android phone and go back to using the mobile website.

This is another example of why Google needs to spend more time and resources keeping the Android Market clean. The app clearly claims to be from Pinterest, and if you try to visit the developer’s address you get a parked landing page at GoDaddy.

Get with it Google. If you use Pinterest, pin this to help keep other Pinterest users from getting annoying spam notifications on Android.

Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and Notebooks.com. He's always looking for ways to help you get the most of your gear and loves to talk about tech on radio and TV. Josh uses an iOS and Android devices as well as Mac and Windows Computers. Josh Smith on Google+ Email: [email protected]

18 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    02/05/2012 at 8:54 am

    • Lee Jarratt

      02/05/2012 at 9:49 am

      How fitting, a spam post on an article on spam

  2. Taaally

    02/05/2012 at 5:44 pm

    The Temple Run app for Android is by the same people and does the same thing.

  3. Jaqua

    02/06/2012 at 10:36 am

    That’s not an Airpush app

  4. Alin Vlad

    02/07/2012 at 5:30 am

    Thanks guys for the heads-up. I almost got my phone infected yesterday with the Pinterest fake app. Luckily, it was already removed from Android Market. I even wrote a blog post about it, where i mentioned you guys :) 
    http://blog.bullguard.com/2012/02/mobile-security-pinterest-android-scam.html

  5. Ali Aboalsaud

    02/11/2012 at 12:00 pm

    Unfortunately, I’ve only see this after I got stuck with this app. Now, this app doesn’t show up in “my apps” in the market and I can’t uninstall it. Can anyone help with how to uninstall?

    • Ali Aboalsaud

      02/11/2012 at 12:02 pm

      After posting, it showed in the apps section in my setting and I was able to uninstall so ignore my post

  6. Megan

    02/12/2012 at 4:56 am

    I downloaded it and I can’t find it in the market now to uninstall I’ve tried restarting my phone everything I can’t get it off! Help please_

    • Kate

      02/28/2012 at 9:21 pm

      Download airpush detector and open it. It will detect the bad app and let you uninstall it right from there.

      • Val

        03/29/2012 at 2:40 pm

        OMG THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This seemed to be a phenomena but now it has been removed before I smashed my phone!

      • Jon

        07/12/2012 at 4:52 pm

        HELP! This doesn’t show in my programs and Airpush Detector doesnt find it. The spam keeps hitting my notification bar. How do I get rid of it!?

  7. Karemelia

    02/19/2012 at 12:10 pm

    Thanks, you prevented me from downloading this fake!!

  8. Soundgirl

    03/02/2012 at 7:35 pm

    I was also duped by this fake app and ended up with about $50 in charges added to my phone bill! Beware!!!

  9. Tim White

    03/18/2012 at 6:38 pm

    Just uninstalled this app too. Maybe google should at least check apps that claim to be “official” are actually from the correct domain! (And check that the domain hosts the offical app, and isn’t a fake page that is removed a few days later)

    Hope it hasn’t cost us anything in extra chargers.

  10. Oidjio

    04/28/2012 at 2:12 am

    I found this out using the app Addons Detector, I recommend it if you are getting spam push notifications and need to know which app is the culprit!

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  12. Fang

    07/21/2012 at 4:41 pm

    I’m working on developing an Pinterest Android App by myself. You can find the snapshots and apk download link here: http://pinterest.com/WillardSmith/pinterest-android-app/.

    Although currently the functions are quite limited, it has no ad, no extra notification, no security issue. Thanks.

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