How to not spread stolen Pins on Pinterest

how to not spread stolen pins on Pinterest

Last Thursday was a nice day. The sun was shining, the birds singing and the sky was blue. When I turned on my computer I did not know yet that something would change my mood for the next couple of days.

I don’t like reporting things, but when I smell unbelievably atrocious audacity I just can’t withstand the urge to go after those who use other people’s hard work to make money. I would not even say they make fast money. I mean, those spammers spend a lot of time and tactics into their work and it’s kind of an evil masterpiece.

Back to that Thursday morning.

I innocently pinned some pretty embroidery pins to my Pinterest boards. Then, I found one of mine. Great! But oh, this is not linked to Pumora. I clicked on the link and it jumped to a very basic website filled with affiliate links. No contact info, no nothing. Just pages and pages of ama*on affiliate links.

This person basically steals my pins to promote his/her website and makes money off the people who click their links.

Ok. There is a procedure for this. I reported the 2 pins I found as my own intellectual property to Pinterest and they got removed. End of the story? No, my dear, I wish it was…

A fellow embroidery blogger who got stolen from, too, found the Pinterest account that was making these pins.

There were over 12.000 stolen pins of embroidery bloggers and businesses all over the globe.

But that’s not all. That spammer has many accounts. I found 9 14 until now. The pins lead to different website domains, but they all direct to the same website. With pins that he/she never created. Pins from hard working embroidery enthusiasts who even might depend on these pins for income.


Why do these stolen pins hurt Embroidery businesses?

The original pin receives less traffic

Imagine you are on a pinning spree. Do you pin a pin with the same picture again and again? NO. At least if you remember it. So if you pin the false pin first, you are more likely to not pin the original pin, too.

The traffic those false pins generate actually should have gone to the original page. Many embroidery creators use Pinterest to show their work and depend on the people who click the links and then maybe buy their patterns or ebooks. If their traffic gets stolen, they earn less money.


The stolen pin discredits the original source

Have you ever clicked on a pin and discovered that what you were looking for was not there at all? Would you click that type of image again if it mostly leads to totally unrelated content? For example, my tutorial pins from the lexicon have my name written on it. This way the person who sees the pin associates the image with my website. Then, she or he clicks and arrives at a completely unrelated website. And that happens multiple times with multiple pins. Would you consider pinning these tutorials?

This way people associate a fraudulent website with my images and my name. Not cool.

How can you pin without helping Pinterest Spammers?

Look at the link before pinning – SERIOUSLY!

I admit that I was guilty of not checking links of every single Pinterest pin, too. But I think we all clicked on links that lead to false websites or nothing at all. And it is frustrating to not be able to see that tutorial or list of 100 things to… or the 5 housekeeping tips that I was promised in the pin.

So before you pin anything, hover over the image and take a look at the bottom left to see where that link leads to.

  • If there is no link – this leads to nothing and is a pretty worthless pin.
  • If it’s a website that you know or the same as watermarks show on the pins – the pin is safe.
  • The pin leads to google or other search engines? – don’t bother pinning, the pin won’t be there.
  • The pin leads to social media like Instagram? – I’m currently not checking those, but I think they might lead to false accounts, too.
  • Cryptic links like s-media cache… or pinming… lead to no website other than the picture of the pin

If you don’t know the website or it’s a highly cryptic link – don’t pin it. Or at least check it first before you spread it further to all the people who follow your account.


how to report stolen pins on pinterest

What to do with a stolen pin?

Report it to Pinterest! It’s really easy and quickly done.

  1. click on the three dots on the bottom right if you are looking at it from the feed, or at the top left if you have maximized the pin.
  2. click on report pin
  3. click on this pin isn’t useful
  4. click on I can’t find the image on the site OR the pin’s link is broken

Alternatively, if you realize the account that the pins were created on is a fake account do this and make sure to block the fake account so they can’t interact with your pins anymore:

  1. click on the three dots on the bottom right if you are looking at it from the feed, or at the top left if you have maximized the pin.
  2. click on report pin
  3. click on this is spam
  4. click on this pin is spam OR this pin is from a fake account

How to detect a fake account?

At the moment this is quite easy but I think they will learn and adapt to. Most of the time fake accounts have:

  1. a large volume of pins – like 12.000
  2. they most often have a handful of followers and don’t follow many people either
  3. they never enter a website link in their profile
  4. their monthly reach can be quite huge – which is disheartening
  5. oftentimes they have one large board and some pitiful minor boards to fake other interests that have maybe a couple of pins on them
  6. sometimes you can see when there were new pins added to a board – if they pin 24/7 then they are fake. Nobody pins that much!
  7. even is they pin other people’s stuff, their primary goal is to get as many stolen pins out there as they can. This results in a red thread of pins from their website even though they never disclaim in their profile that it’s theirs
  8. in the case of embroidery related pins, the accounts almost always have the keyword “embroidery” in it. It’s crazy how many variations there are. Some are now beginning to use names for their profile but use the same tactic as the more obvious ones. You can dismantle them easily by looking at the volume of pins they do and the 24/7 pinning strategy. NO REAL PERSON PINS 24/7. Not even with scheduling apps.



You might have noticed that I’m quite passionate about this. I have been reporting and following those fake accounts for two weeks now. Luckily Pinterest does take measures and shuts down fake accounts, still, all those pins do their work in the background. The problem is, it’s not just embroidery. I have seen it happen with wedding, too. They all lead to a very basic website, sometimes it’s just 3-4 pages to navigate and all of them have affiliate links or trick you into clicking a banner ad through a fake navigation that is actually a banner.

Don’t help these people.


how to not spread stolen Pins on Pinterest

Want more information on this topic?

If you are a creator and need help identifying fake accounts, please feel free to contact me on Pinterest.

An interview with a Pinterest staff member talking about stolen pins and how to deal with them. The video will start right where they talk about stolen pins.

How to Help Spammers on Pinterest in Four Easy Steps


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