Have you ever tried using Tumblr? If so, did you encounter pornography and/or were you a victim of Tumblr scams? The FTC has made it clear, online scammers are now part of the fabric of your experience on the web. Online criminals and romance scammers will pretend to be a new friend or even a sexy love interest. Instead of meeting someone “real”, you’ll end up linked to paid sites or losing money. While you can usually avoid scammers through awareness and careful planning, scammers may target you differently on Tumblr. You might encounter bots, pornography, disinformation campaigns (a.k.a. fake news), phishing sites, or scammers who will use any method necessary to get your cash. The risk? It might only be clicking on one link
What is Tumblr?
No, you didn’t just read a misspelling— Tumblr (without the “e”) is a United States-based microblogging and social networking site founded in 2007. The platform allows users to post short blogs and follow other users’ blogs, along with the multimedia content they post. It soon became a popular platform to post sexy images— from nudes to art photography or pornography.
Is Tumblr Mainly for Porn?
In 2018, Tumblr made waves by announcing a “porn ban”, which left many users frustrated. Those frustrated users made good on their threats to leave the platform and The Verge reported that Tumblr’s traffic dropped from 642 million visitors in July 2018 to 437 million users in January 2019. While it may not have the same level of popularity like Facebook or Instagram, according to Statistica, it still has 327.5 million unique users visiting the platform, as of May 2020.
The Most Popular Tumblr Scams
While this is only a partial list, many users encounter some combination of the following scams!
You may feel like you know the microblogger you’ve connected to on Tumblr, but we can never be positive who is actually behind a computer screen or smart device. If someone becomes flirty, lives far away, and can’t meet in person (especially if they claim to be in the military, a model, a traveler with no exact return date, or working on an oil rig) you’re probably dealing with a catfish/scammer. Never send online strangers money and proceed with caution. Catfish are romantic scammers who are skilled at using deceit and finding a reason to “borrow” your cash.
2. Pornography Tumblr Scams
Now that pornography is banned and explicit posts are removed from Tumblr, many artists, photographers, and models are frustrated … but scammers aren’t! Tumblr’s ban meant no more exposed genitals, female nipples, or sexually explicit content, which left Tumblr ripe for scammers to reign! While some users try and break the rules (and hope they don’t get caught) scammers focus on rerouting you to outside sides which DO have pornographic content. This can lead to big monetary gains for the porn website or pornographer and be cheaper than real advertising is for legitimate porn sites.
3. Spam Run
A “Spam Run” is when a scammer (or a bot) sends out spam messages directing someone to a site that SOUNDS LIKE it’s related to Tumblr, but isn’t. One famous example, described by CSO as far back as 2012, occurred when users received links to websites like www.tumblrdatinggame.com. A “Spam Run” will try and create buzz to a site that isn’t approved by Tumblr and may put your data or wallet at risk.
4. Phishing Websites
Phishing websites are often part of the above examples. The phishing website might be linked in an email (which appears to be from Tumblr but isn’t), a meme, a comment, message, or linked in some way. If you enter your information on the phishing website, however official the fake site appears, your credit card information will be compromised and you can even face malware, password hacks, or identity theft!
5. Stolen Accounts
Another frequent way that scammers send out fake spam links, content, or links to phishing websites is by hacking (or buying from a hacker) stolen accounts. The stolen account might still appear to be owned by someone you trust … but a hacker is now running it and linking you to pornography and other scams.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You with Tumblr Scams!
Don’t have your heart broken or your data hacked! Whether you use Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, WordPress, or Facebook … you, your wallet, and data should stay safe. The best way to verify whether or not you’re dealing with Tumblr scams is to reverse search using their name, username, phone number, email address, or photograph (a post, meme, or profile picture will do!). Social Catfish has the means to search using multiple search engines and databases with smart technology.