Tom and imposter
Credit: Les Chatfield (Elsie esq. on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Recently, I discovered that someone was pinning my content from HubPages. Many of you are aware that I never joined HubPages

Seth Godin and Paul Edmondson struck a deal sometime in 2014 to buy and sell (without authors' consent) Squidoo user information and articles for profit.
Naturally, it unnerved me to discover my work (imported to HubPages without my permission) on a Pinterest account that I never set up.

Not On HubPages

However I Wrote the Pinned Work

Pins from sousababy on account I didn't create
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

Who Is Pinning My Content?

Pinterest Account I Never Created
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel
The Google entry where I first discovered it (shown above) states: Pins from sousababy (dot) hubpages (dot) com on Pinterest.
And yes, it has negatively impacted traffic to my real Pinterest account.
The only people making money from this phony account are HubPages execs. I haven't seen a cent from HubPages for anything they have taken from me. I have reported them to the IC3 (free to do) and Consumer Affairs[1] (and I'm not the only one).

Identity and Content Theft

How to Report It on Pinterest

I spent a good chunk of time searching Pinterest's Help Center[2] to find out how to report this offence.

Once I discovered it, I knew others would need this information too. All of the law enforcement and security people I know say, "It's not a matter of if identity theft happens to you, it's when."

I included screenshots of the report process step-by-step. Plus you'll see how to report other violations as well.

Step 1

Just Google help@pinterest (dot) com or help center pinterest. I clicked the main home page titled Help Center - Pinterest rather than try to navigate through the other choices.

Google "help@pinterest(dot)com"
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

Step 2

The entire Pinterest Help Center opens up to you. Just scroll down to the Most popular articles section and select Account security and hacked accounts.

Pinterest Help Center Homepage
Credit: RoseWrites

Step 3

I ended up going straight to the bottom where it says: Still need help? Click on Get in touch with us. Of course it's good to know about the other options too.

Still need help? Get in touch with us (click)
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel

Step 4

You will see Still need help? Send us a note! at the top of the page and the question (bolded) What do you need help with? with a scroll down bar to select from these eight choices:

  • I can't log in
  • I can't sign up, reactivate or deactivate
  • I need help with my account, settings, or emails
  • I need help with my Pins, boards, or home feed
  • I need help for my business/website
  • I need help with Promoted Pins
  • I'd like to report a Pin/Pinner < Click 
  • To share an idea

Author's note: Unfortunately, the scroll bars closed when I tried to take screenshots, so the next couple of photos were taken with my phone. (Sorry, the quality is not great).

Select "I'd like to report a Pin/Pinner"
Credit: RoseWrites on InfoBarrel / All rights reserved

Step 5

Next, you'll see a similar page open up with the prompt Tell us a little more. This time, when you click on the down arrow beside -Select-, the options might scroll upwards (could be my browser though).

The choices are: 

  • For spam
  • For nudity
  • For impersonation < Click
  • For harassment
  • For self-harm
  • For graphic violence
  • For hateful speech
  • For signing up with my email

And based on another Pinterest account I'm watching (since there are no pins yet), I'll bet that "signing up with a fake Facebook account (or Twitter) etc." will be added eventually to the list.

Note: You also need to click the red "I still need help" button at the bottom too.

Select "For Impersonation" and click "I still need help"
Credit: RoseWrites
Last page to fill out for Pinterest to report impersonator
Credit: RoseWrites

Step 6

You need to fill out a few fields. The following is what I wrote:

Title for your message: Impersonating me as "sousababy on HubPages" and "Rosemary Webster"


I am currently seeking legal recourse for the unlawful use of my identity, profile, and content on HubPages. I recently found a Pinterest account which states "Pins from sousababy (dot) hubpages (dot) com" which I never created.

My content (which HubPages is posting illegally) is being "pinned" by someone other than me. There appears to be another Pinterest account "Rosemary Webster" (rosemary4621) which is blank right now, but the empty Facebook account associated with it shows the date of birth as September 16th, 2014.

Attach a screenshot: I was able to attach two (more could probably be added)

Choose a device: select from 6 scroll down options (Computer, iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle, Windows Phone) 

Choose a browser: select from 6 scroll down options (App, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Other or N/A)

First and last name: required

Email: required

Pinterest Username: required

I'm a business < optional checkbox

Click the red "Submit" button and you should see the prompt,"Thank you, your submission has been received."

I also received a confirmation email which included my title as the subject line and my stated description above.

If Your Work Has Been Scraped or Plagiarized

Whether or not you have a Pinterest account, if your work has been plagiarized or scraped, you might wish to see if the content thief has created a Pinterest account.

How To Check:

Whenever you find and report scraped or plagiarized work, make note of the pen name or author name the thief is using. A Pinterest account may already be attached to the thief's profile page, but if not just Google: "Thief's Name on Pinterest"

Final Word

Reporting a phony account to Pinterest will probably help to limit the damage (monetary losses) you suffer from having your identity and content used by someone else. And once word gets out that people are being caught for this behavior, it might curtail it.

Since Google Plus has added Pinterest sharing buttons to posts, I feel that Google can easily connect the dots with phony accounts and the people behind them. Google promised to delve deeper into link schemes and I think reporting offences whenever you can will boost your "author rank."

As Danny Sullivan explained, even though Google authorship is gone, author rank lives on.[3]