Right Hand Technology Group

What Are QR Code Scams and How You Can Avoid Them

What are QR codes?

It seems like lately Quick Response codes (QR Codes) have been popping up everywhere. They’re a type of barcode that consist of many pixel-shaped blocks and are readable by mobile devices such as smartphones. Establishments such as restaurants, medical offices, retail stores, etc. have benefited from this contactless form of sharing information, such as URLs and links to app downloads. As a result of the measures many had to take due to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses from all over the world have been relying on QR codes more than ever. This unfortunately, has opened the door for bad actors to tamper with QR codes, trying to steal information from unsuspecting individuals.

 

How does the scam work?

Fraudsters aim to trick unsuspecting victims into providing banking or other personal information after scanning a malicious QR code. And since almost everyone nowadays is in possession of a smartphone, it makes the majority of people vulnerable to these types of scams.

The city of Austin, TX for instance, experienced a “pay to park” scam, where fraudsters left maliciously designed QR codes on parking meters, which led unsuspecting victims to a bogus website form, deviously crafted to collect ‘payment’ for parking.

 

How can I avoid falling victim to QR Code fraud?

And unfortunately, security software cannot always be helpful when dealing with these types of scams, so here are some tips to avoid getting scammed:

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