Beware the QR code scams

QR code scams are growing. Here's what to look out for.

1/17/2022 12:30:00 PM

QR code scams are growing. Here's what to look out for.

QR code scams are growing. Here's what to look out for.

By now, most internet users know the usual scams to look out for:Phishing emails trying to steal your account logins, misspelled URLs attempting to access your bank accounts, fake online storefronts charging you for products they never intend to send. Well, it's time to be on the lookout for yet another growing scam: fake QR codes.

What's a QR code? You've likely seen them as their use has skyrocketed during the pandemic. Many restaurants have started using QR codes to replace physical, germ-spreading menus. QR codes are those little square barcodes that take you directly to a website or app when you scan them with your smartphone camera.

Read more: Mashable »

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QR codes are a smart way to share data. Here’s how to make your own.You probably scan them all the time, but what about making your own QR codes? You can embed text, links, and even passwords. I’m sure this would be a great article to read if your mobile site wasn’t such a shit show. The page reloads every 15 seconds or gets covered by multiple ads or automatically forwards to an unloadable page. Who the fuck designed your useless site?! Pop Science? Pop-up Science…

QR codes are a smart way to share data. Here’s how to make your own.You probably scan them all the time, but what about making your own QR codes? You can embed text, links, and even passwords. I’m sure this would be a great article to read if your mobile site wasn’t such a shit show. The page reloads every 15 seconds or gets covered by multiple ads or automatically forwards to an unloadable page. Who the fuck designed your useless site?! Pop Science? Pop-up Science…

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Digital Culture By now, most internet users know the usual scams to look out for: Phishing emails trying to steal your account logins, misspelled URLs attempting to access your bank accounts, fake online storefronts charging you for products they never intend to send. Well, it's time to be on the lookout for yet another growing scam: fake QR codes. What's a QR code? You've likely seen them as their use has skyrocketed during the pandemic. Many restaurants have started using QR codes to replace physical, germ-spreading menus. QR codes are those little square barcodes that take you directly to a website or app when you scan them with your smartphone camera. QR codes seem like they were made to deter phishing. There's no need to type in a link and accidentally misspell it, which could result in the user being sent to a scam website meant to mimic the actual legitimate site they meant to visit. Just scan the QR code and you'll go right to the real website you intended to go to. However, as with most new and growing technologies, scammers have found a way to weaponize QR codes too. In December, QR codes started popping up on public parking meters in San Antonio, Texas. Simply pull out your phone, scan the familiar barcode, and pay for your parking spot. Quick and simple, right? Not so. When the San Antonio Police Department was notified, they alerted the public : It was a scam. Fraudsters had actually placed their own QR codes on public parking meters across the city. Drivers who used them to pay the meters were actually sending their money or sensitive financial account information to the scammers. As Ars Technica points out, other major cities in Texas, such as Austin and Houston, have reported similar parking meter grifts. QR codes still make up just a small fraction of the scams proliferating across the web. However, the Better Business Bureau has experienced a noticeable enough uptick on its