Police warn: why you shouldn t trust every QR code

Police warn: why you shouldn t trust every QR code

QR codes have been known to everyone since the corona pandemic at the latest. This allows you to prove your vaccination status in a corresponding app. Such QR codes have been part of our everyday lives for a long time, but also in many other places and are primarily intended to make life easier for us. Fraudsters are currently taking advantage of this to steal money. The police have discovered a clever scam.

Police warn: Incorrect QR codes in circulation

A QR code is mostly used to send people to a website. The link does not have to be laboriously typed out, but is packaged as a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone and the corresponding app. This makes it much easier to reach your destination. Service providers also use QR codes to bring their customers to payment pages. So does the city of Austin in the US, which put QR codes on parking meters so people can pay for their parking tickets directly online. That has now been exploited, police said (source: Austin Police Department).

Fraudsters simply pasted over the QR codes on the parking meters . The people who paid for their parking tickets then sent the money to the scammers, rather than the actual parking lot owners, via a fake website. Depending on the number of parking spaces, a lot of money can be made if the fake QR codes and website are not immediately noticeable.

There is also a risk of fraud on the phone:

How can you protect yourself?

Basically, it's very simple. If you have scanned a QR code, the URL is displayed before opening it in the browser . If this does not match the provider or the company where you actually want to go, you should not open the website. You know which QR code you scanned and the website is often still there. The QR code is only ever displayed as an additional option. One should pay attention to this, especially when it comes to payment processes.

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