QR (Quick Response) codes as scan and pay options are not. They have been there for quite some time, the Covid-19 pandemic has made them mainstream. For those who don’t know, a QR code is that square barcode that we scan with our smartphone’s camera to make a payment, provide quick access to a website, download an app, read a restaurant’s menu and more. As the usage of QR code to share information and data including tickets, phone numbers, email addresses and money transfers has increased, fraudsters too see it as a technology to dupe people. Recently, US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued an advisory to warn people about how cybercriminals use QR codes to dupe people. Here are some important
things to do and not to do while scanning QR code:To do: Check the URL
Once you scan any QR code, you should check the URL it is redirecting you to. A fake or malicious URL can be spotted by typos or misplaced letters. You should also avoid using a URL from a QR code that has been shortened using external tools. A shortened URL doesn’t show you the name of a website.
Not to do: Avoid downloading app from a QR code
You should avoid downloading any app with the help of a QR code as these apps can be malicious and may gather personal information from your smartphone. It is always advised to download the app from a dedicated application store such as Play Store or App Store on your smartphone.
To check: Beware of tampered QR codes
Before scanning a physical QR code, you should ensure the code has not been tampered with, such as with a sticker placed on top of the original code. If you have a doubt you should double check it with the concerned person or avoid using such codes.
Not to do: Don’t pay on using websites
Avoid paying for anything through QR codes that opens up any website. If you want to pay through a QR code, it should be through a legitimate payments app where you can confirm the identity of the receiver. If you need to pay through a website, you should type-in the URL yourself.
Not to do: Scan QR code to accept money
Remember, you need to scan QR code to pay money not to receive money. Never ever scan any QR code sent via a message or email claiming to offer you money or payment.