The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued a public announcement regarding the fake QR code scams happening in wild, aimed at stealing senstive data and banking info of people.
Targeted at the Americans, the campaign FBI noted isn’t new, but is growing in popularity. The latest one is aimed at stealing data, which can help the crooks steal funds indirectly. Thus, the FBI warned people to be suspicious about QR code payments and data sharing, as they can be malicious sometimes.
QR Code Scam in the US
While moving into digital payments mode has made our lives significantly easier, the Quick Response (QR) code concept has taken it a bit further. But, they’re also turning out to be an easy point for hacks against unsuspecting people.
FBI this week issued a new public service announcement on the Bureau’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), warning about the ongoing QR code scams in the US. It warns that some crooks are replacing the legitimate business QR codes with malicious ones, to redirect users to a phishing page crafted by them.
These pages, resembling the legitimate ones, will ask for people’s banking information to be submitted, which is then transported to the hacker who uses it for stealing the funds in the victim’s account. Also, these could be used for diverting live payments and also install malware on their devices.
Warning on this, the FBI said
“While QR codes are not malicious in nature, it is important to practice caution when entering financial information as well as providing payment through a site navigated to through a QR code. Law enforcement cannot guarantee the recovery of lost funds after transfer.”
So to avoid being hacked or robbed, the FBI shared a few suggestions to remain vigilant about QR code scams.
These include manually entering the URLs in the search bar, scanning QR codes with an inbuilt scanner provided by your device maker, avoiding installing apps by scanning unknown QR codes, and double-checking the sites before entering any senstive information.