(NewsBroadcast.com) – While QR codes have been around for a while, their ease of no-contact use made their popularity rise dramatically during the coronavirus pandemic. From restaurant menus to parking meters, most Americans have come across the black and white, square, scannable barcodes in their daily life at this point. However, like most types of technology, hackers have figured out how to use them to scam people. It’s gotten so bad that even the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a warning about the latest QR code scam.
On Tuesday, January 18, the FBI issued a public service announcement that cybercriminals are tampering with QR codes to steal people’s money. According to the PSA, hackers have been changing digital and physical QR codes to direct users to their own malware sites made to look like legitimate ones that steal personal and financial information.
New York Daily News highlighted one such instance of this that cropped up in Austin, Texas:
The feds are warning the public about fake QR codes.
“People attempting to pay for parking using those QR codes may have been directed to a fraudulent website and submitted payment to a fraudulent vendor,” the Austin Police Department said. https://t.co/FGazuij2pH
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) January 20, 2022
To keep your identity safe, the FBI urges QR code users to double-check the website a code leads them to and to exercise caution when providing financial information to a site they accessed using a QR code. As with most hacking schemes, the best offense is a solid defense of knowledge, caution, and responsibility.
Copyright 2022, NewsBroadcast.com