QR Codes have become a part of our daily lives. They make it easy to access a plethora of information and applications with a simple scan. However, with their growing popularity, scammers have found new opportunities to exploit these codes for malicious purposes.
In this article, we will explore what QR Code scams are, how they can impact PayByPhone users, and how you can protect yourself.
What Are QR Code Scams?
QR Code scams, also known as "quishing," are scams that involve the creation of malicious QR Codes to deceive users. Hackers redirect scans of these codes to fraudulent websites, malicious applications, or carry out phishing attacks.
By scanning these counterfeit QR Codes, users can fall victim to scams by disclosing sensitive information such as credit card data, login credentials, or personal information.
Why Are We Raising Awareness on this?
PayByPhone is a mobile application that has revolutionalised street parking payments by offering a digital payment option. The application for this service can be found on parking meters through stickers featuring a QR code for downloading the application within seconds.
However, this convenience has also given certain cybercriminals ideas, as they aim to counterfeit these QR Codes to redirect users to fraudulent websites, and demand illegal additional payments for downloading the application or paying for parking.
The risk for users is not only incurring charges for null transactions but also exposing their financial information. Although these occurrences are rare, it is essential that anyone who might scan a QR Code is aware of these risks and capable of identifying fraud.
How to Identify and Avoid the Scam.
To avoid falling into the trap of QR Code scams, here are some essential tips:
- Quickly analyse the QR Code: Before scanning a QR Code, inspect it and ensure that it does not appear altered, distorted, or modified in any way. PayByPhone QR Codes are always embedded in the sticker's design and are never placed over it.
- Verify the destination URL: Make sure that the destination to which the QR Code redirects you is the official PayByPhone website (paybyphone.co.uk) or an official store (Play Store at play.google.com or App Store at apps.apple.com). Beware, scammers sometimes use very similar URLs to deceive users.
- PayByPhone is free: Downloading the PayByPhone application is free and will always be. If you are asked to pay to download the application, this is an attempted scam.
To stay safe and avoid QR Code scams, it is essential to be vigilant and follow security advice. Through responsible usage, you can continue to enjoy the benefits of this technology while avoiding the traps set by scammers.
Stay safe and keep enjoying the simplicity of PayByPhone!