The world we live in is becoming completely digitalized and every step we take in our day-to-day life is somehow related to making use of technology. From paying through our cards to scanning the QR codes for making the payments, our digital world has taken a new shift now. And all of this is not hidden but we all are completely aware of it.
Simultaneously, the thing that also witnessed rapid growth is the cybercriminal industry. The growing number of online scams, hacking activities, and alike have seen a huge growth alongside. So, it’s now important that we watch out for online scams more carefully than ever.
Speaking about the latest trend in hacking activities, the new target of the hackers are the ones who make or receive payments via QR codes. Therefore, to have an in-depth insight on how this scam works completely, we have compiled this article for you.
So, if you also wish to stay safe from the same, then you are suggested to keep reading this article this the last. In this post, you will find interesting facts about this newly-emerged scamming activity as well as tips to protect yourself from becoming a victim of any such scam.
More about QR codes
Although QR codes were there for a long time now they have become highly popular among the masses, especially from the time we started to make digital payments. A QR code is known to contain a lot more data as compared to a barcode. Therefore, it is vitally important to understand that protecting it from getting hacked is equally more important. Since the use of smart devices has increased and pandemics brought about a situation where we are more inclined towards making contactless payments, so, we need to make sure that we are paying aptly.
What’s the catch?
Well, there is a twist in the QR payment system and the mastermind behind this is none other than a hacker who is ready to gather all your information the moment you scan an incorrect QR Code. However, the one good thing about a QR Code scam is that you can easily recognize it with some simple tricks. Don’t know what these tricks are? Well, we shall discuss those tricks in the next section of this article.
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Is spotting the QR code scam really easy?
Well, phishing scams with the help of a URL are hard to recognize. But on the flipside, recognizing a scam that takes place through the usage of a QR Code is extremely difficult. You cannot make out if a code is fake or not just by looking at it. On the other hand, in the case of a URL, you can easily guess by looking at the spelling mistakes and other things. Hence, we can say that it is pretty difficult to differentiate between a fake and a real QR code.
So, how do you spot a fake QR code?
Fortunately, by keeping your eyes wide open and by being skeptical about the things around you, you can easily recognize a fake QR code. So, below we are going to mention a few tips that would help you in this task:
- The first thing that you need to understand here is a fake QR Code can be replaced with the original one where there is no security measure taken by the owner. For example, paying through a QR code at a retail store or shopping mall is safer than paying at public places. In such places, there are higher chances of replacement.
- The experts at mcafee.com/activate suggest users should not pay using the QR Code that they are not sure about.
- Also, one should not scan a QR code that comes along with a link in the email or SMS.
Tips to avoid such scams
By having a glance at the ways to spot these scams, you would have guessed how you can avoid these scams. However, to ensure higher security, we shall discuss these tips in detail:
- The scammers always make sure that the code looks legitimate. So, you need to watch out for such codes that look nearly similar but aren’t actually. If a code leads you to a site that you are unaware of, do not take any further action on it.
- The next thing you need to make sure of is that you do not open any link in an SMS or email that you have received from a stranger. Always make payments only on the official website.
- Next up, you need to make sure that you do not download any application from a QR code that is not available on the official website.
Even if you receive a QR code from someone that you know personally, you should confirm about the same by contacting him directly. By reading this article, it would have been clear to you how you can watch out from becoming a victim to any online scam. Just make sure that you keep these tips in mind and you’ll never have to pay for any service that you have not consumed.