August 12, 2020

Criminal QR-Codes


Criminal QR-Codes
QR-codes are not always helpful in Russia right now. Image by brdall via Wikimedia Commons

A new type of fraud has become widespread in Russia, according to a report by Russia’s Pervyi Kanal. The new scheme involves faulty QR-codes that will first freeze your phone, and then, upon reboot, allow hackers to steal money from your smartphone.

“They gave me flyers from an electronics store, where a very interesting sale was presented. In order to activate it, I had to scan a QR code,” said one victim. After scanning the code, her phone immediately froze, and then all the money in her bank accounts was gone. Another woman complained, "The phone froze, ... and at this moment I receive an SMS about all the money being removed from my account.”

Another victim of the scam was a bar. Employees decided to simplify their payment processes and put a QR-code on their menu for customers, allowing customers to pay their bill. Scammers placed a false QR-code on top of the original one, so that they received all the payments, instead of the bar.

People are advised to use special applications that weed out "suspicious" QR codes, to check if QR-codes are glued on top of another one, or to completely refrain from scanning QR-codes.

Tags: moneyfraud
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