Expert advice on avoiding QR code scams

This system, although it seems new, turns 30 in 2024. It was created by a subsidiary of Toyota as an evolution of the barcode, although it did not appear in the United States and Europe until the 2010s.

But it was not until arrival of the pandemicthe mobility restrictions and the precautions against physical contact, in 2020, when he truly triumphed. In that year, and since then, it has been gaining popularity in restaurants, hospitality establishments, shops and other establishments as an alternative formula for customers to access the menu, the catalog or promotional offers.

QR Codes and Quishing Scams

A QR code It is a matrix formed by properly placed black and white squares that are read by a scanning app. This distribution of boxes encodes access to a web page where we find all the desired information.

They take advantage of technology bars, banks, gas stations and all types of businesses to promote themselves or show the content they want. However, for some time now experts have been warning about the bad practices of cybercriminals.

Quishing, or qrishing, is an attempted scam that consists of create fraudulent codes to steal confidential information from users or even money using this technology. The modus operandi of these criminals consists of entering a deceptive code and, once the clients have accessed the website, they try to obtain their personal data or bank accounts.

To achieve this, they choose several paths and there are some that are more basic and others that are more evolved. Among the most basic is that of place a sticker over the original QR code. But other, slightly more careful attempts are based on distributing promotional advertising with these codes that give access to web pages with the same appearance as online stores or marketplaces.

They offer as a hook a promotional discount, some tempting offer or advantages for entering personal dataThe mistake is right there, in sharing that data: passwords, phone number, email address, bank account number.

Outside the physical realm there are also attempts to obtain confidential information. An example is the Fraudulent QR codes arriving via email (in a method very similar to phishing) or through social networks. And there are even more advanced practices that are based on including the QR code as a payment gateway, something that some companies are already testing. In this case, the fraudulent person, the payment gateway to which the code is directed, will try to request money or obtain financial data.

How to avoid QR code scams?

The situation is not to be taken lightly. Quishing, as explained by QRFYsuppose already More than 70% of contemporary scams. This Spanish company is an expert in the creation of QR codes and warns of the risks of its use.

Does this mean that QR technology is dangerous and we should stop using it? No, far from it. You just have to internalize that It may be vulnerable, so we must act on those weaknesses.

At QRFY they recommend first verify the source, that is, the QR code. If it looks like it’s not legitimate, you don’t have to scan it. Likewise, you must use secure scanning applications, that have a good reputation.

Currently, most mobile devices already include a Pre-installed app that carries no risks. But if this is not the case and you have to go to virtual stores, you can only trust the options they have. good reviews and a high score.

As a third essential tip is to Keep mobile devices always protected. To do this, in addition to including antivirus and programs that keep malware and other malicious codes away, QRFY proposes a anti-fraud tool that scans destination URLs.

In your case have managed to block more than 5,000 threats worldwide over the past yearIn addition, the company constantly introduces innovations to its dynamic QR codes, so that there is no possibility of duplicating them maliciously.

As a last suggestion, experts refer to common sense. It is not necessary to scan all the QR codes that we find, much less those that seem very attractive. Nobody gives anything and Offers that are too good often hide attempts at fraud.

As you see, the quishing It is the order of the day, but with continued education, we can keep ourselves safe from bad practices.