• Burton Kelso, Tech Expert

How Criminals Can Use QR Codes To Steal Your Money and Information



QR codes were popular in the early 2000s but soon people stopped using them. During the pandemic, many businesses have turned to Quick Response Codes, also known as QR codes to create an environment of touchless interactions. QR, which is essentially a sophisticated bar code can be accessed by any mobile device and allow you to get access to menus and payment options without having to touch anything but your smartphone or tablet. Now, the FBI is warning people that cybercriminals are using QR codes to steal data from unsuspecting people. Follow these quick and easy steps to keep safe from this latest scam.


The use of QR codes is a great way to provide convenient contactless access and has helped slow down infection during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, anytime people use a popular piece of technology, cybercriminals always find a way to take advantage of it. In this instance, criminals are directing QR codes to malicious websites designed to steal your data, possibly embedding malware to get access to your device, and sending payments to criminals.


There haven't been any recent incidents where people have been scammed by a QR code, but scams were reported in October 2021 of QR codes being used to steal Microsoft Office 365 login credentials. Also, there have been reports of QR codes used in cryptocurrency scams.


Here are some tips to keep you safe:

  • Don't download a QR code scanner app without reading the reviews. They are a lot of malicious apps out there. Most iPhones have the ability to scan QR codes from the camera app. Android is going to implement this feature soon, phones already have a scanner on them.

  • When you scan a QR code, make sure it takes you to a legitimate website. Check for correct spelling and that it looks authentic. Most criminals hope you don't check for spelling, so do your due diligence.

  • If you're scanning a physical QR code on a flyer or poster, be sure there it has not been manipulated or has a sticker placed on top of the real code. Not all criminals just work over the internet. Criminals will do some leg work to get your information.

  • If a QR code is sent to you electronically, by a business or a friend, don't assume it's safe. Email and social media accounts are compromised daily. Directly contact whoever you believe sent it to you, through a trusted phone number or email address, and confirm it's legitimate.

  • Most QR codes are designed to give you information. If you find a QR code asking you to input personal or financial information, leave immediately.

  • Don't make payments through a website that popped up from scanning a QR code. Instead, visit a known website and trusted URL to complete the payment.


99% of cybercrime requires user interaction which means you need to always be on the lookout for scams that are designed to get you to click on links to give up your personal information. The FBI asked those who think they have been the victim of losing funds from a tampered QR code, to please report the fraud to a local FBI field office at www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices.


Looking for More Useful Tech Tips? Our Tuesday Tech Tips Blog is released every Tuesday. If you like video tips, we LIVE STREAM new episodes of 'Computer and Tech Tips for Non-Tech People' every Wednesday at 1:00 pm CST on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Technology product reviews are posted every Thursday. You can view previous episodes on our YouTube channel.


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Want to ask me a tech question? Send it to burton@callintegralnow.com. I love technology. I've read all of the manuals and I'm serious about making technology fun and easy to use for everyone.


Need computer or technology help? If you need on-site or remote tech support for your Windows\Macintosh, computers, laptops, Android/Apple smartphone, tablets, printers, routers, smart home devices, and anything that connects to the Internet, please feel free to contact my team at Integral. Our team of friendly tech experts organization can help you with any IT needs you might have. Reach out to us a www.callintegralnow.com or phone at 888.256.0829.


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Looking for More Useful Tips Tips?

My Tuesday Tech Tips Blog is released every Tuesday. If you like video tips, I LIVE STREAM new episodes of 'Computer and Tech Tips for Non-Tech People' every Wednesday at 1:00 pm CST on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Technology product reviews are posted every Thursday. You can view previous episodes on my YouTube channel.


Sign Up for My Newsletter! Click this link to sign-up and subscribe and you will receive every tip directly in your inbox each week.


Want to ask me a tech question? Send it to burton@burtonkelso.com. I love technology. I've read all of the manuals and I'm serious about making technology fun and easy to use for everyone. 


Need computer or technology help? If you need on-site or remote tech support for your Windows\Macintosh, computers, laptops, Android/Apple smartphone, tablets, printers, routers, smart home devices, and anything that connects to the Internet, please feel free to contact my team at Integral. Our team of friendly tech experts organization can help you with any IT needs you might have. Reach out to us a www.callintegralnow.com or phone at 888.256.0829. 


Please share this with your friends and family! If you found this post useful, would you mind helping me out by sharing it? Just click one of the handy social media sharing buttons below.


#techtips #technology #tech #technews #techreview #techgadgets #techtricks #techtalks #techyoutuber #instatech #technologynews #techsupport #covid #smartphone #tablet #computertips #computernews #computerreview #computersupport #apple #microsoft #samsung #hp #dell



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