The FTC Is Worried About QR Codes. Good.

Dateline: Amsterdam, 4th June 2024.The Federal Trade Commission issued a warning about the “growing abuse” of QR codes. Scammers are exploiting the lack of security around QR codes both online and offline. They embed QR codes into emails as an image so that security software isn’t able to detect that the link is malicious. They show QR codes on bogus websites to encourage people to download malware. They paste bogus QR codes over real ones in cities around the world and trick people into going to scam websites. People including, as it happens, my sister.ShareCode RedThere’s been a rash of scams in the UK where the criminals target car parks and put up posters with their own QR codes on them or put their own QR codes on stickers that they put on top of the genuine codes. People think they are scanning genuine parking app codes, but they are instead directed to an internet site or app run by scammers.Subscribe nowThis is the scam that almost caught my sister, who was visiting some friends and parked her car in a public car park. She went to look at the schedule of charges and there was a handy sign advising drivers with smartphones to pay via a QR code. She scanned the code and was directed to a superficially plausible website. After giving her debit card details to what she thought was a legitimate car parking company, my sister fortunately spotted that the website was wholly fraudulent and was able to alert…The FTC Is Worried About QR Codes. Good.