QR Code Phishing – Be Cautious When Scanning

QR Codes have become a very popular and convinient way for people to access information instantly. However, cyber criminals are quick to adapt and this new phishing scam technique has emerged.

QR codes are everywhere these days. You can find them on restaurant menus, flyers, and posters. They’re used both offline and online. QR codes are convenient and easy to use. You just scan them with your smartphone camera. You’re then directed to a link, a coupon, a video, or some other online content.

With the rise in popularity of QR codes comes an unfortunate dark side. Cybercriminals are exploiting this technology for nefarious purposes. Scammers create fake QR codes. They can steal your personal information. They can also infect your device with malware or trick you into paying money.

 

QR Code Phishing Scams 

You’re probably wondering how a QR code could be costly if you’re not being cautious.

The scammer prints out a fake QR code. They place it over a legitimate one. For example, they might stick it on a poster that advertises a product discount or a movie.

You might then scan the fake QR code, thinking it’s legitimate. The fake code may direct you to a phishing website. where you’ll most likely be asked to enter sensitive data, such as your credit card details, login credentials, or other personal information.

Or scanning the QR code may prompt you to download a malicious app. One that contains malware that can do one or more of the following:

Spy on Your Activity

Access Your Copy/Paste History

Access Your Contacts

Lock Your Device Until a Ransom is Paid

The code could also direct you to a payment page. A page that charges you a fee for something supposedly free.

Tactics to Watch Out For 🔎

Malicious Codes Concealed:

Cybercriminals tamper with legitimate QR codes. They often add a fake QR code sticker over a real one. They embed malicious content or redirect users to fraudulent websites.

Fake Promotions and Contests:

Scammers often use QR codes to lure users into fake promotions or contests. When users scan the code, it may direct them to a counterfeit website. The website may prompt them to provide personal information. This can lead to potential identity theft or financial fraud.

Malware Distribution:

Some malicious QR codes start downloads of malware onto the user’s device. This can result in compromised security. Including unauthorized access to personal data and potential damage to the device’s functionality.

How to Avoid QR Code Scams

Verify the Source

Be cautious when scanning QR codes from unknown or untrusted sources. Verify the legitimacy of the code and its source. This is especially true if it prompts you to enter personal information.

Use a QR Code Scanner App

Consider using a dedicated QR code scanner app. Use that rather than the default camera app on your device. Some third-party apps provide extra security features such as code analysis and website reputation checks.

Inspect the URL

Before visiting a website prompted by a QR code, review the URL. Ensure it matches the legitimate website of the organization it claims to represent.

Avoid Scanning Suspicious Codes

Trust your instincts. If a QR code looks suspicious, refrain from scanning it. Scammers often rely on users’ curiosity. Be careful when scanning QR codes that you see in public places. Don’t scan them if they look suspicious, damaged, or tampered with. Exercising caution is paramount.

Be Wary of Websites Accessed via QR Code

Don’t enter any personal information on a website that you accessed through a QR code. This includes things like your address, credit card details, login information, etc.

Don’t pay any money or make any donations through a QR code. Only use trusted and secure payment methods.

Never get caught out by a phishing scam again

At Reformed IT, Our clients receive cyber security training, to make sure they never get caught out by a scam.

Take a look at how Cyber Security training can help your employees.

 

 

Interested in what else our IT Support package includes?

There are many reasons that IT support with Reformed IT is a great choice for your business or organisation. If you choose Reformed IT for your IT support, you'll receive all these benefits including help from members of our experienced team when needed.

Unlimited IT Support

We provide fully inclusive, onsite and remote IT support. In addition to that, it won't cost you extra for an engineer to attend your site to resolve a technical issue.

Device Status Monitoring

When we take on your IT support, we deploy our monitoring agent onto all devices and servers. This alerts us to any issues which you may be unaware of.

Data Breach Monitoring

There are over 8 billion breached passwords and personal information available on the dark web. There's a possibility that some of this data relates to your employees. We'll monitor dark web activity and provide reports of breached passwords.

Cyber Essentials Certification

We ensure every one of our clients achieve their Cyber Essentials certification at no additional cost. We also help them towards Cyber Essentials Plus ensuring that everything is ready for assessment.

Office 365 Monitoring

We monitor your Microsoft 365 tenancy with our 24/7 security operations centre. If there is strange activity we'll find it immediately  and alert you or resolve the issue straight away. Keeping your business secure.

Anti-Virus Software

Everyone wants to avoid computer viruses. We include anti-virus software as part of our IT support package to keep your devices safe and to save time when it comes to viruses.

Email Security

Over 90% of cyber attacks start with a phishing email. It's crucial that your business has the best defence against cyber criminals and scams when regarding your mailbox.

Backups for Office 365

We will ensure that all of your emails and files are backed up, at no extra cost. We recognise the importance of backups and disaster recovery so we feel it shouldn't be an added extra.

Managed Email Signatures

With our included Exclaimer signatures for Office 365 service, you can get more out of your email signatures instead of a simple message with no images.

Cyber Security Training

To keep you even safer from hackers, we provide globally recognised and market leading Cyber security training by PhishingTackle. This online training portal will provide your teams with guidance and information to reduce the risk of hackers and scams.

Asset and Warranty Tracking & Reporting

We provide you with a list of your current assets in the business by using our powerful remote management tools. This creates a monthly asset report so you can keep track of your hardware life cycles.

Reformed IT Academy

We'll provide your business with the best IT training and learning sources. With the Reformed IT Academy, you’ll be able to watch and complete over 700 courses to help grow your knowledge and skills.

Password Manager

Password managers make storing and creating passwords much easier and safer. Keeper password manager also auto-fills passwords making the sign in proccess much quicker.

Cyber Threat Monitoring

With Huntress, you'll have an extra layer of security to help keep hackers out of your business. You'll be able to Monitor cyber attacks and malicious activity.

5.0 97 reviews

  • Avatar Nathan W. ★★★★★ 2 months ago
    Reformed IT have been beyond brilliant with helping us improve our current IT infrastructure and security. The services that they provide has taken enormous pressure off our internal … More IT team. They are always keen on sharing their knowledge and skills and always go above and beyond. I can’t recommend them highly enough.
  • Avatar Richard W. ★★★★★ 9 months ago
    We've only been using Reformed IT since the start of this year but we've had a great service from them. The service desk quickly resolve any issues & Joe & Scott have … More been very proactive in increasing our IT security & offering advice on how best to configure our systems & equipment. Can't recommend them highly enough!
  • Avatar Debbie D. ★★★★★ 5 months ago
    Great service so far what with me being a new starter, & I've heard really positive things about Reformed IT from many of my colleagues, so I have no doubt this great service … More will continue!
  • Avatar Samuel H. ★★★★★ 10 months ago
    Reformed IT are absolutely fantastic. They consistently go above and beyond to help no matter what issue I present them with.
    It is refreshing to have a provider that not only knows
    … More their stuff but is responsive and look to build a relationship with their client to provide a 'total package' experience.