QR code scams: How to identify and be safe from such tricks

QR code scams: How to identify and be safe from such tricks

QR code scam is rapidly rising as it is the most common way scammers can trick users. The rise of QR code scams poses a significant threat in the expanding digital payment landscape. Scammers exploit the ease of QR code use, directing users to phishing sites and risking sensitive data theft.

On 6 May 2022, Mint reported that Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s daughter Harshita became a victim of an online scam. She tried to sell an old sofa set at an online second-hand marketplace but was, instead, duped at 34,000. Several such cases have come to the fore of late.

How does QR code fraud take place?

The scam starts with someone putting an item on an online sale website. That’s when the fraudsters pose as buyers and share the QR code to pay an advance or token amount. They then create a QR code and share it with the intended victim through WhatsApp or email. They will ask the victim to scan the QR code sent by them so that they will receive the money directly into their bank accounts. Believing them, the victims scan QR codes sent by the fraudsters presuming that they will receive the money in their account but they end up losing money.

How to identity QR code scams?

To identify scams, firstly users should know that QR code is only scanned to send money and not to receive money. 

“Another important practice is to inspect the URL or website linked to the QR code. Ensure that it begins with “https://” to indicate a secure connection, and be wary of misspellings or suspicious variations in the domain name. Consumers should beware and alert to make correct decisions and protect themselves from falling prey to QR code scams,” said Amit Kumar, Chief Technology Officer, Easebuzz

“Deceptive tactics extend to emails, with scammers posing as reputable companies, leading to potential identity theft and malicious software downloads. Popular platforms are targeted, with persistent tactics to trick users for financial gain,” said Amit Relan, Co-Founder and CEO, mFilterIt.

How to safeguard against QR code scams?

To safeguard against QR scams, avoid sharing UPI IDs and bank details with strangers, verify online transactions, and exercise caution with suspicious QR codes, said Amit Relan. 

Comprehensive guidelines are needed to enhance public awareness and promote secure digital payment practices in the QR-dominated era, which is critical to building a seamless and secure digital payment ecosystem, he added.

Aside from the QR code fraud, there are several ways wherein online scams are being carried out.


Milestone Alert!Livemint tops charts as the fastest growing news website in the world 🌏 Click here to know more.

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint.
Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.


Published: 06 Dec 2023, 06:12 AM IST

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *