Avoid QR Code fraud with these tips and tricks from Fox Communities Credit Union
A few years ago, people hardly knew what a QR code was – and probably didn’t know what to do with one if they found it. Today? Well, today, QR codes are everywhere – restaurants, advertisements, farmers’ markets, and even on our brochures and mailings here at Fox Communities Credit Union (Fox). That’s not surprising, either, as QR codes are a very useful tool. But as more QR codes show up out in the wild, there are more opportunities for scammers and fraud artists to achieve their malicious ends. So, how do you protect yourself from fraudulent QR codes? You follow the tips and tricks below, of course.
HOW TO AVOID QR CODES SCAMS AND FRAUD
Much like how our friends at BALANCE help provide our Fox members with financial counseling, our friends at the Credit Union Executives Society have been studying how to keep our members safe from the ever-evolving scams of fraudsters everywhere. Their tips for avoiding QR code scams include:
- Once you scan a QR code, check the URL to make sure it is correct. A malicious URL may look very similar to the intended, legitimate one but with typos or misplaced letters.
- Do not assume that a site labeled as secure — indicated by a padlock icon shown to the left of a URL beginning with https:// — is actually a legitimate site. An analysis conducted in 2018 found that almost 50% of phishing websites were using “secure” websites. That number is likely even higher now!
- Examine the website itself. Look for things like altered fonts, misaligned graphics, and overall poor quality.
- Avoid making payments or entering personal or financial information on a website navigated to through a scanned QR code. Instead, manually type a known and trusted URL.
- When scanning a physical QR code, make sure that it hasn’t been tampered with. For example, is the QR code printed on a sticker that has been placed over the original QR code?
- Do not download apps from a QR code.
- Do not download a QR code scanner app; it may increase your risk of downloading malware. Most smartphones have a built-in scanner in their camera app.
For more on how to avoid fraud, check out our Preventing Fraud webpage. And if you have any questions at all, please come see us at one of our many Fox locations or get in touch with our friendly Fox team.
Fox Communities Credit Union is a full-service, not-for-profit financial institution serving members throughout Eastern Wisconsin, including Appleton, Green Bay, Oshkosh, Manitowoc, and Milwaukee.