How do you know which QR codes are safe?

Identity theft risks: how do you know which QR codes are safe?

In restaurants, in shops, or even on the street, QR codes are already everywhere for obtaining information, but they also offer a new tool for fraudsters who can steal your identity.

Before you pull out your smartphone to scan a QR code, you’d better think twice, the Federal Trade Commission warns in a recent report.

If this new technology allows merchants to learn the behavior of their consumers or simply share a menu, it can also be used by fraudsters for more sinister purposes.

Thus, the QR code makes it possible to steal an identity and, at the same time, bank information or other personal data, such as a medical file.

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Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish a real QR code from one used for fraud. Here are some recommendations from the Federal Trade Commission to avoid being scammed:

Check the location of the QR code

Scammers can place their QR code in public places, such as parking meters, parking lots, public flyers, or even self-service bike racks.

Beware of QR codes received unexpectedly

Scammers can send unsolicited QR codes via text or email. If it has a misspelled URL, it could be a sign of fraud.

If the message seems to be from a legitimate company, do not hesitate to contact the company directly online to verify the accuracy of the information, especially if we are talking about an urgent matter, such as the delivery of an item.

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“They want you to scan the QR code and open the URL without thinking,” the American commission recalled in its report.

Update your phone software and use strong passwords

This will better protect your accounts that you view from your phone. Adding multi-factor authentication can also help predict fraud.