With the continuous innovation in technology, the growth of scams is also rising. Following cybersecurity being on the top, QR code scams are also on the rise. You must have heard that QR codes make customers' lives easy, but are they worth it? How are the businesses dealing with the QR code scams in India? Let us take a look at the current scenario and the best practices for QR code security that you must adopt as a business entity.
What is a QR Code Scam?
A QR code scam is a deceptive practice where scammers exploit QR codes to trick individuals into divulging personal or financial information or falling prey to financial fraud. Scammers create fraudulent QR codes, leading to phishing websites, malware downloads, or unauthorized financial transactions. The codes may be substituted for legitimate ones or distributed through unsolicited emails, texts, or social media.
Understanding QR Code Scams in India
In recent years, India has experienced a significant surge in QR code scams, especially with the widespread adoption of digital payments. According to a report by The Future
Crime Research Foundation (FCRF), over 20,000 cases have been reported since 2017. Bengaluru, a major city in India, accounts for 41% of these cases, highlighting the severity of the issue. The report also sheds light on a common tactic used by cybercriminals known as the "evil twin" or hotspot, where users are lured into insecure Wi-Fi networks via QR codes.
How does the QR Code Scam Operate?
QR code scams employ various tactics, each with distinct objectives:
Scammers posing as sellers or buyers on online platforms may prompt users to scan a QR code for a transaction, diverting funds or extracting sensitive information.
Fraudsters send QR codes promising discounts, rewards, or free trials, directing users to fake websites that collect personal or financial details or initiate unauthorised charges.
Placing fraudulent QR code stickers over legitimate ones, such as on posters or products, redirects users to malicious websites or apps, jeopardising their devices with malware or data theft.
Protect your brand against QR code fraud.
Protecting Against QR Code Fraud
To safeguard against QR code scams, one should adhere to the following precautions:
Source Verification: Verify the QR code source and the legitimacy of the sender or platform. Avoid scanning codes from unsolicited or dubious sources.
Official App Usage: Utilize official or reputable scanning apps with inherent security features to mitigate the risk of fraudulent QR codes.
Physical Inspection: Avoid scanning codes that appear damaged, modified, or out of context.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Enhance security on online accounts and services with 2FA, requiring an additional verification factor before accessing sensitive information or making transactions via QR codes.
Trust Instincts: Exercise caution with QR codes offering seemingly extraordinary deals, rewards, or benefits.
Best Practices for QR Code Security for B2C Brands
QR codes have become the source of not only making digital payments by consumers but also a source of tracking and tracing units when they move across the supply chain. How does your brand ensure that the QR code on your product cannot be copied or tampered with?
Have you heard about Genefied’s unique and safe QR codes?
They act as an anti-counterfeiting guard and a protector against QR code scams. With dual-layer security, impersonators can't copy your brand’s QR codes. Thus, customers will likely make repeat purchases with authentic products in flow.
Let’s take a step towards safeguarding against QR code scams- call us to know more!