How Can a QR Code Be Used for a Phishing Attack?

Health professionals warn that the Covid-19 virus will not completely disappear, despite the world's sincere desire for the pandemic to come to an end. The most practical course of action is for people to learn to handle it and find a way to live with it. It is reasonable to assume that the pandemic's consequences on leading a digital lifestyle will last forever. The demand for cashless and no-contact transactions is one of the factors that will probably not change for the foreseeable future. And many companies have used quick response (QR) codes to address this demand.

What is a QR Code?

A two-dimensional bar code called a quick response code (QR code) is made up of square, black modules on a white background. Smartphones are capable of reading QR codes. They can enable access to a great quantity of information, including links, text, or other data because they have the ability to convey information both vertically and horizontally.

Denso Wave, a division of Toyota, invented QR codes in 1994. They have been increasingly employed in mobile phone applications, despite being first designed to track parts in the construction of vehicles. They are frequently found on business cards, in print publications, on signs, and anywhere else where people could be looking for more details.

Consumers previously needed to download a specialized reader in order to read a QR code. They can now simply point the camera on their smartphone or tablet at the QR code, and the camera's software will decode the data the code contains. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this feature assisted in extending the usage of QR codes for information sharing and contactless payments.

A QR code may store thousands of characters of data as opposed to the 20 alphanumeric character limit of a bar code. As a result, a QR code can be used to distribute multimedia content, including a full e-book or a website landing page.

Additionally, QR codes can instruct a computer to carry out specific tasks. For instance, a theater firm might offer a QR code that, in addition to directing whoever scans it to the business' website for information on showtimes and ticket prices, also inserts information about upcoming performances' dates, times, and locations into the end user's chosen calendar.

These days, one can easily create a QR code using a QR code generator. The QR code generator allows users to enter any information they want the code to display, and it will create a symbol that can be printed or shared electronically. Online, there are many free QR code generators to choose from.

Types of QR Scams

Getting you to visit a page where thieves can steal your data, money, or both is the objective of most QR code scams. However, thieves can accomplish this in a variety of ways.

Phishing Schemes Using QR Codes

Probably, you've heard of phishing. A cybercriminal will pretend to be someone you know or trust in a phishing attack so they can get your info. Phishing attacks typically take place through emails, phone calls, or social media.

Recently, QR codes have become popular with cybercriminals. You can receive a QR code in an email, pamphlet, letter, or social media communication from a criminal. By scanning it, you will be taken to a website where you must enter your login information or personal information. Sensitive information, such as your online banking information, may be included in the requested data. Filling out this form will send the information directly to the attacker, who is free to do with it as they please.

Frequently, "phishing QR codes" take users to phony websites that impersonate well-known and reliable companies. Like traditional phishers, QR code phishers frequently pretend to be workers of significant businesses like banks and other financial institutions.

Face-to-Face QR Scams

Face-to-face scams typically include someone approaching you in person and convincing you to scan a QR code with a clever justification. Victims may be approached by criminals who enquire for assistance in paying for a parking place. They assert that the victim can transfer money to their bank account by scanning a code. Typically, the crooks offer to return the money in cash.

They are unaware that by scanning this QR code, the victims are essentially providing criminals with access to their online banking data. This hoax has cost several of its victims hundreds of dollars. This fraud can be deadly to just about anyone because it occurs face-toface in public settings. Since many of us find it difficult to refuse requests for assistance in person, it's also one of the trickier frauds to spot.

The Technique of an Online Market

You might be approached by QR scammers on Internet marketplaces. They might say they'd like to purchase what you're selling and ask you to scan a QR code for them so they can verify that they're sending the funds to the right bank account. That is what they tell you, at least. In reality, you're allowing online thieves access to your bank account.