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FBI says scammers can fake QR codes, offer tips to protect yourself | #phishing | #scams | #hacking | #aihp


A retired Omaha police officer calls QR codes “potentially dangerous.” Cybersecurity professionals said QR codes can be copied and faked to steal information.The FBI’s cybercrimes team said these fraudsters have grown in recent years with the technology and they have some advice on how to avoid being scammed.You likely saw the 30-second Coinbase commercial during the Superbowl. A QR code danced across the screen, waiting for viewers to scan it and be introduced to cryptocurrency.“Everyone’s using them now,” FBI Special Agent Jake Foiles said.Restaurant menus, apps and financial transactions are all among the newer technology using QR codes.“Most everyone scans QR codes using their mobile device, their phone,” Foiles said.FBI Special Agent Jake Foiles said scammers are using them now too.“Anywhere that QR codes are being used that vulnerability is there,” he said.Foiles said the technology can be mimicked. So, when you click on the link to open a website, you could get a phishing scam.”A fraudster like this could create a website that looks very similar to the one you’re expecting to go to but then steals your information essentially,” Foiles said.Another way scammers hijack QR codes is by asking you to install an app.Foiles said those apps could steal private information off your phone or even track your location.And for financial apps like Bitcoin, Foiles said users have to be very careful when using QR-creating websites to give their information out for transactions.He said some are malicious.”What these websites were actually doing was generating a QR code that was a fraudulent bitcoin address,” Foiles said.He said to watch closely for stickers on top of menus or signs, as those may be fake QR codes.Foiles said you must inspect a website before opening it after your phone’s camera scans the QR code.On an Android phone, swipe over to the Google lens, take a photo of the QR code and inspect the URL to make sure it’s legitimate.On Apple, it’s even easier.”The bottom right-hand corner there’s a little QR code icon and that will give you more details about the QR code before taking you there,” Foiles said.Foiles said the only way the FBI can investigate is if they’re made aware through the IC3 tips website.“I think QR codes are definitely here to stay. And they’re not inherently dangerous,” Foiles said.But he says as QR codes grow in popularity, the scams will too.

A retired Omaha police officer calls QR codes “potentially dangerous.” Cybersecurity professionals said QR codes can be copied and faked to steal information.

The FBI’s cybercrimes team said these fraudsters have grown in recent years with the technology and they have some advice on how to avoid being scammed.

You likely saw the 30-second Coinbase commercial during the Superbowl. A QR code danced across the screen, waiting for viewers to scan it and be introduced to cryptocurrency.

“Everyone’s using them now,” FBI Special Agent Jake Foiles said.

Restaurant menus, apps and financial transactions are all among the newer technology using QR codes.

“Most everyone scans QR codes using their mobile device, their phone,” Foiles said.

FBI Special Agent Jake Foiles said scammers are using them now too.

“Anywhere that QR codes are being used that vulnerability is there,” he said.

Foiles said the technology can be mimicked. So, when you click on the link to open a website, you could get a phishing scam.

“A fraudster like this could create a website that looks very similar to the one you’re expecting to go to but then steals your information essentially,” Foiles said.

Another way scammers hijack QR codes is by asking you to install an app.

Foiles said those apps could steal private information off your phone or even track your location.

And for financial apps like Bitcoin, Foiles said users have to be very careful when using QR-creating websites to give their information out for transactions.

He said some are malicious.

“What these websites were actually doing was generating a QR code that was a fraudulent bitcoin address,” Foiles said.

He said to watch closely for stickers on top of menus or signs, as those may be fake QR codes.

Foiles said you must inspect a website before opening it after your phone’s camera scans the QR code.

On an Android phone, swipe over to the Google lens, take a photo of the QR code and inspect the URL to make sure it’s legitimate.

On Apple, it’s even easier.

“The bottom right-hand corner there’s a little QR code icon and that will give you more details about the QR code before taking you there,” Foiles said.

Foiles said the only way the FBI can investigate is if they’re made aware through the IC3 tips website.

“I think QR codes are definitely here to stay. And they’re not inherently dangerous,” Foiles said.

But he says as QR codes grow in popularity, the scams will too.

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