Friday, 3 November 2023, 17:15
Police in Spain are warning people about a scam that can affect you when you're simply scanning a QR code at a restaurant or bar to read the menu.
Fraudsters are placing stickers with a fake QR code on top of the real ones. Customers who want to read the restaurant's menu then scan this false QR code, and are redirected to a fake payment platform or website.
Scammers are also placing information posters showing various offers such as private lessons or children's activities, at the entrances to schools, police have warned. Parents who scan the QR code on the poster are redirected to the same dodgy payment platforms and websites where they are asked to provide personal details and bank codes to make payments.
Police are receiving a higher number of complaints for what are known as fraudulent charges, where complainants do not know the origin of certain charges on their bank accounts.
Police are warning that these QR codes can generate subscriptions, which are understood to be legitimate because you have accessed the subscription page voluntarily, which is why it is important to unsubscribe immediately, otherwise, you will be charged a monthly fee.
• The first sign is to check that the QR code is not stuck on top of another one. If in doubt, and if you are in a restaurant or bar, ask the staff there to answer any questions you may have.
• When scanning a QR code, always check that the page you are being redirected to is that of the business itself or of the site you want to access.
• Check that the web address is correct and that the letter 's' appears n the 'https' part and that the padlock symbol always appears, showing the page is secure.
• A QR code placed on the table in restaurants will never ask for personal or payment details. So if this happens, never provide those details and let the owner of the business know.
• Do not click on suspicious ads or strange links. If it is a real QR code it provide the real information and will not make you click on any suspicious ads or links.
• Sometimes the web pages to which these false codes direct you have many spelling mistakes.
• If you suspect you have been a victim of this type of scam, go to the nearest National Police station and file a complaint. Provide as much information as you have such as screenshots and bank statements.
• Download an antivirus program to detect fraud.
• Configure the QR scanning application on your mobile device so that it cannot automatically redirect you to suspicious content (Application settings > Disable the possibility of opening websites automatically).
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