Phoney QR codes being stuck on car park payment machines by crooks to con motorists into sending THEM money
- Stickers and posters pose as genuine apps but take drivers to bogus website
- The scammers only take small amounts of cash below £50 but it soon adds up
Conmen are ripping people off across the UK by putting bogus stickers on car parking payment machines to fool drivers into sending them money.
The stickers and posters pose as genuine parking apps but if anyone scans the bar code on their mobile phone or visits the website, they are directed to an app run by fraudsters.
People, believing they are making a genuine payment, will send the cash instead to the conmen who will then withdraw small sums of money below £50 so the victim is less likely to notice.
Parish councillor Maria Grasso, 67, told The Times that she fell for a scam at Upper Warlingham railway station car park in Surrey.
After catching the train, she received a text from a company called Mediacraze.com to say she had signed up for a media streaming service.
Parish councillor Maria Grasso, 67, fell for a scam at Upper Warlingham railway station car park in Surrey
QR, or ‘Quick Response’, codes are small, jumbled boxes of black and white squares
When she dialled a phone number listed on the website to cancel, it was dead and it was then she realised she had been scammed.
She said: ‘The criminals are very clever. They only take a small amount of money each month, and if you’re not the sort of person who religiously checks their account, this can go unnoticed for a very long time.’
QR, or ‘Quick Response’, codes are small, jumbled boxes of black and white squares, which operate much like a barcode. When used legitimately, they can be very useful.
You simply point the camera on your smartphone at a QR code and it directs you to a website automatically without you having to tap the details into your browser.
This is when fraudsters stick a fake QR code over a genuine one to snare unsuspecting victims.
Some motorists on the Isle of Wight fell prey to this crime last year when a fake QR code was stuck on parking meters in a council car park.
It is hard to discern a fake QR code from a real one, which is a key reason why people are especially vulnerable.
Action Fraud said drivers should be wary if a QR code takes them to a site that asks for personal information
Some motorists on the Isle of Wight fell prey to this crime last year when a fake QR code was stuck on parking meters in a council car park
Stephen Burke, product director at the cyber security company Titan HQ, believes a careful look at the placing of the code offers clues as to whether it might be a fraud.
He said: ‘Always take a close look at any QR code to see if there are signs it has been plastered over a genuine one, perhaps on different paper or is peeling off.’
Councils and private firms are getting rid of payment meters from car parks because mobile phone operators are switching off 3G data networks.
Many car parks use payments only via an app and several councils such as Brighton & Hove are getting rid of all their machines this year.
Action Fraud said drivers should be wary if a QR code takes them to a site that asks for personal information.
Look out for signs a code may be fake such as bad graphics or misspellings.
Only click on websites that have an ‘https’ as the beginning of the address as this means it is more likely to be safe from hacking.
If in doubt, shut the webpage accessed by the QR code and look up the website directly by typing the correct web address into your browser.
Source: Read Full Article