Financial Tips

QR Code Scams


QR codes, or Quick Response codes, are a convenient way to share information.

When you scan a QR code with your smartphone’s camera, it opens up a link to a website or downloads information to your phone. For example, if you’re at a restaurant, a QR code makes it easy to view the menu and order your favorite dish.

But these convenient little codes have become a major target for scammers out to steal your money.

It works like this:

  1. A scammer creates a new code and attaches it on top of a legitimate one.
  2. You scan the new code, it either redirects you to a phishing website or downloads malware directly onto your phone.
  3. It leads to information like your banking login or financial information being stolen by the scammer.

So how can you avoid QR scams?

Be Cautious

Look closely at the code itself. Has it been tampered with? Is there a new sticker on top of the old code?

Look closely at the website. Most devices will show you a preview of the link before it takes you there. If it looks suspicious, stay away! If you do go to the site, look it over carefully before entering any information.

And if you’re trying to pay via QR code, be extra careful. It’s better to pull up a trusted website and enter your payment information there.

Unsolicited QR Codes

You should also be wary of any unsolicited QR codes. Email, texts, social media posts, and paper mail have all been targets of malicious codes. If you’re curious about an offer you’ve received, play it safe and search the web rather than using the code.

While QR codes are convenient, they’re not always safe. If you have any doubts about a QR code, don’t scan it. It could end up being a costly mistake.

Ready for What’s Next?

Have questions? Ready to start building a relationship with one of our experienced bankers?