How to protect yourself from QR code scams

Your personal information could be at risk

QR codes are popping up everywhere, and now scammers have found ways to use them.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – QR codes are popping up everywhere, from restaurant menus to contactless payment.

You may have even noticed a new addition to the Channel 4 logo on the corner of the screen when you watch our broadcast.

It’s a QR Code.

When you frame it up using your phone’s camera, it will give you a link to our News4Jax Insider page, where you can sign up to be an Insider.

As helpful as QR codes can be, scammers have also found ways to use them.

A scammer can steal your personal information within seconds.

Tiny boxes with black and white dots are popping up on all sorts of products and in magazines, but beware of the links offered.

QR codes give easy access to our smartphones and the personal information inside them.

The Better Business Bureau warns to watch out for suspicious QR codes because they could put that info at risk.

Treat them like a suspicious link in an email.

If you scan a fraudulent QR code, it could send you to a website that can put malware on your phone. The next thing you know, a scammer has your information.

That could expose your bank account, email, and any accounts linked to either.

Tom Stephens, president of the Better Business Bureau for Northeast Florida, said scammers stay awake at night thinking of ways to outsmart people who are trying to stop them.

“They’re very technical; they’re very good at what they do. That’s why they’re called scam artists because they’re good at what they do. So they’re going to take advantage of every bit of technology they can take advantage of, to get to you to do something that is not to your benefit.”

Stephens also said if someone sends you a QR code, verify the source. Make sure you do this before scanning it. Never open links from people you don’t know. Also, don’t scan random QR codes in person if you don’t know what it’s there for.

The good news, BBB hasn’t received any reports of this in our area, but you don’t want to be the first.

If this does happen to you, report it on the Bureau’s website.

About the Authors:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.