Tips To Follow To Avoid Falling For Malicious QR Codes

Many new technologies have been emerging as more and more people are getting used to being on the Internet. It can not be denied that the advancement in certain technologies is proving to be very beneficial for the average Internet user. If you are also frequently on the Internet, you must be aware of using QR codes.
QR Code Scams
QR codes were first introduced in 1994. However, this two-dimensional version of the traditional barcodes became popular quite recently. ExpressVPN's study revealed that scan-to-pay transactions have become increasingly widespread, and North American consumers are expected to spend 15.4 billion USD in 2023 on goods and services using QR codes.

Despite the benefits of using QR codes, the popularity of the technology has also paved the way for scammers to misuse it.

Why Is There A Rise In QR Code Scams

QR codes can be used in multiple ways and have gained popularity for the same reason. QR codes can be beneficial in storing huge amounts of data due to their ability to store data horizontally and vertically. They are also helpful to brands as they can generate a QR code for their websites and advertise them easily on their products. QR codes are essentially way easier to market and advertise than printing the URL of a website. This also makes it easier for customers to find the website of anything they might be interested in by simply scanning a QR code.

However, as more people use QR codes, it has become easy for scammers to simply replace them. Not only that but since there is no way to authorize the generation of QR codes, anyone can create QR codes and distribute them whenever they want to. So here are some QR code scams and ways to prevent falling for a QR scam.

Common QR Code Scams That Can Affect Users

QR codes are getting used in a lot of public spaces these days. Almost every public shop, restaurant, and small brand has a QR code that customers can use to easily access the menu, make orders, or even pay with the help of these QR codes. However, this practice has made it easier than ever for scammers to exploit people.

Scammers can simply replace the QR code of a business with their own QR code. They create fake QR codes and place them near shopping places and restaurants.

Similarly, scammers have started to use QR codes on delivery packages, and some cyber-criminals have started to send QR codes under the guise of providing discounts by certain brands. If you are receiving discounts or are being approached by a brand, it is best to ensure the legitimacy of said emails before responding to them or scanning any QR code.

How To Scan QR Codes Safely

There are a few ways to ensure whether a QR code is legitimate. Because even if a scammer has replaced a certain QR code, it is still a QR code. So here are some preventive measures that can help you while scanning a QR code.

First and foremost, make sure not to scan any QR code without ensuring that it is being provided to you by a trusted source. Do not randomly scan any QR code that you happen upon in public spaces. Even if you scan a QR code, you first must check the URL of the website that opens. If you have access to a firewall on your device, it will help protect your device data if the website is malicious or harmful to your device data.

Ensure you do not agree to provide any device permissions to the website. If a website asks you to provide the device location or access files and phone gallery, close the tab and do not open the website again. Additionally, before scanning a QR code, try to look for any signs of tampering with it. Also, try to take a look at the QR code to ensure that no new stickers are being placed over an existing QR code.

It is your responsibility to make sure that you take some precautionary measures to avoid getting scammed. Since there are no ways to ensure whether your device data is stolen or not, it is better to be safe.


There are many benefits of using QR codes for internet users. The technology not only provides ease of access for Internet users, but it can also help brands in reaching their customers easily. Despite all these uses of the QR code technology, it has also opened up a way for scammers to misuse them.

So to avoid getting scammed by all the fake QR codes that scammers and hackers are spreading, it is beneficial for Internet users to practice some preventive measures. It is always beneficial to be a bit wary of any QR code you will scan, as this can protect you from getting scammed.