Better Business Bureau warns of QR Code Scams

Scammers are now using QR codes to steal personal information.
Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 5:12 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - QR codes have been around for a few years, but now people are seeing them more often. Since the pandemic, many restaurants are getting rid of traditional menus and using QR Codes as mobile menus.

Tony Binkley, the president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Greater East Tennessee said scammers are now replacing the quick response codes with fake ones that could take you to a phishing site. The site could then prompt you to enter in your personal information or payment information to get to your money.

Binkley said a good way to protect yourself against the scams is to check the web address the code directs you to.

”If these QR codes take you to a short link like a ‘bitly’ link or something on those lines, you really don’t know where those things are gonna take you. You really have to exercise an extra layer of caution if you see a short link like that cause you just don’t know where you’re gonna go,” said Binkley.

Binkley said another way you can protect yourself is to download an app for scanning QR codes, instead of using your cell phone camera.

“There are some apps out there versus using your camera that can give you some level of security. You’ll just have to do your own research cause those apps are different for different venues, and you’ll just need to get one you’re comfortable with,” shared Binkley.

Officials with the Better Business Bureau of Greater East Tennessee said so far there are no reported cases of the scams in Knoxville, but it’s only a matter of time before they start to pop up.

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