Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information, like your name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. In fact, you or someone you know may have experienced some form of identity theft.
Cybercriminals Tampering with QR Codes to Steal Victim Funds
The Orleans Police is issuing this announcement to raise awareness of malicious Quick Response (QR) codes. Cybercriminals are tampering with QR codes to redirect victims to malicious sites that steal login and financial information.
A QR code is a square barcode that a smartphone camera can scan and read to provide quick access to a website, to prompt the download of an application, and to direct payment to an intended recipient. Cybercriminals are taking advantage of this technology by directing QR code scans to malicious sites to steal victim data, then gaining access to the victim's device, and redirecting payment for criminal use.
A victim scans what they think to be a legitimate code but the tampered code directs victims to a malicious site, which prompts them to enter login and financial information. This could potentially give the cybercriminal the ability to potentially steal funds through victim accounts or gain access to the victim’s cellular phone.
TIPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF:
- Once you scan a QR code, check the URL to make sure it is the intended site and looks authentic. For example look for misspelled words or a misplaced letter.
- Practice caution when entering login, personal, or financial information from a site navigated to from a QR code.
- Do not download an app from a QR code. Use your phone's app store for a safer download.
- If you receive an email stating a payment failed from a company you recently made a purchase with and the company states you can only complete the payment through a QR code, call the company to verify. Locate the company's phone number through a trusted site rather than a number provided in the email.
- Do not download a QR code scanner app. This increases your risk of downloading malware onto your device. Most phones have a built-in scanner through the camera app.
- If you receive a QR code that you believe to be from someone you know, reach out to them through a known number or address to verify that the code is from them.
Avoid making payments through a site navigated to from a QR code. Instead, manually enter a known and trusted URL to complete the payment.
Visit https://www.ic3.gov/ for more tips.
Please see the following links for information on this growing problem and how to protect yourself.