Officials warns of scams involving QR codes

JACKSON, Tenn. — A new way to scam has surfaced, and the TBI and members of the Better Business Bureau are sharing what to look out for.

QR Code

The FBI is warning that QR codes are a new tactic for getting account information, passwords, and confidential information.

“Many people know that they need to be on the lookout for phishing links and questionable attachments in emails, but they are not really thinking twice about scanning QR codes. Moving forward, we are going to have to think of QR codes almost like unsolicited emails,” said David Irwin, with the Better Business Bureau.

Irwin says businesses have started using QR codes regularly.

So now they can show up in any form, and he says for West Tennesseans, you can find them in your mailbox.

“If you get an unsolicited piece of mail or an unsolicited email, I would be really wary of clicking on that code unless you know exactly where it is coming from,” Irwin said.

He says once the QR code is scanned, a website pulls up and replicates an authentic one.

QR code

But if it is a fraudulent link, after you click, it is already too late.

“You are prompted to enter your personal information for scammers to steal. Other times they use QR codes to automatically launch payment apps, or it could take to a malicious social media account,” Irwin said.

If you are scanning a QR code, there are a few tips to help distinguish a bad link.

“Verify the source. If the QR code appears to come from a reputable source, it is wise to double check. If the correspondence appears to come from a government agency, call or visit the official website of that agency,” Irwin said.

If you have or think you might have a malicious QR code, Irwin says you can give them a call or report the code with the scam tracker on the Better Business Bureau website.

You can reach the BBB at (901) 759-1300.

You can find more local news through the WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News app.

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