Using Your Phone Carelessly is Now a Risk


You've probably come across QR codes everywhere, from restaurant menus to event tickets and even your local coffee shop's Wi-Fi access. However, scammers are taking advantage of the widespread use of QR codes.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued a warning about a new tactic scammers are employing. They create QR codes, sometimes covering legitimate ones, with the intention of tricking you. These fraudulent QR codes might lead you to a fake website, aiming to deceive you into providing personal information, or they could install malicious software on your phone, stealing your personal data.

The FTC highlights that scammers often pose as package delivery services, claiming they couldn't deliver a package and asking you to reschedule. They may also pretend there's an issue with one of your accounts, urging you to confirm your information, or they might alert you to supposed suspicious activity, recommending a password change. Scammers frequently try to create a sense of urgency to discourage questioning.

Reports show that U.S. consumers lost nearly $8.8 billion to fraud in 2022, a 30% increase from the previous year. To safeguard yourself:

Double-check website addresses for misspellings to ensure they're not spoofed (fake) sites mimicking popular businesses.
Avoid scanning QR codes in unexpected texts or emails. Instead, search online for the company's official website or customer service line.
Ensure your phone's operating system is regularly updated for optimal performance and security.
Enhance account security with two-factor authentication.

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