QR codes are not meant to receive money. Know how to safeguard yourself against scam | #whatsapp | #lovescams | #phonescams

QR codes are not meant to receive money. Know how to safeguard yourself against scam

It is very easy to fall prey to cybercrime if one is not vigilant. The latest trick that fraudsters are using to con unsuspecting people is through (Quick Response) QR codes. Everyday use of apps like Paytm and Bhim to make payments have normalised the concept of making payments through QR codes. Digital payments have made life east, yes, but they have also made cybercrime easier for fraudsters.

Scanning QR codes only allows money to be debited from one’s account and there is no way to receive money through the process. Fraudsters often contact customers under various pretexts and trick them into scanning QR codes using the apps on the customers’ phones. By scanning such QR codes, customers may unknowingly authorise the fraudsters to withdraw money from their accounts.

Be cautious while scanning QR codes using any payment app. QR codes have account details embedded in them to transfer money to a particular account. Never scan any QR code to receive money. Transactions involving receipt of money do not require scanning barcodes, QR codes or entering mobile banking PIN (m-PIN), passwords, etc.

Here is how the QR code scam works:

The fraudster sends you a picture of a QR code on WhatsApp or any other picture-sharing app. The message will ask you to scan the code, enter an amount, and enter your UPI PIN to receive free cash rewards in your bank account. Alternatively, fraudsters will use apps which allow them to send a QR code with a pre-populated amount asking you to just enter your UPI PIN. As soon as you do that, money will get debited from your account.

Such scams are often reported on reseller websites. Recently, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s daughter got duped of Rs 34,000 when she was trying to sell an old sofa.

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But this should not deter you from using this convenient and fast method of making payments.

Banks frequently try to sensitise their customers against falling into this trap. Recently State Bank of India warned its customers in a tweet. SBI tweeted, “You don’t receive money when you scan a QR code. All you get is a message that your bank account is debited for an ‘X’ amount. Do not scan #QR Codes shared by anyone unless the objective is to pay. Stay alert.”

The bank also shared a two-and-a-half-minute video explaining a situation on how scanning a QR code will actually result in debiting money from your bank account.

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