QR codes are not intended to receive money. Know how to protect yourself against scams

QR codes are not intended to receive money. Know how to protect yourself against scams

It is very easy to fall prey to cybercrime if one is not vigilant. The final trick scammers use to scam unsuspecting people is to use QR (quick response) codes. Daily use of applications such as Payment and Bhim for making payments have standardized the concept of making payments via QR codes. Digital payments have made life eastward easier, yes, but they have also made cybercrime easier for fraudsters.

Scanning QR codes only debits money from their 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 apps on customers’ phones. By scanning these QR codes, customers can unknowingly authorize fraudsters to withdraw money from their accounts.

Be careful when scanning QR Codes using any payment application. QR codes contain embedded account details to transfer money to a particular account. Never scan a QR code to receive money. Transactions involving receiving money do not require scanning barcodes, QR codes or entering mobile banking PIN (m-PIN), passwords, etc.

Here’s how the QR code scam works:

The scammer sends you an image of a QR code on WhatsApp or any other image sharing app. The message will ask you to scan the code, enter an amount and enter your IPU PIN code to receive free cash rewards in your bank account. Alternatively, scammers will use apps that allow them to send a QR code with a pre-filled amount simply asking you to enter your UPI PIN. As soon as you do this, the money will be debited from your account.

Such scams are often reported on dealer websites. Recently, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s daughter was tricked out of Rs 34,000 while trying to sell an old sofa.

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But that shouldn’t deter you from using this convenient and fast payment method.

Banks frequently try to educate their customers so that they do not fall into this trap. Recently National 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 with ‘X’ amount. Do not scan shared #QR codes by anyone, unless the purpose is to pay. Stay alert.

The bank also shared a two and a half minute video explaining a situation of how scanning a QR code will actually cause money to be debited from your bank account.

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