Taking note of the increase in digital transactions, Prakasam Superintendent of Police Malika Garg has urged the public against cybercriminals stealing money by sending QR codes to unsuspecting people online.
Reviewing cases of cybercrime that have come to the notice of the IT Core team on Sunday, she said fraudsters used various tactics to trick users into scanning QR codes and stealing their money. Cybercriminals send a QR code to unsuspecting people, usually through a picture-sharing app or messaging service. The victims are asked through a message asking to scan the QR code and enter an amount and their UPI PIN to receive free cash rewards or other incentives while buying and selling digitally. Once the victim enters the information, the fraudsters access their bank account and transfer money out of it in no time.
‘’People should realise that QR codes are only to send money, not to receive payments,” she said. She added that QR codes from unknown persons should not be scanned, especially when promised freebies. They need not enter UPI PIN under any circumstances to receive payments on digital payment platforms. Before making digital transactions, one should take advertisements on websites relating to selling second-hand goods at dirt cheap prices with a pinch of salt, she said.
Clicking on unknown links sent through messages might land unsuspecting buyers or sellers in trouble, she cautioned and suggested that no transactions should be made without bills and necessary documents, especially while purchasing electronic gadgets and other valuable items claimed to be sold for want of money urgently online. When fraud is suspected, one should turn off the mobile data or put the smart mobile phone in flight mode for safety before lodging a complaint by dialling 1930 or by browsing the national cybercrime portal www.cybercrime.gov.in.