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Hidden Dangers Of QR Codes And How To Stay Safe

Hidden Dangers Of QR Codes And How To Stay Safe

The world of technology is advancing at a rapid rate. Every year new features are added to the list of things that can be done with the help of technology. Surprisingly even simple technologies make a major impact depending on their ease of access. This is the reason QR codes have become quite popular in recent years.

QR codes store data in two directions compared to traditional bar codes that only store data in one direction. The ability to store data horizontally and vertically allows people to store much larger data in QR codes than that in barcodes. Because of this, they have become very popular in recent years, and according to a survey on QR codes, the percentage of users who scanned a QR code has increased by 26% in the last two years. This shows how much people have embraced this technology.

However, despite the use of QR codes and their ease of access, it is also very easy for people to fall prey to QR code scams. Let’s explore why QR codes can be unsafe and how you can protect yourself from QR code scams.

Why QR Codes Can Be Unsafe

QR codes are quite easy to use as people can easily scan a QR code from their phone camera and access any website where the QR code contains the data. However, QR codes can be unsafe for the same reasons as it is quite easy to change a QR code by simply putting another one on top of it.

Many people might not know this, but QR code scams have become quite common in recent years as it has become effortless for people to swap QR codes in public spaces. So here are some QR code scams and how to protect yourself against QR code scams.

Common QR Code Scams

QR code scams are common, especially in spaces where most people tend to pay through QR codes. Restaurants have also started using QR codes to ensure that people can check their menus and order food directly.

QR Codes

However, it is very easy for cybercriminals to generate a new QR code and paste it on the existing one. This way, users will get redirected to a website that looks similar to the original one but might not be safe to access, or it can install some sort of spyware on user devices that can steal their financial or personal information.

Recently there has been a case of parking ticket scams where the QR code of parking tickets was swapped with fake QR codes. This resulted in a lot of people losing significant amounts of money.

How To Protect Yourself From QR Code Scams

There are many ways people can get scammed due to QR codes, which is why you must take certain precautionary measures to avoid getting trapped in QR code scams.

First and foremost, people must ensure that any QR code they are scanning must not be at a random place. It is also important to remember that you must only scan QR codes from well-known, trusted sources. You must not scan random QR codes at any random spaces.

Before scanning any QR code, make sure that the QR code is not tampered with. Many criminals use fake QR codes to lure people to scan their codes, access device data, and steal personal information. Scammers stick QR codes on existing QR codes, and sometimes they can also stick QR codes on packages so that people can scan them.

Once you scan a QR code, make sure the URL is trusted and secure, especially if you are making any monetary transactions. Use a reputable payment app and check the banking name after scanning the QR code.

Make sure never to provide permissions after scanning the QR code so that the website can not gain access to your device information, location, and other personal files on your device.


It can be said that QR codes are a revolutionary way for people to easily access websites and make payments without much fussing. However, technology has also become a breeding ground for cybercrime as it is very easy for criminals to swap or alter QR codes.

Additionally, there is a lack of a proper authorization method, making it very difficult to monitor QR code generation. This is why people must be very aware while scanning QR codes, be it to make payments or to access certain sites. People must also follow the precautionary measure mentioned above to further protect themselves.

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