|The force has launched a campaign warning the public about the dangers of an emerging scam.
It works through QR – quick response – codes and can see victims unwittingly download malware or provide fraudsters with sensitive information.
In some cases victims have lost thousands. One victim lost £13,000 after scanning a code on a station parking machine, which took her to a phony website.
Posters have been put up at bus stops in Cambridge in a bid to spread the word about the threat.
The posters show someone scanning a QR code on a menu – just one of the many places QR codes can be found – with the words, “Never been quished? Let’s keep it that way”, written across them.
The posters encourage people to scan a code, which will take them to a dedicated force webpage, packed with messages on how to stay safe from this latest scam. It also highlights how quick and easy it is to scan a code.
Fraud and cyber prevention officer Dave York said: “Quishing, also known as QR code phishing, involves tricking someone into scanning a phony QR code with their phone or device. The QR code then takes the user to a fraudulent website that might download malware or ask for sensitive information. It’s the latest trend used by scammers to get to your hard-earned cash.
“QR codes are often found on things like parking machines, charging points, emails, even restaurant menus. Once scanned, scam codes will take you to a bogus website where you innocently input your details thinking you’re paying for a service or visiting the genuine site, when in fact, you’re sharing all your personal details with the scammers.
“There are a number of things people can do to keep themselves safe, including:
– If the QR is on a poster in a public area, always check whether it appears to have been stuck over the original. If the sign or notice is laminated and the QR code is under the lamination or part of the original print, chances are it’s more likely to be genuine
– If in doubt download the app from the official Google or Apple store or search the website on your phone’s internet browser, rather than scanning a QR code to take you there. It may take longer, but it’s more secure
– Check the preview of the QR code’s URL before opening it to see if it appears legitimate. Make sure the website uses HTTPS rather than HTTP, doesn’t have obvious misspellings and has a trusted domain
– Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t seem right, don’t share your details
“It’s hoped the posters, coupled with the webpage, will highlight the potential risks around scanning QR codes, what to look out for and how to keep yourself safe from the scammers.
“Technological advances bring a whole host of benefits, but sadly also a whole host of opportunities for scammers.”
For more on quishing, visit the website. Attachments Poster.PNG
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