An anti-vaxxer hijacked a QR code; how to avoid being scammed

Tech Talk

ST. LOUIS– Those square-shaped QR codes have become popular during the pandemic. One spot using them to help with contact tracing had it hijacked by an anti-vaxxer.

A QR (quick-response) codes have become a quick, contactless way to read menus, check in for appointments, and more says Scott Schaffer of Blade Technologies.

The BBC reports one code used for an Australian contact-tracing program was hijacked by a man who simply slapped a scam QR code on top of the real one. The scam code redirected users to a website distributing misinformation from the anti-vaxxer community.

Schaffer says it’s hard to stop scammers from doing something like this. He also says malicious QR codes are also used to steal credentials in phishing and malware attacks.

He suggests using care and common sense if scanning an unknown QR code. He says you may want to take a picture of it and open it on a computer at home instead of your phone.

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