india

Do not scan QR code to receive money

QR code is only for making payments, clarify police; cyber crooks purchasing software from Chinese hackers in darkweb

Rajesh Kumar (name changed), a businessman from Hyderguda in Rajendranagar, decided to put his independent house for rent on a few online classifieds platforms. Within hours, he was contacted by a man, who claimed to be army personnel recently transferred to Hyderabad, and expressed his willingness to take the house on rent for ₹25,000 per month.

Soon, he forwarded a link to a Quick Response (QR) code and asked him to scan to receive two months rent in advance into his bank account.

Kumar scanned the QR code and called the alleged army personnel to inform the same. The officer told Kumar that he was facing some technical issues and asked him to scan it with another bank account number. When Kumar scanned the code, he got a message that ₹87,000 had been debited from his bank account.

Immediately, Kumar phoned him. The army personnel apologised and said it was a mistake and promised to wire the amount back to his account. Later, he did not respond to his phone calls.

This was not an isolated case, but one of the several cases where hundreds of gullible people from the State capital lost their hard-earned money from their bank accounts after cyber fraudsters sent QR codes to their mobile numbers in the guise of making payments to buy their products, take the house on rent, or buy second-hand goods.

This year alone, the cybercrime police of Cyberabad and Rachakonda commissionerates received over 170 cases pertaining to QR code frauds in which the victims lost over ₹25 lakh.

Police suspect that cyber crooks from Rajasthan’s Bharatpur and Jamtara in Jharkhand are generating thousands of QR codes each day in software purchased from Chinese hackers in darkweb.

“They are purchasing the software by paying through bitcoins,” a senior officer said.

Their only and easy target is people who post classified advisements on online websites.

The fraudsters contact them within minutes and loot their hard-earned, the officer added.

Further, police requested people not to scan QR codes to receive money as there is no such facility of receiving money through the QR codes. It is only used to make payments, the police cautioned.

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