New scam targets drivers with QR code stickers on parking meters

A new scam that targets drivers involves fraudulent QR code stickers on parking meters which take the person to an illegitimate website for payment.
The pandemic has made the use of QR codes the norm in many establishments but people should be cautious regarding the links they access through them. Many people are unaware that this technology can be used by scammers to con people. This is exactly what happened to large numbers of people in some cities in Texas.
Parking meters were found with fraudulent QR code stickers in the cities of Austin, Houston and San Antonio. According to police sources, the scammers hoped to get victims to pay for their tickets via an illegitimate link.
The San Antonio police warned people of the scam on their Twitter account on December 20, stating that “people attempting to pay for parking using those QR codes may have been directed to a fraudulent website and submitted payment to a fraudulent vendor”.

Fox 7 Austin reported that more than 100 such stickers had been discovered on parking meters in San Antonio. After this alert, the Austin Department of Transportation began to check the parking meters in their own city. They found that 29 of the 900 parking meters in the city had false QR codes.
It appears that the codes took the victims to a website that supposedly allowed “fast payment”. Fortunately, this address has now been deactivated, but the number of people who fell victim to the scam is unknown.
Although the scam took place in Texas, it is extremely simple and could easily happen anywhere. It is important for people to be aware of such scams and ensure that QR codes are genuine.
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Written by

Tamsin Brown

Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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