Scammers are placing QR codes on parking meters to steal payment details

midian182

Posts: 7,774   +79
Staff member
Facepalm: Never underestimate the sneakiness of a scammer. The number of ways that unscrupulous types can steal money from people, especially the less tech-savvy, is dizzying. A scheme discovered in several US cities recently involves placing QR stickers on parking meters that direct users to fake sites, which then collect victims' payment details.

The Verge reports that law enforcement in Austin and San Antonio issued warnings over the holiday period after discovering a number of QR-code stickers appearing on parking meters. Click2houston posted a screenshot of the now-offline ‘Quick Pay Parking’ site that the codes lead to.

While many people would likely recognize the suspicious site address and its very basic design as red flags, it’s likely that the scammer tricked at least a few people into handing over their details. The QR sticker itself also looks very out of place on the meter.

Authorities are advising anyone who may have entered their details into the fraudulent site to file a police report and contact their card vendor to reverse any payments. It’s noted that the city of Houston does not use QR codes on its parking meters, nor does it accept payments through this method.

For those not using the traditional coins, bills, or credit cards, the safest way to pay for parking is via the official apps downloaded from Google Play or Apple App Store.

Quick Response (QR) codes have been around since 1994, having first been designed for high-speed component scanning when tracking vehicles during manufacturing. Using them for malicious purposes isn’t a new phenomenon; they’ve long been popular as a way of spreading malware.

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 6,255   +7,174
Here in NYC, we have an official app that only asks you for the ZONE you are parking in because your payment details are already linked to your internal pay app. Stick to the official city app and you should be OK.
 

brucek

Posts: 1,103   +1,618
So someone has at least the basic technical & organizational proficiency to set up the collection server, get the stickers made, and to deploy them to parking meters. This may not be rocket science but then again these basic skills + the demonstrated hustle and initiative would already make the perpetrator not the worst office employee I've seen. Why not get an actual job instead of doing crime to get paid in quarters?
 

pmshah

Posts: 179   +43
The creativity of criminals and the stupidity of the "average person" have no bounds.
Why am I not surprised? They did some very basic common knowledge interviews of people in US. Some of the answers were simply hilarious.
One example : Where is Venice, Italy : It is in Paris.
 

BadThad

Posts: 994   +1,124
Why am I not surprised? They did some very basic common knowledge interviews of people in US. Some of the answers were simply hilarious.
One example : Where is Venice, Italy : It is in Paris.
Most people in America don't even know the three branches of government in our system. Scary that these people vote!