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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

How to Avoid Quishing Cyber Scams



In today's digital world, scams are becoming more sophisticated and common. One scam gaining popularity is QR code phishing, or “Quishing”. Quick Response or QR codes, widely used for their quick and easy access to information, can unfortunately be manipulated by criminals to trick unsuspecting individuals. Quishing scams across the globe have seen a massive spike as crooks are now using QR codes to steal your money, personal information, and identity. The reason this crime is so attractive to fraudsters is that it leaves next to no digital footprint behind. Follow these quick and easy steps to keep you and your family safe from this latest scam.


What is Quishing? Using QR codes is a great way to provide convenient contactless access and has helped slow down infection during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, anytime people use a popular piece of technology, cybercriminals always find a way to take advantage of it. In this instance, criminals are directing QR codes to malicious websites designed to steal your data, possibly embedding malware to get access to your device, and sending payments to criminals.


Popular Ways Criminals Use Quishing. QR codes are commonly used to make payments for services like meals or parking or meals, but you should be cautious of any QR codes that you come across in public. Criminals will replace legitimate QR codes with malicious codes that redirect you to a phishing website, which can steal your personal information. Here are popular ways criminals are using Quishing.


Restaurants and Shops. Many eating establishments use QR codes for customers to view menus or order meals. However, scammers can replace these codes with fraudulent ones that redirect you to a phishing website to steal your personal information.


Mail & Packages.  Scammers may send snail mail containing QR codes that claim to offer giveaways, prizes, or instant coupons. Be careful, as these are often scams. Somtimes crooks

will send you a package with an unexpected QR code, be cautious. Scammers may send you a product in the mail to create a sense of curiosity and bypass your suspicions.


Phishing emails. If you receive an unknown email containing a QR code, be wary. While email services can detect and warn you of malicious links and attachments, they may not be able to do the same for malicious QR codes.


Social media - If you receive a message containing a QR code from a social media account you follow, be sure to contact the person directly outside of their social media account to confirm that their account has not been cloned or hacked.


Here are some tips to keep you safe:

  • Don't download a QR code scanner app without reading the reviews. There are a lot of malicious apps out there. Most iPhones can scan QR codes from the camera app. Android is going to implement this feature soon, phones already have a scanner on them.

  • When you scan a QR code, make sure it takes you to a legitimate website. Check for correct spelling and that it looks authentic. Most criminals hope you don't check for spelling, so do your due diligence.

  • If you're scanning a physical QR code on a flyer or poster, be sure there it has not been manipulated or has a sticker placed on top of the real code. Not all criminals just work over the internet. Criminals will do some leg work to get your information.

  • If a QR code is sent to you electronically, by a business or a friend, don't assume it's safe. Email and social media accounts are compromised daily. Directly contact whoever you believe sent it to you, through a trusted phone number or email address, and confirm it's legitimate.

  • Most QR codes are designed to give you information. If you find a QR code asking you to input personal or financial information, leave immediately.

  • Don't make payments through a website that popped up from scanning a QR code.  Instead, visit a known website and trusted URL to complete the payment.


Hopefully, this will give you tips to help you reduce the amount of time your kids spend time on their screens this summer.  If you have any questions, please reach out. I'm always available.99% of cybercrime requires user interaction which means you need to always be on the lookout for scams that are designed to get you to click on links to give up your personal information.


Looking for More Useful Tech Tips? Our Tuesday Tech Tips Blog is released every Tuesday. If you like video tips, we LIVE STREAM new episodes of 'Computer and Tech Tips for Non-Tech People' every Wednesday at 1:00 pm CST on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.   Technology product reviews are posted every Thursday. You can view previous episodes on our YouTube channel.


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Want to ask me a tech question? Send it to burton@callintegralnow.com. I love technology. I've read all of the manuals and I'm serious about making technology fun and easy to use for everyone.


Need computer or technology help? If you need on-site or remote tech support for your Windows\Macintosh, computers, laptops, Android/Apple smartphone, tablets, printers, routers, smart home devices, and anything that connects to the Internet, please feel free to contact my team at Integral. Our team of friendly tech experts organization can help you with any IT needs you might have. Reach out to us a www.callintegralnow.com or phone at 888.256.0829.


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Looking for More Useful Tips Tips?

My Tuesday Tech Tips Blog is released every Tuesday. If you like video tips, I LIVE STREAM new episodes of 'Computer and Tech Tips for Non-Tech People' every Wednesday at 1:00 pm CST on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Technology product reviews are posted every Thursday. You can view previous episodes on my YouTube channel.


Sign Up for My Newsletter! Click this link to sign-up and subscribe and you will receive every tip directly in your inbox each week.


Want to ask me a tech question? Send it to burton@burtonkelso.com. I love technology. I've read all of the manuals and I'm serious about making technology fun and easy to use for everyone. 


Need computer or technology help? If you need on-site or remote tech support for your Windows\Macintosh, computers, laptops, Android/Apple smartphone, tablets, printers, routers, smart home devices, and anything that connects to the Internet, please feel free to contact my team at Integral. Our team of friendly tech experts organization can help you with any IT needs you might have. Reach out to us a www.callintegralnow.com or phone at 888.256.0829. 


Please share this with your friends and family! If you found this post useful, would you mind helping me out by sharing it? Just click one of the handy social media sharing buttons below.


The above content is provided for information purposes only. All information included therein is

subject to change without notice. I am not responsible for any direct or indirect damages, arising from or related to the use of or reliance on the above content.


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